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'Laus Comet 10' electrotherapeutic machine, Japan, 1980-1990

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Acupuncture needles are inserted into certain points on the skin in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This aims to unblock the flow through the body of a life force known as qi (chi). TCM practitioners believe qi is essential to wellbeing. The Laus Comet 10 targets the same acupuncture points. However, it uses electronic pulses instead of needles. These stimulate the acupuncture points the same way needles do. Practitioners believe they encourage the body to release endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones). These combat pain and stress, and promote recovery. The electrotherapeutic machine was manufactured in Japan in the 1980s. A British TCM practitioner donated it to the Science Museum.

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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: electrotherapy equipment - component

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