Acupuncture, which simply means to puncture with a needle, is an east Asian medical system practiced for thousands of years, resulting in multiple theoretical perspectives and approaches, all of which are grounded in an energy-based, holistic understanding of the body in harmony and disharmony. Acupuncture is widely accepted, practiced, and officially recognized by governments and is one of the most commonly sought medical therapies in the world. Because acupuncture continues to be readily integrated into mainstream health care systems around the world, health communication scholars can benefit from better understanding the language, theories, and practices of this healing tradition as it differs greatly from biomedical and biopsychosocial approaches to health and illness.

Communication is at the core of this healing system. Communication constitutes, shapes, and maintains ...

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