For approximately 5000 years, the Chinese have been effectively treating many conditions and diseases by using a system of small ditches or neurovascular nodes spread across the body known as acupuncture points (Kendal 2002).
Acupuncture points are organized into a system of channels (or pathways) that relate to different areas of the body, as well as the spirit. They are named after the organs they pass through. Acupuncture points are stimulated in a variety of ways including pressure, applying essential oils, sound vibration, or by inserting very thin needles through the skin. This stimulation initiates a somatovisceral response, a nerve to organ connection, that helps to balance, nourish, connect and protect our whole body system including our organs, hormones and emotions.
Acupuncture is the oldest continually practiced literate medicine used world wide. With the foundation of thousands of years of recorded biological observation, traditional East Asian medicine has survived and thrived due to the effectiveness of its thorough methods (World Health Organization, 2003). There are controlled studies showing measurable changes in fMRI, as well as chemical changes such as; local release of adenosin, release of beta-endorphins and other opioid peptides, with acupuncture point stimulation compared to placebo, so it is no surprise that controlled clinical trials show statistically significant changes above placebo in spite of the methodological difficulty of studying a skin-penetrating therapy based on an non-equatable language (Fang, et al., 2004; Goldman, et al., 2010; Hui, 2005; Han, 2004; Zhang, et al., 2003).
Treatments that use the channel system are also available without needles.