Specifically, acupuncture is a form of therapy in which a very fine filiform needle is inserted into the skin at specific sites or points to render a therapeutic response. More importantly is the concept by which the points and associated channel systems are used. The concept of acupuncture can be better described as 'Channel Therapy'.
Within acupuncture, we recognize and work with twenty different Channel Systems. Of these twenty, fourteen channels have their own specific set of points, while the other six have influential points. Through our theoretical concepts, we will mix and mingle these channel systems with various point combinations and protocols.
Points may be stimulated in many different ways. Many times I am asked, "What's the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?" The only significant difference is the tool which is stimulating the acupoint.
In acupressure, we can use the fingers, knuckles or any blunt object that will not penetrate the skin, for more pressure with less force.
In acupuncture, we use needles because they render a more potent effect by causing a more direct stimulation of the nervous node. This happens through a chain reaction callogen-fiber-twitch which stimulates the neural node, thereby rendering a therapeutic effect.