Acupuncture is the ancient technique of sticking needles into the skin at specific strategic points to produce pain-relieving endorphins. It has been widely used in China for centuries, but it has only recently begun to gain widespread acceptance in the West. The British National Health Service has gone as far as to publicly state the benefits of acupuncture and made it available for free in some areas of the United Kingdom. Over 3000 clinical trials are currently studying the benefits of acupuncture in the context of a variety of illnesses and medical conditions.
Meditation has been practiced for centuries in Eastern cultures. And now the West is waking up to its benefits. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, for instance, has more than 4000 published papers listed under the search phrase ‘meditation efficacy’. The effects of meditation are particularly important within the fields of neuroscience, with some studies revealing the positive impact meditation has on patience, self-confidence, happiness and the release of anxiety and depression.