Acupuncture is the insertion of tiny, hair-fine needles at points on the surface of the body. Western thought is that this stimulates the nervous system which influences the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. This process allows homeostatic mechanisms to improve helping the body self-regulate into healing mode.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. The needle is then used to restore this qi energy via pathways termed meridians that run just below the surface of the skin deeper within to each organ.