Dr. Helen He

What Is Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a kind of technique which stimulates some points on the body, like inserting needles into our skin. It is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been a component of the health care system of China which can be traced back at least 2,500 years.

"Acupuncture", a form of traditional Chinese medicine treatment, is derived from the Latin ‘acus’- a needle and ‘punctura’ - to puncture. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient's skin at specific points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which give vital energy runs. Practitioners who adhere to traditional beliefs about acupuncture believe that when Qi (energy) does not flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. They also believe acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health.

The British Medical Association offered its opinion on the subject at the BMA's annual conference in London in June 2000. The association published a report: Acupuncture: Efficacy, Safety and Practice, which acknowledged the scientific benefits of acupuncture and recommended that the treatment be incorporated into the National Health Service.

Since then, a number of extensive clinical trials have been conducted and new research is beginning to provide quantifiable evidence of acupuncture’s efficacy in treating many common health conditions.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists a wide variety of diseases and disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials, which can be found on the world health organization.