Acupuncture Benefits: how needles can help you!

Acupuncture on back

Acupuncture Benefits? Why not just take that medication from your doctor? Why bother seeing an acupuncturist and get pins stuck in you? What can pins do that drugs can’t?


Yinyang symbol for balance helping you understand acupuncture benefits
TaiQi symbol of yin and yang

Here’s why. See the image above, the Yin/Yang symbol? It shows balance: the white part is as big as the black part. The white dot is the same size as the black dot. They are exactly equal and opposite. And as one ends, the other begins, so they turn into each other, balance each other, oppose each other and depend on each other.


Acupuncturist taking the case
Acupuncture consultation

Four Main Acupuncture Benefits

  1. Relaxes you, helps you manage your Stress better.
  2. Eases pain. Lots of research shows how acupuncture helps pain.
  3. Increases Vitality. How? By getting your metabolism to work better.
  4. Calms your Anxiety and helps you sleep better.

Is that all? Well, no, that’s hardly the beginning of it! I’ve written this website because I’ve treated successfully all the diseases listed above (at the top of the page) that I describe.

For example,

  • Many women get pain, discomfort and/or emotional ‘surges’  connected with their monthly menstrual cycle – acupuncture really helps with normalising this.
  • Same for migraines and other headaches;
  • Indigestion’
  • Also skin problems like eczema;
  • Mental problems like depression;
  • Lack of confidence? Yes, that too.
  • Problems with sore joints and tiredness as you age? Well, lots of older people come periodically to get back to feeling ‘normal’.


And for many serious conditions, long-term chronic illnesses, it can work with ordinary medicine to improve well-being. For example, recent research shows acupuncture helps

  • COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: see links to research papers here and also …
  • … Relating more specifically for Covid19here.

Besides, many come for treatment when the seasons change, to keep their immune system working well.

Some people come before going on holiday as otherwise they spend the first week away calming down and really only enjoy the second week when they’ve mentally switched off from work! Acupuncture before going away helps them switch off even before they arrive at their holiday destination, giving them two weeks of real holiday!

And it can often help people recover faster from the effects of jet-lag when they return. So … it can help to tune up your system!

Yin supports Yang!

Balance between Yin and Yang

Everything in Chinese medicine and acupuncture theory comes down to the balance, in your body, between Yin and Yang.

If Yang is too big compared to Yin, you’ll have too much heat, or movement, or noise, or smell or colour.

If Yin prevails, you’ll be too slow, too soft, too dependent, too cold, too pale, and you’ll probably feel weak.

Or you could have too little yang (yang-deficiency) or not enough yin (yin-deficiency).

Once your condition has been diagnosed properly in terms of Chinese medicine, acupuncture needles carefully placed in appropriate points will gently lead the excess Yin or Yang away and bring you to balance.

Then your acupuncturist will want to strengthen you so you’re less likely to get ill or stressed again – and again.

So acupuncture benefits come from

  • understanding your condition in a new way, one that often helps you change it
  • diagnosing your condition so you get correct treatment
  • economically treating you with acupuncture needles (much cheaper than drugs, though you may have to pay the acupuncturist)
  • not needing medication, so very few side-effects
  • often, pleasantly relaxing you during treatment
  • usually, seeing the same practitioner every time
  • getting better, so you don’t need further treatment and don’t become dependent on medication
  • usually finding that benefits come not just in pain levels but in your ability to do things and enjoy life more: acupuncture wellness!


Acupuncture Benefits of Qi

Qi, (pronounced TCHEE!), Chinese medicine believes, is the basic stuff of the universe from which everything is made. It goes even further than Einstein’s expression that Energy = Mass x the Speed of Light Squared.

To be understood, Qi is divided into two, and balancing your Yin and Yang is the point of acupuncture.

If acupuncture can encourage your body to develop its resources to maintain your Yin and Yang energies within acceptable limits, then your life should proceed more smoothly than otherwise.

Why? Because, for instance, when you get hot, from inclement weather, exertion or other circumstances, your body will have the ability to cool your down. Conversely, if you are too cold, it will be able to warm you.

It will also have the ability to maintain your life when you meet disease and to mend you when you are wounded.

More importantly, it will enable you to laugh and to love, to enjoy life and being loved, to sing, dance and work agreeably. Also, of course to  move as you would wish, to exercise, to do sports, to explore. And mentally it will keep you sharp.

Eventually it will allow you to die gracefully, remembered with fondness and gratitude by those who knew you or whom your life benefited. Then the bit of the Universe’s Qi that was you will transform into the next phase of the dance, enriched by what you did.

Still Life by Janette Lassen
Still Life by Janette Lassen

Until then and in the meantime, perhaps you’ll be able to enjoy how acupuncture benefits Still Life!

