Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body, called acupoints. The practice is based on the belief that energy, called Qi (pronounced "chee"), flows through the body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncture is believed to help regulate the flow of Qi and balance the body's energy, which in turn promotes healing and relieves pain. Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, headaches, infertility, and side effects of chemotherapy. Acupuncture is now widely accepted as a complementary and alternative medicine in many countries.