Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles at very precise acupuncture points.
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy (Qi) run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body. An obstruction in the movement through these meridians is like a “blockage“ that has “dammed” up the energy pathway.
The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience and perception of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.