What is acupuncture good for?

People often ask what acupuncture is “good for”.  The quickest answer is that acupuncture is “good for” people who benefit from it.  That sounds a bit circular, I know, but as with everything else, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.   People suffer in many different ways, and they get well in many different ways.  The key to both processes lies within the person themselves.

All treatments, to be effective, have to connect with and/or unlock the kinds of processes within each of us that heal – for example breaking down and removing damaged tissue, rebuilding new tissue, replenishing hormones and metabolically useful molecules and so on.  On its own, no treatment is effective.  Every effective treatment consists of treatment + patient response to treatment.

That said, I will comment below on some of the common complaints that I have treated in this clinic that have generated good and positive feedback from patients.


Pain of all kinds can be effectively treated with acupuncture.  This rests on an old, but simple traditional Chinese saying:  “If there is pain, there is no flow.  If there is flow, there is no pain”.  Restoring flow and thereby alleviating pain, seems to be something that acupuncture does very well.


I have found that many people find their sinuses unblocking during or shortly after an acupuncture session.  Promoting the movement of fluids through the cavities of the body is apparently one of the “flows” that acupuncture can get moving.


Especially when treated early, and, according to the feedback I am getting from the clinic, acupuncture can be one of the quickest routes to reducing the severe pain caused by shingles.


A woman’s menstrual cycle contains a great deal of diagnostic information about how her body is working, and it is always worth assessing, in any case.  However, problems such as painful periods, PMS, and symptoms that seem to be pegged to the cycle can often be well improved using acupuncture to regulate the cycle as a whole.


This is a starting list, and I will add to it from time to time.