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Acupuncture is a therapeutic method of treatment which consists of inserting fine needles into the body at specific points along energy pathways called meridians. Modern anatomical knowledge now shows us that these points are located over specific nerves, trigger points, joints, and blood vessels. Acupuncture is used to encourage the body's natural healing (induces the production of endorphins) and therefore reduce pain or improve function of certain areas of the body. It may decrease inflammation, affect hormonal production, influence the autonomic nervous system, and affect the neuromuscular system or specific organs. Relief may be immediate or occur within a few hours or after a few days. Sometimes several sessions may be required before an effect is felt. The efficacy of acupuncture has been evaluated through clinical studies, patient response and measurements of changes in the blood in hormonal and chemical levels.