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Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that originated around 2,000 years ago. Acupuncture is based on the belief that the working of the human body is controlled by a life force called Qi (pronounced chee). This flows between the organs of the body along pathways called meridians or channels.
There are 12 meridians for the 12 main organs of the body, including the heart, liver, lungs, kidney and stomach. Although the meridians are named after particular organs, the name refers to other associated organs as well. For example, the kidney meridian is associated with the ears, eyes, bones, genitals, urethra and anus. Qi energy must run in the correct strength through these channels for us to be healthy. Illness occurs when the flow of Qi is blocked or unbalanced.
Acupuncture points are located along the meridians. Needles are inserted in these places to unblock or alter the flow of Qi. This is thought to balance the proper flow of Qi and restore health.