Acupuncture is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world and can benefit your general health and well-being. Acupuncture as a practice has been seen in the United States only since the early 1970s, after Richard Nixon's historic visit to China. But it has been used in Asia for more than 2,000 years, and has slowly gained acceptance in the United States.

Acupuncture helps your body to help itself. Similar to Western medicine, our body, mind, and spirit function optimally when in a state of balance or homeostasis. Our lives and lifestyle throw us out of balance. With acupuncture, fine, sterile needles are inserted into specific acupuncture sites along pathways or meridian to balance qi or energy in order to re-establish internal balance.

Acupuncture can be used to treat any sort of pain, whether headache, backache, neck pain, anxiety, stress, or gastrointestinal disorders; acupuncture can even help you quit smoking or lose weight. Acupuncture needles go about 1/4 inch into the skin; they are quite thin, not at all like a traditional needle. Your acupuncturist should use disposable needles that are individually wrapped and sterile.

There are many theories as to why acupuncture works. Some research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the production of immune-system cells and pain-killing endorphins. Other studies suggest that it alters the release pattern of brain chemicals and hormones. But what we know it does is relax you, and for many problems, like chronic headaches or back and neck pain, relaxation is what is sometimes needed.


Special thanks to Shellie Goldstein of the Eva Scrivo Salon for sharing information about acupuncture, and to Dr. Charles Kim from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine for discussing alternative medicine. To find a licensed practitioner in your area, visit For more information on integrative medicine, visit

Comments (4)

Martha Stewart Member
September 10, 2008
i suffer from carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and neck pain. before i found out i was pregnant, i went to my first session. I FELT wonderful after just one treatment. it was such a relief. now with my second child, i'm feeling pregnancy pains and i am going to my next appointment next week. I STRONGLY recommend acupuncture to anyone who has tried everything else for pain management.
Martha Stewart Member
September 5, 2008
I wish Martha would bring up the subject of Addictions and how acupuncture can help people quit smoking or other addictions with this treatment of the body.
Martha Stewart Member
May 16, 2008
As a Licensed Acupuncturist I am always happy to see shows like yours introduce Acupuncture to the public. This is a very natural, safe and highly effective medicine that isn't a cover up, and gets to the root cause of people's health issues. However, remember that Acupuncture is just one part of the whole of Chinese Medicine, it just happens to be the most popular. ~ With All Good Medicine ~ White-Eagle
Martha Stewart Member
May 16, 2008
Thank you for this informative article about acupuncture. I have never tried it myself but may try it after I see Martha's tv show today. My brother has acupuncture several times a month and it realy helps relieve his stress and neck pain.