Acupuncture – Conditions That are Treated

Acupuncture can effectively treat most any conditionThis is due to its ability to restore balance and function. Influencing the energetic pathways (acupuncture meridians), nourishes every system and  process in the body.  In addition to treating the symptoms of disease, restoring blocked energy redirects the healing process to consider the lost or damaged function.  Although acupuncture alone can effectively treat many conditions (listed below).  Acupuncture used together with Western medicine greatly enhances  the healing process of any disease or condition.  Each acupuncture treatment strengthens and tonifies, delivering far more than a symptom based approach.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has an extensive list of conditions that is effectively treated by acupuncture.  WHO is an agency of the United Nations that was founded in 1948.  One of its functions is the establishment of international standards in health care, and the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.  This agency has great authority and is seldom challenged.   The following is their list of diseases, conditions, symptoms and pathologies that is effectively treated by acupuncture.

  • Tennis Elbow
  • Knee Pain
  • Periarthritis of the shoulder
  • Sprains
  • Facial Pain
  • Headache
  • Dental Pain
  • TMJ disorders
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Post operative Pain


  • Induction of Labor
  • Correction of Breech presentation
  • Morning Sickness
  • Renal Colic
  • Biliary Colic
  • Primary Dysmenorreha

Heart Issues

  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension


  • Acute epigastralgia
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Acute and Chronic Gastritis

They also report other categories for which acupuncture has shown therapeutic benefits.  This is a list of around 85 specific conditions.  Clinical trials and further research continues to broaden that list.


The following are conditions that I have treated with excellent results.  In general, the longer you have suffered with a certain condition, the longer it may take to address it with acupuncture. Illness with a long duration  (ten, fifteen, twenty years, or since childhood) are more of a challenge and often a year or so of treatment may be necessary.

Chronic long term illnesses also respond very well if a combination of acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine is used.  Conversely, acute or recent conditions respond very well to acupuncture, often requiring a much shorter course of treatment.  Some conditions have resolved in one or two treatments. This is especially true if you are in good health.


Back Pain

Low Back Pain or Back pain in general is one of the most common conditions that I see in my clinic.  Acupuncture is highly effective at healing low back pain.  Injury or repetitive motion are common causes.  Doing the same activity over and over again, ie lifting, carrying a baby on the hip, frequent bending when gardening, can all cause irritation and sensitivity to muscle tissue, the muscle looses it’s ability to relax as it’s fibers lock into a shortened or “spasmed” state.  Acupuncture clears the energy meridians which are blocked at the site of injury or strain. This allows healing to proceed much quicker.  I then needle and release the trigger points (areas in the muscle which radiate pain to other affected areas).

This is a Western technique developed by Dr. Janet Travel, which releases the muscle from it’s highly spasmed state.  Muscle spasms are also released using gentle currents of electro-acupuncture.  I use Chinese cupping therapy to increase blood flow, clear channels of stagnation and loosen scar tissue.

Persistent low back pain experienced by people who have illness or a weak constitution may be caused by an energy deficiency in several organ systems, mainly the Kidney and Bladder.  Aging, overwork, and excessive emotional stress also causes these organs to become weak.    Acupuncture strengthens these systems and can provide effective long lasting relief.

In Chinese Medicine the back can become vulnerable to attacks of cold and damp which invade the channels of the back.  Living in the Pacific Northwest with our cold damp weather, we are especially prone to attacks of cold on the body, especially if one works outdoors.  Cold contracts the tissues and causes stiffness, contraction of the tendons at a fixed location and is worse with cold or damp weather.  Dampness causes a dull heavy aching.  Acupuncture in combination with the penetrating heat of moxibustion and TDP therapy dispels the cold locked deep in the tissues.

Chronic discs and vertebral joint syndromes should first be confirmed by a physician, or diagnostic procedures used by specialists for back pain.  Although symptoms vary between people, the pain with disc pathology is usually severe, worse with sitting or standing, and often accompanied by nerve root compression.  Numbness or burning sensation in the calf of outside of the foot can also be present.  Vertebral joint pain is usually sudden, is worse with bending and twisting and does not radiate below the knee.   Acupuncture can have a profound affect on the healing process of these syndromes.  Acupuncture helps in the reabsorption of the herniated material by virtue of it’s ability to restore homeostasis (chemical and energetic balance) and decrease inflammation..  This relieves the painful pressure on the ligament and nerve root.


Sciatica refers to pain that is felt along the sciatic nerve which is deep in the buttocks, down the back of the thigh, knee and along the outside of the calf and foot.  It is not usually the nerve which is inflamed, rather is due to any number of syndromes which cause that particular pain pattern.  Among them are: spasm of the piriformis muscle in the buttock (which then presses on the sciatic nerve which passes underneath it), lumbar disc herniation, or sacro-illiac strain (where your hip meets your sacrum).  Symptoms are:  tenderness over the mid-buttock, radiating pain, numbness of the calf or foot and muscle weakness.  Acupuncture is highly successful for treating these syndromes.  Trigger point needling decreases much of the compression.  Acupuncture points are used at the foot to clear the channel down the hip and leg.  Cupping and deep massage restore circulation and decrease contraction.