Get Healthy with Harmony        Send Email

non-pharmaceutic measures to fight against COVID-19

While we are all frustrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is beneficial to read the report from The Chinese Association of Acupuncture to learn of experiences from China. Chinese Traditional Medicine including herbal decoction, acupuncture, moxibusiton, acupoint plaster, auricular acupuncture and cupping, has been integrated in the treatment protocol during the combat of COVID-19 in China and helped to increase curative rate. It can strengthen the defensive capacity of internal organs to scatter epidemic pathogens and protect internal organs, reduce damage. So please keep in mind that Chinese Traditional medicine can be one of the options for people who is seeking for help.

Quoted text from

Understanding of guidance for acupuncture and moxibustion interventions on COVID-19 (Second edition) issued by CAAM《中国针灸学会新型冠状病毒肺炎针灸干预的指导意见 (第二版) 》解读
Author links open overlay panelWei-hongLIU(刘炜宏)abSheng-nanGUO(郭盛楠)aFangWANG(王芳)aYangHAO(郝洋)a
Show more rights and content
At present, the situation of global fight against COVID-19 is serious. WHO (World Health Organization)-China Joint Mission fully confirms the success of “China’s model” against COVID-19 in the report. In fact, one particular power in “China’s model” is acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine. To better apply “non-pharmaceutic measures”—the external technique of traditional Chinese medicine, in the article, the main content of Guidance for acupuncture and moxibustion interventions on COVID-19 (Second edition) issued by China Association of Acupuncture–Moxibution is introduced and the discussion is stressed on the selection of moxibustion device and the duration of its exertion.

COVID-19Non-pharmaceutic measuresExternal therapyAcupunctureMoxibustion
Novel coronavirus pneumonia was renamed by World Health Organization (WHO) to be “2019 coronavirus disease” (COVID-19) recently. It is the infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and it is a kind of atypical pneumonia. On 1 December 2019, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the city of Wuhan, Hebei province, China and the virus that started the pneumonia outbreak spreads in the country. The major source of infection is the patients with COVID-19 and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers seem also a potential source of infection. It is mainly transmitted by respiratory droplets, contact, digestive tract and aerosol transmission. This disease is characterized as highly contagious and is susceptible to humans of all ages. On 8 January, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Thailand, which is the earliest confirmed case outside China [1]. On 20 January, the first confirmed case was identified in the Republic of Korea [2]. Since then, a number of cases were confirmed in Singapore, Italy, Iran, the United States, Russia, etc. Thus far, this disease has spreaded globally.

On 31 January 2020, WHO declared this epidemic outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) [3]. On 2 March 2020, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, pointed in the opening remarks at the media that outside China, a total of 8739 cases of COVID-19 have been reported to WHO from 61 countries, with 127 deaths [4]. The epidemics in the Republic of Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan are of greatest concerns. The fight against COVID-19 gets more serious globally.

From 16 to 24, February 2020, 25 international and Chinese experts of the WHO-China Joint Mission traveled to Beijing, Hubei, Guangdong and Sichuan, China to investigate the fight against the epidemic. On the second day after the end of investigation, Dr. Bruce Aylward, the head of the international expert panel of the WHO-China Joint Mission, the senior adviser to the WHO’s Director-General, stated at the press briefing at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, that faced with the unknown pathogen, China has taken ambitious, flexible and aggressive efforts in responding to the epidemic. In the report, WHO-China Joint Mission has confirmed that China has played a crucial role in protecting the international society, buying precious time for countries to adopt active prevention and control measures and providing them with worthwhile experiences. The report also points out specifically the high effective role of non-pharmaceutic measures [5]. The report said that China, as the country with the greatest knowledge on COVID-19, should further enhance the systematic and real-time sharing of epidemiologic data, clinical results and experience to inform the global response.

nullPicture from CCTV news APP
Note: Picture from CCTV News APP

With regard to “non-pharmaceutic measures” proposed in the report of WHO-China Joint Mission, besides active surveillance, timely detection, voluntary quarantine and rigorous tracing, actually, there is still a mysterious power, that is various kinds of external therapeutic approaches of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). By the time for the authors submitting the manuscript, it is known that many therapeutic methods of TCM, e.g. Chinese herbal decoction, acupuncture, moxibusiton, acupoint plaster, auricular acupuncture and cupping have adopted in the treatment of COVID-19. In the regions where TCM therapeutic methods were highly utilized, the curative rate was increased, the number of severe case decreased and the hospital discharge rate improved remarkably [6]. The utilization of TCM therapeutic interventions block effectively the continuous spreading of COVID-19 in China.

