While acupuncture may seem almost barbaric to Western observers, it is in fact more firmly established and much older than any of the Western style medical treatments available today. This 5000 year old medical procedure has had a lot more development and study than any of the most trusted medical treatments in existence.
There are six commonly used types of acupuncture needles. Each of these types varies in size and shape; some have wider shafts, some have differently shaped heads.
The needles are inserted at different angles to the skin surface; the different angles produce different effects in the body. The practitioner then applies a special technique to the needle: rotation, raising and thrusting, a combination of these two techniques, or vibration. Like the type of needle, insertion point and angle of insertion, the type of technique used depends on the desired effect.