After thousands of years of practice, we know that acupuncture works, but the West is still trying to understand why. Acupuncture derives from the concept in traditional Chinese medicine that disease results from a disruption in the flow of chi—the body's circulating life energy—and imbalances in the forces of yin and yang. Chi is said to flow along pathways in the human body known as meridians. According to Eastern thought, there are as many as 20 meridians and more than 2,000 acupuncture points found along them. Applying tiny needles—or, sometimes, pressure or heat—to those points is believed to deliver therapeutic effects for patients.
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