Picture from CCTV

In response to the Chinese government’s call upon the solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 and to better apply the external techniques of TCM to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of COVID-19, China Association of Acupuncture–Moxibustion (CAAM) developed and issued Guidance for acupuncture and moxibustion intervention on COVID-19 (Second edition) (hereinafter Guidance) [7]. The main content of Guidance is introduced as follows to assist in the effective application of TCM techniques, e.g. acupuncture and moxibustion in treatment of COVID-19.

Main content of guidance
Three sections are included in Guidance, named the principle of acupuncture–moxibustion interventions, the methods of acupuncture–moxibustion interventions, and the self-interventions of acupuncture and moxibustion at home under the instruction of physician.

Regarding the principle of acupuncture–moxibustion interventions, Guidance emphasizes: the rigorous quarantine and disinfection are required. No matter for the confirmed cases or the convalescent cases, they can be treated in the same room respectively and every suspected one should be isolated in a single room for treatment. During the clinical treatment stage, acupuncture can be combined with western medications and Chinese herbal decoction to achieve the collaborative effect. For the cases at the recovery stage, the core role of acupuncture–moxibustion should be played in the rehabilitation. It is recommended to set up acupuncture–moxibustion based COVID-19 rehabilitation clinic.

In reference to the clinical stage identification of TCM suggested in Diagnosis and treatment plan of corona virus disease 2019 (tentative seventh edition) issued by National Health Commission (NHC) of the PRC and State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) of the PRC, three stages are included in the treatment with acupuncture and moxibustion, e.g. medical observation stage, medical treatment stage and recovery stage. The therapeutic regimens of each stage are introduced as follows.

Acupuncture–moxibustion interventions at the medical observation stage (suspected cases)
Objective: To motivate the antipathogenic qi of human body and the functions of lung and spleen and scatter epidemic pathogens so as to strengthen the defensive capacity of internal organs.

Main acupoints: Group 1: Fēngmén (风门 BL12), Fèishū (肺俞 BL13), and Píshū (脾俞 BL20). Group 2: Hégŭ (合谷 LI4), Qūchí (曲池 LI11), Chĭzé (尺泽 LU5) and Yújì (鱼际 LU10). Group 3: Qìhăi (气海 CV6), Zúsānlĭ (足三里 ST36) and Sānyīnjiāo (三阴交 SP6). One or two acupoints are selected from each group in one treatment.

Symptomatic acupoints: For fever, dry throat and dry cough, Dàzhuī (大椎 GV14), Tiāntū (天突 CV22) and Kŏngzuì (孔最 LU6) are added. For nausea, vomiting, loose stool, swollen tongue with sticky coating and soggy pulse, Zhōngwăn (中脘 CV12), Tiānshū (天枢 ST25) and Fēnglóng (丰隆 ST40) are added. For fatigue and anorexia, CV12 and the four points around the umbilicus (1 cun bilateral, directly above and below the center of the umbilicus), BL20 are added. For clear nasal discharge, soreness of the shoulders and the back, pale tongue with white coating and slow pulse, Tiānzhù (天柱 BL10), BL12 and GV14 are added.

Acupuncture–moxibustion interventions at the clinical treatment stage (confirmed cases)
Objective: To propel the antipathogenic qi of lung and spleen, protect internal organs, reduce damage, eliminate the epidemic pathogens, cultivate the earth to generate the metal, block the development of illness, ease the emotions and strengthen the confidence on conquer the pathogens.

Main acupoints: Group 1: LI4, Tàichōng (太冲 LR3), CV22, LU5, LU6, ST36 and SP6. Group 2: Dàzhù (大杼 BL11), BL12, BL13, Xīnshū (心俞 BL15) and Géshū (膈俞 BL17). Group 3: Zhōngfŭ (中府 LU1), Dànzhōng (膻中 CV17), CV6, Guānyuán (关元 CV4) and CV12. For the mild case or the ordinary case, 2 or 3 acupoints are selected from group 1 and group 2 in each treatment. For the severe case, 2 or 3 acupoints are selected from group 3.

