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. This Chinese example, seen second from right, has a coiled handle. This is a unique feature of Chinese needles. The coiled handle 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. This example has a distinct twist at the piecing end. It may have been used during a technique called rotation. Rotation is when the needle is rolled between finger and thumb to stimulate the acupoint.
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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).