There are a few different ways to explain acupuncture, a.k.a. that weird-looking thing where they insert long needles into your skin. The traditional Chinese medicine explanation frames it in terms of “qi,” or life force, which flows through your body along various pathways, or meridians, and can be stimulated by needles to re-balance the body. Western medicine might instead word it as a practice that uses needles to stimulate the body’s nerves, muscles, and connective tissue to alleviate pain; some furthermore say that the stimulation spurs the body into releasing its own natural painkillers. Regardless, it’s a centuries-old practice in China, and popular for such overall wellness goals as alleviating stress.