What is Acupuncture?


According to, acupuncture is a European term invented by Willem Ten Rhyne, a Dutch physician who visited Nagasaki in Japan in the early part of the seventeenth century. The Chinese describe acupuncture by the character ‘Chen’, which literally means ‘to prick with a needle’, a graphic description of this therapeutic technique. Historians have a known record of acupuncture of about 2,000 years, but it is believed that it has been around for more than 4,000 years.



How Does Acupuncture Work?


Acupuncture is meant to help the body heal itself, rather than using a medicine to do it for you. It is a more natural way of healing. In order to stimulate the acupoints, or places that need healing, fine needles are inserted. In Chinese philosophy, is is believed that the body is separated into specific pathways called meridians. Flowing through these meridians is energy referred to as,”qi” pronounced, “chee.”

The Chinese believe that when this flow of qi gets disrupted, then pain is caused. This is where acupuncture comes in. The fine needles are a way to release this blockage and relieve pain.



Isn’t Acupuncture Just Pseudoscience?


There is certainly a lot of skepticism around acupuncture. Technically, acupuncture is considered pseudoscience. However, pseudoscience is just something, such as a practice or experiment, that is not based on the scientific method. There are still anecdotes that validate the use of acupuncture. In addition it is something that has been practiced for more that 2,000 years. Also, it is important to note that scientists may not have a good way to measure the effects of acupuncture, therefor leaving it as pseudoscience until they can find a way to correctly test it.



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