Acupuncture: This essay contains general information on acupuncture.

Essay by squall_leonhart_wiJunior High, 7th gradeA+, December 2003

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Acupuncture is used in many countries. They include: the United States, China, England, France, Russia, and Germany. Acupuncture is done by inserting long, thin needles in certain points in the body.

Acupuncture triggers signals in the nervous system to adjust the activities of the body's organs to change the pain signal sent to the brain. It increases the production of a natural painkiller, endorphin, which influences the body's perception of pain.

The ancient Chinese developed acupuncture more than 2000 years ago. Acupuncture began to become better known in 1971 when a reporter wrote about how doctors in China used needles to relieve abdominal pain after surgery.

Acupuncture treats many health conditions. They include: arthritis, asthma, headaches, poor eyesight, mental illness, chronic respiratory infections, digestive problems, and drug dependencies.

Licensed acupuncturists in the U.S. are required to complete a nearly four-year Master's degree program in Oriental Medicine. This program includes the study of oriental medical theory and its part in the practice of acupuncture and Chinese herbology. Following graduation, graduates must pass a comprehensive state board examination. There is also a national board examination, which is required in many states in order to be licensed by the State Board of Medicine.

Acupuncture rarely hurts. If it does, it doesn't hurt badly. Since many of us think of the needles used for shots, which are painful, we think acupuncture would hurt a lot because there are so many needles used. Acupuncture needles, however, are extremely thin. They are inserted quickly, but not very deep. People are usually amazed that they feel so little. Only sterile, disposable needles are used.