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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: acupuncture

DEFINITIONS

Acupuncture: Part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and dating back to at least 200-300 B.C.E., it involves inserting very fine needles into specific points of the body. The basic idea is that there are energy pathways in the body known as meridians, and that by stimulating certain points on the meridians with the needles, the body’s energy (qi, pronounced “chi”) can bring balance to the body. The points may also be stimulated with the fingertips, and modern practitioners also use electrical and even laser stimulation. There are also points that are not associated with the meridians. May be a version of the earlier ayurvedic techniques from the pre-Hindu culture of northwest India.


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