The coiled handle of this acupuncture needle, seen second from left, aids insertion. It is used in a technique called ‘scratching’. A fingernail is run up and down the coiled brass handle during this treatment. This sends vibrations into the acupuncture point. The coiled handle is a unique feature of Chinese needles. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture needles are inserted into certain points on the skin. This unblocks the flow through the body of a life force known as qi (chi). TCM practitioners believe qi is essential to wellbeing.
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Glossary: acupuncture needle
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).