Acupuncture is an age-old healing practice of traditional Chinese medicine in which thin needles are placed at specific points in the body. It's primarily used to relieve pain but also has been used to treat other conditions. More than 3 million Americans use acupuncture, but it is even more popular in other countries.
Acupuncture seeks to release the flow of the body's vital energy or "chi" by stimulating points along energy pathways. Scientists say the needles cause the body to release endorphins -- natural painkillers -- and may boost blood flow and change brain and nerve activity.
Acupuncture needles are very thin, and most people feel no pain or very little pain when they are inserted. They often say they feel energized or relaxed after the treatment. However, the needles can cause temporary soreness.
If standard treatments don't relieve your chronic pain, acupuncture may do the job. Acupuncture may work against the pain of fibromyalgia and muscle pain. Web MD reported a study by the Mayo Clinic that suggested acupuncture may reduce two other problems of fibromyalgia: fatigue and anxiety.
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