Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years. Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient's skin at specific points on the body - the needles are inserted to various depths. Acupuncture dates back to prehistoric times, with written records from the second century BCE. Different variations of acupuncture are practiced and taught throughout the world. Traditional acupuncture was developed prior to the understanding of human anatomy and cell theory upon which modern biology is based, and there is no anatomical or scientific evidence for the existence of qi or meridians; concepts central to acupuncture theory.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more. Acupuncture has been effectively used for the treatment of back pain, headache, migraine, and sports injuries. However, acupuncture provides more than pain relief. It is helpful in treating anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, abdominal, menstrual cramps, weight control, infertility and much more.
Acupuncture generally involves several weekly or fortnightly treatments. Most courses consist of up to 12 sessions. A visit to an acupuncturist will involve an exam and an assessment of the patient's condition, the insertion of needles, and advice on self-care. Most sessions last about 30 minutes.