Symptomatic acupoints: For consistent fever, GV14 and LI11 are added, or bloodletting at Shíxuān (十宣 EX-UE11) and Ĕrjiān (耳尖 HX6). For chest oppression and shortness of breath, Nèiguān (内关 PC6) and Lièquē (列缺 LU7), or Jùquē (巨阙 CV14), Qīmén (期门 LR14) and Zhàohăi (照海 KI6) are added. For cough with expectoration, LU7, ST40 and Dìngchuăn (定喘 EX-B1) are added. For diarrhea and loose stool: ST25 and Shàngjùxū (上巨虚 ST37) are added. For cough with yellow and sticky sputum and constipation: CV22, Zhīgōu (支沟 TE6), ST25 and ST40 are added. For low fever or feverish sensation and discomforts in the body, or fever absence, nausea, vomiting, loose stool, pale or slightly red tongue with white or white sticky coating: BL13, ST25, Fùjié (腹结 SP14) and PC6 are added.

Acupuncture and moxibustion interventions at the recovery stage
Objective: To clear away residual toxins, restore the primary qi, promote the repair of internal organs and recover the functions of lung and spleen.

Main acupoints: PC6, ST36, CV12, ST25 and CV6.

(1) Qi deficiency of lung and spleen
The main symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fullness in the epigastric region, weakness in defecation, loose stool, incomplete bowel movement, pale and swollen tongue with white and sticky coating.

For the cases with marked symptoms of lung system, e.g. chest oppression and shortness of breath, CV17, BL13, LU1 are added. For the cases with marked symptoms of spleen and stomach dysfunction, e.g. poor appetite and diarrhea, Shàngwăn (上脘CV13) and Yīnlíngquán (阴陵泉 SP9) are added.

(2) Qi and yin deficiency
The main symptoms are fatigue, dry mouth, thirst, palpitation, profuse sweating, poor appetite, low fever or fever absence, dry cough with little sputum, dry tongue and lack of moisture, thready or weak pulse of deficiency type. For the cases with marked fatigue and shortness of breath, CV17 and Shénquè (神阙 CV8) are added. For the cases with marked dry mouth and thirst, Tàixī (太溪 KI3) and Yángchí (阳池 TE4) are added. For the cases with marked palpitation, BL15 and Juéyīnshū (厥阴俞 BL14) are added. For the cases with profuse sweating, LI4, Fùliū (复溜 KI7) and ST36 are added. For the cases with insomnia, Shénmén (神门 HT7), Yìntáng (印堂 EX-HN3), Ānmián (安眠 EX-HN22) and Yŏngquán (涌泉 KI1) are added.

(3) Insufficiency of lung and spleen, phlegm stagnation and collateral blockage
The main symptoms are chest oppression, shortness of breath, dislike to speak, lassitude, sweating on exertion, cough with sputum, difficulty in expectoration, coarse skin, mental fatigue, loss of appetite, etc. BL13, BL20, BL15, BL17, Shènshū (肾俞 BL23), LU1 and CV17 are added. For difficulty in expectoration, ST40 and EX-B1 are added.

Guidance points out specifically that either acupuncture or moxibustion is optioned corresponding to the individual conditions at each stage of COVID-19. Additionally, the combination of these two interventions or the combination with acupoint application, auricular therapy, acupoint injection, scraping therapy, infantile tuina or acupoint massage is adopted accordingly. The even needling technique of acupuncture is used and the needle is retained for 20–30 min at each acupoint. Moxibustion is exerted for 10–15 min at each acupoint. The treatment is given once daily. The manipulation is implemented in reference to the national standard, GB/T21709 Standardized manipulations of acupuncture and moxibustion and clinical experiences.

The third section of Guidance is the most characteristic: the self-interventions of acupuncture and moxibustion at home under the instruction of physician.

Moxibustion therapy: Moxibustion is applied by the patient him/herself at ST36, PC6, LI4, CV6, CV4, SP6, etc., about 10 min at each acupoint.

Acupoint application therapy: The plaster, e.g. moxibustion-thermal plaster or moxibustion-like plaster, is used at ST36, PC6, CV6, CV4, BL13, BL12, BL20, GV14, etc.

