Acupuncture is a system of treatment that is usually associated with the use of very fine needles applied to the surface of the body. Acupuncture is effective when applied by treatment principles derived from Neurology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Empirical Data. Acupuncture more broadly refers to the field of Oriental Medicine.
There is a network of nerves that touches every square inch of the surface of the body. The knowledge of Acupuncture is that we can stimulate Acupuncture points (reflex points) on the surface of the body and get an internal response. This method not only relieves pain. It also opens up the circulation of blood and nerve supply. This in turn has the physiological benefit of decreasing inflammation and spasm.
Oriental Medicine is sometimes called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This is a comprehensive field of healthcare developed by thousands of years of empirical study in the East. It is based on an understanding of energy referred to as Qi (Chi) applied to human health and disease. The most fundamental principal is that health is maintained by a balance of Yin and Yang Qi. This is represented by the Tai Qi symbol.
In practice Oriental Medicine includes Acupuncture, Acupressure, Herbal Medicine and Nutrition, Meridian Therapy, Bodywork (Massage and Manipulation), Tai Qi (a form of exercise that balances the body), Qi Gong (energy cultivating exercises), Yoga, and Counseling.