ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Patient undergoing acupuncture treatment, showing a needle about to be inserted into the foot. 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 acupuncturist corrects the imbalance by inserting needles at specific points on the meridians and rotating the free ends to stimulate the energy flow.
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