Tuina therapy at meridian and acupoints: The different tuina methods are exerted at the acupoints on the lung meridian and the heart meridian, the acupoints located below the knee on the spleen meridian and the acupoints on the stomach meridians, such as finger-pressing method, kneading method, palm pressing method, kneading-pressing method, tapping method or knocking method. Each manipulation is exerted for 15–20 min till the patient feels soreness and distention in the local area.

Traditional physical exercise: The traditional physical exercise is optional according to the individual recovery conditions, including Yijinjing (Exercise for muscle and tendon strengthening), Taijiquan (Taiji boxing), Baduanjin (Eight-section exercise), Wuqinxi (Five-animal exercise), etc. Each physical exercise is applied once daily, 15 to 30 min each time.

Emotional counseling: The attention is paid to emotional regulation. Auricular points, moxibustion, tuina, herbal diet, herbal tea, medicated bath and music are applicable in combination for physical and mental relaxation, anxiety relief and sleep assistance.

Foot bath and fumigation-washing therapy: The herbs for expelling wind, clearing heat and eliminating pathogen are selected, i.e. Jīngjiè (荆芥 Herba Schizonepetae), Àiyè (艾叶 Folium Artemisiae Argyi), Bòhe (薄荷 Herba Menthae), Yúxīngcăo (鱼腥草 Herba Houttuyniae), Dàqīngyè (大青叶 Folium Isatidis), Pèilán (佩兰 Herba Eupatorii), Shíchāngpú (石菖蒲 Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii), Làliǎocǎo (辣蓼草 Polygonum lapathifolium L.), Yùjīn (郁金 Radix Curcumae) and Dīngxiāng (丁香 Flos Caryophylli), 15 g for each, as well as Bīngpiàn (冰片 Borneolum Syntheticum) 3 g. The decocted Chinese herbal liquid is poured into a foot tub and an appropriate amount of warm water is added. When the water is ready at 38–45 °C, foot bath is exerted for around 30 min.

All of the interventions above are the dominant techniques of health care in TCM. Their utilization fully embodies the idea of “disease prevention” in TCM, meaning, preventing from illness before suffering, preventing from the progress of illness after suffering and preventing from recurrence after cured. They play the crucial role in reducing the incidence of COVID-19 and preventing from its recurrence.

It is observed that the regimens in Guidance recommended are on the base of the ancient literature research, modern clinical research and experimental research of acupuncture and moxibustion and in reference to a series of achievements obtained in the effect mechanism research of acupuncture and moxibustion in recent years. Firstly, the regimens recommended in Guidance are in agreement to the staging of TCM treatment in Diagnosis and treatment plan of corona virus disease 2019 (tentative seventh edition) issued by NHC and they focus specially on the characteristics of acupuncture–moxibustion therapies. Secondly, the implementation of various therapeutic methods is in compliance with “being convenient, safe and effective”. Thirdly, Guidance determines its efforts for the contribution of acupuncture–moxibustion therapies to each stage of the diseases, points out the combination of acupuncture with western medication and Chinese herbal decoction, plays the coordination effect of acupuncture and moxibustion and believes the crucial effect of acupuncture and moxiustion at the recovery stage of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the seriously epidemic disease. TCM and acupuncture–moxibustion have not been adopted as the first option in treatment. Besides the limited understanding in the effectiveness of them, the other key reason is for TCM therapy, especially acupuncture–moxibustion, the physician has to very closely contact with patient during treatment, which highly increases the infectious incidence of medical staffs. Therefore, the protection to medical staffs must be in the top priority when exerting acupuncture, moxibustion, seed-pressure of auricular acupuncture, cupping, scraping, etc. The acupuncture physicians who had participated in the treatment of COVID-19 responded that it is very inconvenient to operate acupuncture with three-layer protective gloves. In case the gloves are broken, infection may occur.

