Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) involving inserting thin needles into the body at acupuncture points.Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along the skin of the body using thin needles. It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light to these points. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine commonly used for pain relief, though it is also used to treat a wide range of conditions.The majority of people who seek out acupuncture do so for musculoskeletal problems, including lower back pain, shoulder stiffness, and knee pain.Acupuncture is rarely used alone but rather as an adjunct to other treatment modalities.There is insufficient evidence to support acupuncture compared to mainstream medical treatments.Acupuncture is not better than mainstream treatment in the long term.

In modern acupuncture, a consultation is followed by taking the pulse on both arms and inspecting the tongue. This initial evaluation may last up to 60 minutes.Subsequent visits typically last about a half an hour.The number and frequency of acupuncture sessions vary, but most practitioners do not think one session is sufficient.A common treatment plan for a single complaint usually involves six to twelve treatments, to be carried out over a few months. A typical session entails lying still while approximately five to twenty needles are inserted; for the majority of cases, the needles will be left in place for ten to twenty minutes.