It's been practiced in Asian cultures for thousands of years but has caught on in the United States in just the past few decades.
Acupuncture is an option right here in East Tennessee at UT Medical Center.
Acupuncture involves inserting small sterile needles into specific points on a patients' body, hundreds of points mapped during centuries of practice in Asia.
Integrative Medicine Internist Dr. Rocio Huet explained, "If you think of it as if water is flowing in the rivers energy is flowing in the body and if they get a dam that's built up and the energy stops the water would stop in the river well that happens when people get sick."
She is a medical doctor who learned about acupuncture from an anesthesiologist who was using it for pain.
"He was trying to explain to me that it is a whole different medicine system that can be used for anything and prevention too. He did treatments on me and I was amazed at how it worked so I wanted to learn more about it," she said.
So did Dana Anderson. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in November and started traditional chemotherapy along with acupuncture.
"The goals with acupuncture were to help my immune system and keep it built up and strengthen it and keep it going strong and to definitely dissipate any of the nausea, the side effects," Dana Anderson said.
She's found relief under Dr. Huet's care in her Integrative Medicine practice at UT Medical Center.
Dr. Huet said, "Acupuncture is one modality that we use. Diet is fundamentally another modality. Mindfulness, meditation, are also modalities we use here."
Many patients need six to 12 treatments. More or less depending on the patient and the condition.
"Back pain, headache, especially nausea and vomiting with chemotherapy, fatigue, anxiety and stress, and fibromyalgia are probably those areas that are the most useful and helped with acupuncture," she said.
Dr. Huet has certainly seen positive results but medical research shows mixed results on its effectiveness.
As for Dana Anderson, she says her latest tests show no signs of cancer.
"Between chemo and acupuncture and everything I've been doing I just feel very blessed, very happy," she said.
She said she will continue acupuncture after her cancer treatment ends.
As for Dr. Huet..."I still get acupuncture."