The authors believe that for moxibustion interventions, the mild moxibustion with hand-holding moxa stick is not suggested. The moxibustion device with the function of smoke abatement or smoke discharge should be optioned to avoid the stimulation of moxa smoke to the respiratory tract of patient. But, such mild moxibustion with hand-holding moxa stick can be applicable for the home nursing care. Regarding the effectiveness of moxa smoke, the consensus has not been met yet in academic field. But, in reference to the records of ancient medical works and the nowadays popular method of moxibustion in the folk, moxa smoke is applicable for the prevention of infectious diseases. For example, it is recorded in Zhŏuhòu Bèijífāng (《肘后备急方》 Emergency Formulas to Keep Up One’s Sleeve), written by Hong GE, in the Jin Dynasty(317年 −420AD) that smoking with moxa around the patient’s bed, one moxa cone on each side of the bed is optimal to prevent from epidemic infection. The medical masters in the later generations had inherited this idea. The same prevention method is also recorded in Tàipíng Shènghuìfāng (《太平圣惠方》 Formulas from Benevolent Sages Compiled during the Taiping Era) and Pŭjìfāng (《普济方》 Formulas for Universal Relief). This moxibustion intervention is the earliest-recorded measure of air disinfection in history. The modern research discovers that moxa smoke acts on anti-bacteria, anti-fungus, anti-virus and anti-pathogen [8]. Therefore, on the base of individual tolerance, the appropriate use of moxa smoke in room brings a certain effect of disinfection. In Guidance, the duration of moxibustion at each acupoint is 10 to 15 min. But, in clinical practice, the moxibustion is seldom exerted on acupoints one by one. Instead, the special device, moxa box or moxa holder is used to cover several acupoints simultaneously in one moxibustion intervention. The duration of treatment is over 30 min generally and it will be even longer if the heat-sensitive moxibustion is exerted. Therefore, the authors believe that the duration of moxibustion intervention should be longer to achieve a better effect if the patient is in a comfortable posture and has strong endurance.

picture from

Compared with Guidance of the first edition, the content of Guidance of the Second edition is much richer and more practical and instructive. With the development of COVID-19, the people are getting deep understanding of the disease and more and more experiences in treatment will be accumulated gradually. It also reflects that the nature of medical development is the process of constant understanding, rectification and conquering disease. At present, COVID-19 is spreading in many countries of the world. China’s experiences in fight against COVID-19 have been recognized and advocated by WHO. Of them, the application of Chinese herbal medication, acupuncture and moxibustion have their unique characteristics. Undoubtedly, the modern medicine measures give priority to treatment and salvage of COVID-19. But, no matter which medical theoretic system is adopted, faced with the epidemic, every measure should aim to treating disease and saving lives. More weapons available in the fight against the disease do bring more benefits to patients.

[The English version of the Guidance for acupuncture and moxibustion interventions on COVID-19 (Second edition) can be seen at].

Jiang XM. The first confirmed patient with COVID-19 in Japan is discharged. [EB/OL].[2020-01-16]/[2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
It is already more than 3000 infectious cases in South Korea. Where is the first case of COVID-19 from?[EB/OL]. html[2020-03-02]/ [2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
WHO Declares global emergency as Wuhan coronavirus spreads. New York Times. [2020-01-30] / [2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 2March 2020[EB/OL]. —2-march-2020 [2020-03-02]/ [2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
WHO-China Joint Mission: “non-pharmaceutic interventions” have played a highly effective role.[EB/OL].[2020-03-01]/ [2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
The integrative Chinese and western medicine is very effective on the mild case. Medication is not encouraged in disease prevention. [EB/OL].[2020-02-19]/ [2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
China Association of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Notice on issuing Guidance for acupuncture and moxibustion intervention on COVID-19 (Second edition)[EB/OL].[2020-03-01]/[2020-03-05].
Google Scholar
Y.Q. Lin, B.X. Zhao
History and current situation of moxibustion in prevention and treatment of epidemic diseases
Liaoning J Tradit Chin Med, 37 (S1) (2010), pp. 279-280
CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Turning breech babies with acupuncture

Except Moxibustion treatment mentioned below, our clinic will add acupuncture treatment on top of it to prepare your body. Practitioner will also guide you to do some exercise to increase the success rate.


From                      Aug 12 2009


Since the late nineties there has been evidence to suggest that your breech baby can be turned to its optimal position for birth using moxibustion, a Chinese medicine technique.

