Acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine, which has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. It involves penetrating the skin with thin metallic needles at specific points on the body to encourage healing, relieve or prevent pain or improve bodily functions. Most people feel no pain when acupuncture needles are inserted.
Benefits People use acupuncture for various types of pain. There is some evidence that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for lower back pain, nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, neck disorders and headache. Acupuncture treatment may take place over a period of several weeks or more.
Side effects While very few side effects from acupuncture have been reported, complications have occurred as a result of poorly sterilized needles or improper technique.
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Common alternative therapies – massage therapy
Acupuncture Foundation of Canada Institute