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Acupuncture originated as part of the Traditional Chinese Medical System (TCM), and today is often practiced in the West as a stand-alone treatment. This treatment involves the (virtually) painless insertion of very fine needles shallowly into the skin at points all over the body. The points chosen by the practitioner are very specific and correspond to points along the meridians—or channels of vital energy flow—throughout the body. Acupuncture has been well studied and proven effective in treating a variety of conditions, especially pain.