LEA PATERSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LEA PATERSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Acupuncturist positioning a needle in a patient's skin. Acupuncture uses needles placed in the skin at specific points to treat a variety of disorders, including stress, pain, headaches and addiction. The needles are placed at points along lines called meridians, which are believed to be channels along which "life energy", called Qi, flows. Altering the flow of Qi helps to cure the condition being treated. Western medicine believes that acupuncture works by stimulating nerves or affecting small blood vessels, although there is no clear explanation for its effects. Although not fully accepted by conventional medicine, it is sometimes used as a complementary treatment.
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