....I bet when they go in for a root canal the only needle they want to see is a shot of Novocain. --Cecil Adams
Here's the picture: a few thousand years before it was known that blood circulates or germs cause disease, doctors who had never dissected a frog, claimed that yin and yang could be balanced by inserting needles into the right points, among the hundreds of points strung along 12 meridians....Scientists suggest the needles stimulate release of endorphins. Jalapeno peppers do the same thing. So it wouldn't matter where you stick the needles would it? Then who needs an acupuncturist? --Bob Park
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique for unblocking chi (ch'i or qi) by inserting needles at particular points on the body to balance the opposing forces of yin and yang. Chi is an energy that allegedly permeates all things. It is believed to flow through the body along 14 main pathways called meridians. When yin and yang are in harmony, chi flows freely within the body and a person is healthy. When a person is sick, diseased, or injured, there is an obstruction of chi along one of the meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine has identified some 500 specific points where needles are to be inserted for specific effects.
Acupuncture has been practiced in China for more than 2,000 years (though some think it has been around for 4,000 years). Today, the needles are twirled, heated, or even stimulated with weak electrical current, ultrasound, or certain wavelengths of light. Some use tuning forks over the acupoints. Others direct laser beams at them. Still others use magnetic BBs on patches applied to acupoints. But no matter how it is done, scientific research can never demonstrate that unblocking chi by acupuncture or any other means is effective against any disease. Chi is defined as being undetectable by the methods of empirical science.