Acupuncture needle, China, 1700-1900
The coiled handle of this acupuncture needle, seen on the far left, is a unique feature of Chinese needles. It aids insertion. The needle is rolled between finger and thumb during a technique called rotation. 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).