Acupuncture is part of a greater system of medicine that originated in Asia a few thousand years ago. It involves the insertion of a thin, tiny needles through the skin at very specific points along the body. Those points are the bread and butter of Acupuncture, and are actually called Acupuncture Points.
The Acupuncture Points are grouped along meridians. The points all span from the fingertips and toes, along the trunk, back and head. Each meridian has an organ system that it is connected to. Each point then, not only brings relaxation, but also affects the deeper functions of the body.
Acupuncture is always provided as a means to offer physical and emotional balance. It affects the flow of our life-force energy, "Qi", in a way that removes blockages that cause pain and distress in the body.
Your Acupuncture Doctor will choose specific points aimed at redirecting the Qi, while also using specific techniques to control how and where that Qi flows.
Many western doctors around the world are starting to open up to this ancient practice. In 2003 the WHO released a report that listed out countless conditions that are effectively treated by acupuncture. In China, Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy are used in the hospitals as part of integrative treatment.
It's also been a huge hit in the pain relief game, being named one of the top three therapies that should be tried before considering surgery or pain medication for back pain and a known therapy for anesthesia in surgery for those who cannot be administered anesthesia.
I personally find it to be extremely effective in regulating male and female hormone cycles, some endocrine disorders like diabetes and thyroid disease, and specifically women's menstrual cycle and fertility.
This is because Acupuncture has a such strong effect on our nervous system. Each point is in the vicinity of major nerve junctions and the stimulation from the needle sends specific responses to the brain redirecting and resetting certain nerve feedback loops.
In short, it helps to reset the body through the nervous system by awakening our rest and digest functions and soothing our fight or flight response.
Most other therapies dismiss how stress, mental health, mindset, and emotional trauma can affect the healing process. In Acupuncture, your physical AND mental state are considered. A truly holistic approach.