A project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
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Fact Sheet Number 703
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is a healing technique
used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Very thin needles are used to stimulate
specific points in the body. These points
“meridians.” Acupuncture treatments
are designed to improve the flow and
Traditional Chinese medicine is at least
2,500 years old. It views the human
body as a system of energy flows.
When these flows are balanced, the
body is healthy. Practitioners take their
patients’ pulses and examine their
tongue to diagnose energy imbalances.
In Chinese medicine, pulses can be
taken at three positions on each wrist,
and at three depths at each position.
Illness is not defined by symptoms or
the name of a disease like “HIV
infection.” Instead, a practitioner of
Chinese medicine will talk about energy
imbalances. The language can sound
very strange, like “yin deficiency” or
“liver heat rising.” The Chinese words
yin and yang refer to opposing energies
that should be in balance, and Qi
(pronounced “chee”) can be roughly
translated as energy or life force.
In traditional Chinese medicine, there
are many ways to improve the balance
of the body’s energy flows. The most
western world are exercise techniques
such as Qigong or Tai Chi, or
acupuncture or herbalism. Fact Sheet
704 has more information on Chinese
Many practitioners of Chinese medicine
specialize in either acupuncture or
herbalism. Very few use both methods.
WHY DO PEOPLE WITH HIV
Because acupuncture deals with energy
acupuncture points used to treat HIV.
Instead, your a