Written records of acupuncture date back to the 2nd century BC. Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which primarily uses Acupuncture/Acupressure, Chinese Herbalism, Tui Na bodywork, and dietary changes to prevent and treat illness. Although considered a complementary medical treatment in America, for most doctors in East Asia it is required learning.
Acupuncture has been clinically proven to help treat pain, but so far is not completely proven in the West for other benefits. One reason for this is that it is difficult to provide a placebo for acupuncture, and most western clinical trials require a double blind placebo before being considered effective. However, with over 2000 years of practice, and still being widely used today, something must be working.