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Acupuncture is traditional Chinese medicine which is a form of alternative medicine and a component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in which thin needles are inserted into the body. Acupuncture is a pseudoscience, the theories and practices are not based on scientific knowledge. There is a range of acupuncture variants that originated in different philosophies, and techniques vary depending on the country in which it is performed but can be divided into two main foundational philosophical applications and approaches, the first being the modern standardized form called eight principles TCM and the second an older system that is based on the ancient Taoist Wuxing or better known as the five elements or phases in the West. Acupuncture is most often used to attempt pain relief, though acupuncturists say that it can also be used for a wide range of other conditions. Acupuncture is generally used only in combination with other forms of treatment.

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