In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has long been used to improve the flow of vital energy (called "qi" or "chi") throughout the body. This vital energy is thought to circulate through invisible energy lines, which are known as "meridians."
According to traditional Chinese medicine, health problems occur as a result of blockages in the flow of vital energy. By inserting needles into specified points along meridian lines, acupuncturists aim to restore the flow of vital energy and, in turn, improve heath.
Although research suggests that acupuncture may offer a number of health benefits (including reduced stress and management of problems like chronic pain .
Acupuncture is generally considered safe when administered by a qualified practitioner. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, acupuncture can cause serious adverse effects (such as infections and punctured organs) when not delivered properly.