TIM MALYON & PAUL BIDDLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TIM MALYON & PAUL BIDDLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Acupuncturist treating a patient for hay fever, using a process known as moxibustion. Needles inserted in the face are warmed with a smouldering cigar of moxa (the dried, downy covering of the leaves of Artemisia moxa, a type of wormwood). In traditional Chinese medicine, illness is considered to be due to an imbalance of "vital energy" or Ch'i, which flows through the body in twelve pathways or meridians, each meridian corresponding with one of the vital organs. The imbalance is corrected by inserting needles and/or burning moxa at specific points on the meridians to stimulate the energy flow.
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