Acupuncture is a component of Chinese medicine. It was developed almost 5,000 years ago and is based on ancient theories of natural energy. According to these theories an energy force, known as Qi (pronounced chee), is present in nature. It consist of two components, Yin and Yang, opposite forces that, when balanced, result in harmony.

According to the theory, Qi permeates the human body, influencing the mental and physical wellbeing of everyone. It travels through the body via special pathways, known as meridians, but, if these become blocked for any reason, then the balance of Yin and Yang is disturbed, leading (so the theory holds) to illness.

To unblock the meridians, special needles are inserted into the skin where the pathways come to the surface, a treatment known as acupuncture (a related discipline, known as acupressure, uses massage to bring about the same effect).