It’s done by using moxibustion to warm the acupuncture point at the end of your little toe, the last point on your Bladder meridian!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that it all sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus. However, the Chinese have been doing this for women for centuries with great success. Ok sure, it’s not the kind of procedure you’re used to when it comes to all matters pregnancy but it’s natural, stress-free for you and bub, and more often than not, it works.

The study
According to an Italian study in 1998 by Cardini & Weixin , 75% of breech babies will turn if the procedure is performed between 33 and 36 weeks gestation. In this study there were 260 women in their 33rd week of pregnancy. Half the women received moxibustion (commonly known as moxa for short) treatment for 30 minutes daily for 1-2 weeks, while the other half served as the control with no treatment. During the 35th week, 75% of babies had turned in the moxa group and 48% had turned in the control group.

Babies in the moxa group moved more, on average 48 movements per hour compared to 35 movements per hour in the control group. The women were followed to term and ultimately 75% of babies were born head first in the moxa group compared to 62% for the control group. It was concluded that moxa was a safe and effective method to convert a breech presentation.

The technique
Moxibustion uses a special herb called Mugwort, which has medicinal qualities that help to move energy deeply.  It feels very warm to receive the treatment as the heat penetrates your body impacting the acupuncture point it’s being directed at.

Mugwort comes in different forms and grades of quality and is used for many reasons by an acupuncturist. In the case of a breech baby, typically the stick form is used by the pregnant lady at home after a consultation with her acupuncturist for ten days every day. She holds the stick above her little toe (near the outside corner of the nail bed) for twenty minutes on each foot. Typically the baby will turn on day four or day eleven of the course of treatment.

Your body from a Chinese medicine perspective
Science cannot explain how it works, however Chinese medicine can because it looks at the body from an entirely different perspective.  Your body is seen in holistic terms as comprised of a system of meridians and organs. Meridians refer to energy channels that traverse your body carrying Qi (energy) and Blood. There are twelve main ones and these include the Bladder, Kidney, Liver, Gall Bladder, Heart, Small Intestine, Triple Energiser, Pericardium, Spleen, Stomach, Lung and Large Intestine. They connect to the organ or system they are named after and are three dimensional in nature, meaning they have emotions and spirits that relate to them as well.

Chinese medicine looks to the root cause of why something is happening and seeks to correct that imbalance. When a baby hasn’t turned, all of the pregnant woman’s signs and symptoms are taken into account. For example, a pregnant woman who gets frustrated easily, is moody, gets constipation, has tense muscles, wakes up during the night consistently between one and three in the morning would be considered to have a Liver disharmony. So along with treating her for breech baby, her acupuncturist would use acupuncture points to help calm her Liver, which would help to decrease her feelings of frustration, improve her digestion and relax her muscles.

Read more:

Cortisone Injection VS Acupuncture

It is a quite often that doctors prescribe cortisone injection if you complaint prolonged pain at muscle or joint area, such as shoulder, elbow or knee. However, more and more patients are concerned with the effectiveness of the injection and potential side effect of cortisone. Though the practice has been widely used, there are some uncertainty still remained. As early as 1975, Richardson already questioned its effectiveness on frozen shoulder by reporting no difference compared to placebo in his study(1). A systematic review of randomized controlled studies from six databases by Smidt et al (2002) failed to find long term effectiveness of steroid injections on tennis elbow(2).British medical consultant Peter Baldry (2004) , in his very successful book” Acupuncture, Trigger points and Musculoskeletal Pain”, pointed out that the pain relieving effect produced by an injection of steroid into local tissue might be no more than a simple needle stimulation(3).

As a result, many patients turn to other natural therapies. There is no doubt that acupuncture is an option for this sort of musculoskeletal pain, as seen through a great number of patients attending acupuncture clinics throughout Australia with exactly the same problem. As an acupuncturist, I have seen similar cases quite often, and most of patients are satisfied with the results. A study by Kavoussi (2007) confirmed the anti-inflammatory effect of acupuncture which is a key role in relieving pain(4). The Joint Commission of US recently updated its pain management standard requiring use of non-pharmacological treatments including acupuncture in its accredited hospitals from 1st of Jan, 2018. Of course, there are more research needed to help us better understanding acupuncture mechanism.

