Acupuncture, a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), was developed thousands of years ago. It is based upon the smooth flow of energy or qi, which travels along meridians (channels) throughout the body. If the flow of qi is disrupted, pain and illness occur. Points along the meridians regulate the flow of qi and can be stimulated with needles or other instruments. Once the smooth flow of qi returns, pain disappears and health is restored.