Practitioners of acupuncture believe illness, including chronic pain, is due to imbalances of energy in the body. Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine in which the body is seen as a balance of two opposing and inseparable forces or energy—yin and yang. Yin represents cold, slow, or passive aspects of the person, while yang represents hot, excited, or active aspects. This energy is also known as chi. Health is achieved through balancing of yin and yang, and disease is caused by an imbalance of these forces, leading to a blockage in the flow of chi. In acupuncture, hair-thin steel needles are inserted into the body to stimulate fourteen energy-carrying channels to correct the imbalances. Acupuncture is thought to relieve pain by increasing the release of endorphins. Acupuncture is effective at treating chronic pain including back, neck, and muscle pain, headache, facial pain, arthritis, and shingles. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).