(1)Richardson A T 1975 The painful shoulder. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 68: 731-736
(2)Smidt N, Assedelft W J, van der Windt D A, Hay E M,Buchbinder S, Bouter L M 2002 Corticosteroid injections for lateral epicondylitis: a systematic review. Pain 96(1-2)
(3)Peter Baldry 2005 Acupuncture, Trigger Points and Muscuskeletal Pain (the third edition)
(4)Kavoussi B1, Ross BE 2007 The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture.Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Sep;6(3):251-7

Possible side effects of cortisone injection, please see below link:

Acupuncture shows promise in migraine treatment, study says

February 21, 2017   / CNN


When most people get a headache, a simple over-the-counter pain reliever and a few moments of quiet can usually do the trick. But for millions of Americans suffering from debilitating migraines, the pain can be so intense that relief may seem out of reach.

Faced with a growing demand for solutions, researchers, drug companies and medical providers have sought out new treatment options. A widening class of medications, devices and alternative therapies is presenting those who suffer from moderate to severe migraines with various options to explore.
A study published Monday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine said acupuncture may be helpful in reducing the frequency of migraines and preventing attacks.
Researchers in China found that properly administered acupuncture therapy may reduce the frequency of the most common types of migraines. The research, which builds on a body of knowledge from smaller studies, looked at how true acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture in reducing migraine attacks and symptoms in those who have been battling the condition for at least a year.
All treatments were administered by trained and licensed acupuncturists who trained for at least five years and had four or more years of clinical experience. Recipients of ‘true acupuncture’ were treated in four acupoints chosen by clinical experts. The four points used for the ‘sham’ group were chosen to avoid migraine relief.
Twenty weeks after receiving treatment at five times a week, patients in the true acupuncture group saw a reduction in the average number of migraines from 4.8 per month to 3 per month, with no adverse events reported requiring “special medical intervention.”
Magnolia Ng, a licensed acupuncturist and pain management specialist in San Francisco who was not involved in the JAMA study, studied both the Eastern and Western traditions. She says she is not surprised by the study results and has seen some similar benefits in her practice.
“At a cellular level, (acupuncture) changes the muscle cells as well as the fascia at the acupuncture point to influence the expression of pain in our body,” she said. “It also stimulates the body’s ability to recover from any illnesses and heal itself.”
Typically, Ng hears from patients who have exhausted their medication options. She says it is common for people to come to her before trying medications that may have risks involved.

How does acupuncture work?

Hong Liu


How does acupuncture work? How health problems could be cured by putting needles in our body. This is probably the question being asked most frequently.


Although acupuncture has 2500 year history in China, it is still new in North America. Its mechanism is very different than modern science, as well. Even so, it has been clinically and scientifically proved to be very efficient for many health conditions. Unlike western medicine, which goes very much into detail at a micro level, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) forms its own unique sophisticated theory at a macro level from thousands of years of observation and practice.


Considering the human body as part of nature, TCM developed its own theory based on Taoist philosophy, which explains interaction between nature and human body, also the relations and interactions among internal organs. Eg. Excess heat, cold, drought and humidity can cause discomfort to our body, even lead to diseases; or too much emotion such as: sadness, worries, anger will cause unbalance of our organ functions and provoke symptons like chest oppression, insomnia and hypochondriac pain. TCM aims at rebuilt balance between nature and the human body, and balance among organs. When our organs work harmoniously in balance, we stay healthy. Otherwise, we get sick.


As an important part of TCM, acupuncture specializes in inducing fluent blood and energy circulation by using needles to stimulate the sophisticated energy network, also know as meridians. There are twelve major meridians running under our skin, each meridian connecting to an organ. The twelve major meridians are connected one to another to form a complete network in which the energy flows continuously. There are also 15 meridians of passage, 8 extraordinary meridians, and, in addition, 12 tendino-muscular meridians, to reinforce the connection of all the other meridians and all organs. More than 400 acupuncture points, or acupoints are located along all these meridians. Each acupoint has certain functions, especially the points located under elbow and knee, which have stronger impact in adjusting related organ functions. For each treatment, an acupuncturist will choose 8 to 15 points to work with, according to TCM analysis result of patient’s health condition, and will use different techniques to manipulate needles to stimulate these points in order to  restore the balance of our body.


For a better understanding accupuncture, you can also watch the Youtube video in French published by the l’Ordre des Acupuncteurs du Quebec: