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Acupuncture figure, China, 1970-1980

Acupuncture is a technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a 2,000-year-old tradition which continues to be practised today. The aim of acupuncture is to restore balance and improve the flow of the energy force known as qi (chi) through the body. Needles are applied to specific points in order to unblock the meridians, or channels, through which qi is thought to flow. This plastic figure shows the different points and channels.

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Glossary: Medical traditions

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Glossary: acupuncture

A central therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. These points are believed by to lie on channels, or meridians, of energy flow, or qi (chi).

Glossary: Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical tradition originating in China, but now used worldwide. Treatments include herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture, which are combined to create a therapy tailored to the patient.

Glossary: meridians

The main channels of energy flow (qi) in Chinese medicine. There are 12 meridians in total.