Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. Is based on the belief that living beings have a vital energy, called "qi", which circulates through twelve invisible energy lines, known as meridians of the body. Each Meridian is associated with a different organ system. An imbalance in the flow of qi throughout a Meridian is as disease begins.

Acupuncturists insert needles at specified points along Meridian lines to influence the balance to restore the flow of qi. There are over 1,000 acupuncture points on the body.

In 1997, Acupuncture needles were reclassified from "experimental" to "medical devices" from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The National Institutes of Health has issued a consensus statement in the same year endorsing acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions such as post-operative pain and tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acupuncture is one of the most popular alternative therapies. The FDA estimates that people in the United States spend more than 500 million dollars annually in acupuncture treatments. Many people have insurance coverage for acupuncture.

How does acupuncture

There are many theories about how acupuncture works. Some of them are:
Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins painkillers
Acupuncture influences the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals that transmit nerve impulses to the brain
Acupuncture affects the autonomic nervous system
Acupuncture stimulates circulation
Acupuncture influence of electric currents in the body
Conditions treated with acupuncture

migraines and tension headaches
common cold
dependencies, quit smoking
Trigeminal neuralgia
Meniere's disease
tennis elbow
menstrual cramps
low back pain
weight loss

Author's Bio: 

Brendan Zachar LAC is an acupuncture physician Acupuncture Fort Lauderdale. He also runs a Health Blog