Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine involving thin needles inserted into the body at acupuncture points. It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light to these same points. Acupuncture is commonly used for pain relief,though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions. Clinical practice varies depending on the country. There is a diverse range of acupuncture approaches, involving different philosophies. The method used in TCM is likely the most widely adopted in the US; it is rarely used alone but rather as an adjunct to other forms of treatment.