• tanellewestgard


I LOVE acupuncture! It is such a remarkable modality and I am so glad that it is a modality of Naturopathic Medicine.

as most of you may know... acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine originally used in Asia that has now become much more popular in the western world... and for very good reason!

the theory behind acupuncture in Chinese medicine (in a very very simplified form) is this:

  • our bodies have various channels called meridians

  • these meridians run through different areas of our body

  • they also correspond to different organ systems (heart, stomach, liver, etc)

  • these meridians contain energy, known as “Qi” that flows through them

  • the flow of Qi through our meridians is the foundation of our health

  • these meridians can be disrupted and become over or under active

  • this results in an imbalance in our body leading to negative health outcomes

  • acupuncture is used to balance these meridians and restore health

  • the points are based on the meridians and where they flow through the body

what else does acupuncture do?

  • brings blood flow to an area to allow for healing

  • regulate our nervous system

  • bring us into a more parasympathetic (relaxed) state

  • releases muscle tension and pain

what the research says it may be useful for:

  • chronic pain

  • back pain

  • headaches

  • fertility

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • insomnia

  • irritable bowel syndrome

  • inflammatory bowel disease

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • osteoarthritis

  • seasonal allergies

  • high blood pressure

  • nausea in cancer therapy

  • nausea in pregnancy

If you still aren't convinced, below are all of the research articles to back it up :)


Armour, M., Smith, C. A., Wang, L. Q., Naidoo, D., Yang, G. Y., MacPherson, H., ... & Hay, P. (2019). Acupuncture for depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(8), 1140.

Brinkhaus, B., Witt, C. M., Jena, S., Linde, K., Streng, A., Wagenpfeil, S., ... & Willich, S. N. (2006). Acupuncture in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of internal medicine, 166(4), 450-457.

Brinkhaus, B., Ortiz, M., Witt, C. M., Roll, S., Linde, K., Pfab, F., ... & Zuberbier, T. (2013). Acupuncture in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 158(4), 225-234.

Casimiro, L., Barnsley, L., Brosseau, L., Milne, S., Welch, V., Tugwell, P., & Wells, G. A. (2005). Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (4).

Domar, A. D., Meshay, I., Kelliher, J., Alper, M., & Powers, R. D. (2009). The impact of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization outcome. Fertility and Sterility, 91(3), 723-726.

Ezzo, J., Richardson, M. A., Vickers, A., Allen, C., Dibble, S., Issell, B. F., ... & Shen, J. (2006). Acupuncture‐point stimulation for chemotherapy‐induced nausea or vomiting. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (2).

Flachskampf, F. A., Gallasch, J., Gefeller, O., Gan, J., Mao, J., Pfahlberg, A. B., ... & Daniel, W. G. (2007). Randomized trial of acupuncture to lower blood pressure. Circulation, 115(24), 3121-3129.

Kaptchuk, T. J. (2002). Acupuncture: theory, efficacy, and practice. Annals of internal medicine, 136(5), 374-383.

Han, J. S. (2004). Acupuncture and endorphins. Neuroscience letters, 361(1-3), 258-261.

Ji, J., Lu, Y., Liu, H., Feng, H., Zhang, F., Wu, L., ... & Wu, H. (2013). Acupuncture and moxibustion for inflammatory bowel diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.

Joos, S., Brinkhaus, B., Maluche, C., Maupai, N., Kohnen, R., Kraehmer, N., ... & Schuppan, D. (2004). Acupuncture and moxibustion in the treatment of active Crohn’s disease: a randomized controlled study. Digestion, 69(3), 131-139.

Kim, S. K., & Bae, H. (2010). Acupuncture and immune modulation. Autonomic Neuroscience, 157(1-2), 38-41.

Knight, B., Mudge, C., Openshaw, S., White, A., & Hart, A. (2001). Effect of acupuncture on nausea of pregnancy: a randomized, controlled trial. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 97(2), 184-188.

Lee, M. S., Pittler, M. H., Shin, B. C., Kim, J. I., & Ernst, E. (2009). Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis: a systematic review. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 102(4), 269-279.

Liu, Y., Park, J. E., Shin, K. M., Lee, M., Jung, H. J., Kim, A. R., ... & Choi, S. M. (2015). Acupuncture lowers blood pressure in mild hypertension patients: a randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded pilot trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 23(5), 658-665.

Melchart, D., Streng, A., Hoppe, A., Brinkhaus, B., Witt, C., Wagenpfeil, S., ... & Weidenhammer, W. (2005). Acupuncture in patients with tension-type headache: randomised controlled trial. Bmj, 331(7513), 376-382.

Melchart, D., Ihbe-Heffinger, A., Leps, B., von Schilling, C., & Linde, K. (2006). Acupuncture and acupressure for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea—a randomised cross-over pilot study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 14(8), 878-882.

Paulus, W. E., Zhang, M., Strehler, E., El-Danasouri, I., & Sterzik, K. (2002). Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Fertility and sterility, 77(4), 721-724.

Rithirangsriroj, K., Manchana, T., & Akkayagorn, L. (2015). Efficacy of acupuncture in prevention of delayed chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting in gynecologic cancer patients. Gynecologic oncology, 136(1), 82-86.

Smith, C., Crowther, C., & Beilby, J. (2002). Acupuncture to treat nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Birth, 29(1), 1-9.

Smith, C. A., Armour, M., Lee, M. S., Wang, L. Q., & Hay, P. J. (2018). Acupuncture for depression. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, (3).

Song, G., Fiocchi, C., & Achkar, J. P. (2019). Acupuncture in inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 25(7), 1129-1139.

Takahashi, T. (2006). Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders. Journal of gastroenterology, 41(5), 408-417.

Tam, L. S., Leung, P. C., Li, T. K., Zhang, L., & Li, E. K. (2007). Acupuncture in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a double-blind controlled pilot study. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 7(1), 35.

Vickers, A. J., Cronin, A. M., Maschino, A. C., Lewith, G., MacPherson, H., Foster, N. E., ... & Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration, F. T. (2012). Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine, 172(19), 1444-1453.

Wang, S. M., & Kain, Z. N. (2001). Auricular acupuncture: a potential treatment for anxiety. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 92(2), 548-553.

Wang, S. M., Peloquin, C., & Kain, Z. N. (2001). The use of auricular acupuncture to reduce preoperative anxiety. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 93(5), 1178-1180.

Witt, C., Brinkhaus, B., Jena, S., Linde, K., Streng, A., Wagenpfeil, S., ... & Willich, S. N. (2005). Acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomised trial. The Lancet, 366(9480), 136-143.

Xue, C. C., An, X., Cheung, T. P., Da Costa, C., Lenon, G. B., Thien, F. C., & Story, D. F. (2007). Acupuncture for persistent allergic rhinitis: a randomised, sham‐controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 187(6), 337-341.

Zijlstra, F. J., van den Berg-de Lange, I., Huygen, F. J., & Klein, J. (2003). Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators of inflammation, 12.

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