In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture uses needles inserted at specific points in the body to redirect one’s qi, or energy flow, when it is out of balance and causing illness. Western medicine’s view is that acupuncture seems to be effective for certain ailments, but there’s no consensus on theories of how it works.
However it works, medical studies indicate that acupuncture is most effective for nausea and pain. Sounds good, huh?
The LA Times recently published an article describing traditional and modern views of acupuncture and some of the current medical ideas and beliefs about it. It’s a fascinating read that’s not too long. I’m too tired to summarize it accurately, but trust me that it’s worth a look.[9/21/06: This article is no longer available. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine provides similar information.]