Health & Well-Being

Reducing Stress: Acupuncture

This ancient technique is effective — and surprisingly pleasant.

The thought of having needles stuck in your body isn’t very appealing, but that’s only if they hurt. From my experiences and those of people I know, you probably won’t feel any discomfort at all. So forget about the whole needles thing.


Once considered alternative medicine, maybe even quackery, acupuncture is today an accepted procedure for certain conditions. Many doctors actually encourage their patients to try it if conventional medicine fails them or there’s the potential for too many adverse side effects.

So, how does it work? Acupuncture is based on the idea that energy, known as Qi (pronounced like Sher but with a C) flows through channels in our bodies called meridians. Each meridian is linked to a specific organ or body part. When the meridians are clear, meaning there are no blockages, the qi flows freely and we’re healthy. The problems occur when the energy flow is disrupted. These disruptions can be identified at certain points close to the skin, and through stimulation, such as with needles, the flow can return to normal.

The mapping of these meridians is extremely complex, as you can see from just the upper part of the body:

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