This picture is by Janette Lassen, a much-admired Scottish colourist. A family friend, she gave it to my wife and me on our marriage.

Acupuncture Effectiveness

To read more about acupuncture benefits , do please read our page on acupuncture effectiveness. But also, please check our page on acupuncture side-effects! Also, see Research.

As an acupuncturist, I rely on theory to help me to repeat results in a scientific manner. There’s plenty of acupuncture theory, also of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory.

Importantly, I believe – because the theory works – that acupuncture points lie on acupuncture channels, which explain a whole lot more than just the points themselves.

And our ill-health can be explained not just in terms of the channels but also in terms of what are called syndromes.

Research on acupuncture benefits
Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Listen to the Advice you Get – It’s part of your Acupuncture Benefits treatment!

But important additional acupunture benefits come from the background of Chinese medicine, built over thousands of years.

Here is a whole cultural tradition of practical wisdom for how to get by in life! It ranges from tips on what foods to eat or avoid, to which physical movements help or hinder health, and how to order your life.

Take good notice of all this because ignoring it works against the acupuncture benefits you’ve just enjoyed from treatment.

For example, supposing your problem arises from what Chinese medicine diagnoses as Heat. That means you probably feel hot, suffer some kind of inflammation which could be in your joints or on your skin, or it produces burning pains, like from a stomach ulcer.

Let’s suppose your acupuncturist treats your tendency to over-heat and then says, please don’t eat curry or very spicy food, or take strong coffee for a few days because they’ll make you hot again and increase your tendency to inflammation.

And then you go out and have a meal full of hot chillies! And a strong coffee to revive you afterwards!

orange and green chili peppers

Are you surprised when your burning pain returns? You shouldn’t be, because you’ve just undone everything your acupuncturist was working towards. Listen to his advice – it’s based on thousands of years of experience!

Lots to Read about Acupuncture Benefits!

All those links to pages – above – means there’s a lot to read!

Perhaps, then, you will also be able to enjoy a gentle Habanera to give you true Acupuncture Wellness!

The Habanera shown below is not the famous one from Carmen by Bizet; this one is by Emmanuel Chabrier. (If you can’t see the video below, your browser must be set so as not to show them.)

Click on this link to hear it. It’s in a recording by Marcelle Meyer. If it doesn’t play, it may be your browser doesn’t support the link. In that case, do a YouTube search for Habanera Marcelle Meyer.

Playing it well isn’t easy, I’ve found. (Unfortunately, no amount of acupuncture makes any difference. Also, I sit on a piano stool thought to have been used by Edvard Grieg, the famous Norwegian composer and pianist. That doesn’t work, either.)


The piece was originally written in 1885 and then adapted by Chabrier for the orchestra: listen carefully and enjoy the rich sounds he orchestrated. Also, of course, it’s a wonderfully melody.

With good smooth-flowing Qi, you won’t feel stressed or, to be more precise, you will be able to enjoy your stressful moments and use the energy your stressful symptoms provide to work through problems.

Trapped Stress Energy can be Yours to Use

In fact, my book on Qi Stagnation, see in the panel, shows how stress can be used positively in life, helping you to see where your life has been stagnating and so what may be the best actions to take to resolve your problem.

The theory of Chinese medicine, and one of the great acupuncture benefits, as explained in the book, shows how at various stages of any process, whether it be during your work, in a new venture, in a learned technique, even at a charity celebration, and certainly in your life, there are energies at work.

Understand those forces and the forces behind them and your life may become clearer.

Other pages to read:

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10 Responses

  1. I like that you mentioned that acupuncture treatment can actually be quite relaxing during the process. Seeing such procedures on TV made me think about how it doesn’t seem to hurt much having that many needles on one’s back. Perhaps I should try an acupuncture treatment myself in the future and see for myself how it would feel.

    1. People vary hugely in their reaction to acupuncture needles.

      For most, any discomfort is minimal, and probably mostly in the mind or exacerbated by anxiety: this means that after the first needles are inserted, the patient relaxes and subsequent needles produce much less reaction.

      Certain locations on the body have few nerves so feel less: others are rich in nerves, so feel more.

      The needles used are much thinner than those of a hypodermic syringe so slide in much more easily.

      Practitioner technique also contributes to the experience.

      The overall effect also varies, depending on the aim of treatment. If the aim is to relax, patients often enter an almost hypnogogic state with much higher alpha wave brain activity which besides being restful contributes to a healing response.

  2. The ways that acupuncture can help you manage your energy were really interesting to read about. Just thinking about how I’ve been stressed out and exasperated most of the time makes me think that I should find a better way to manage how I feel. I’ll work on this by looking for an acupuncture clinic in the area as soon as I can.

    1. Acupuncture can be very effective at helping you deal better with ongoing stress and exasperation. It does this by balancing how your body deals with yin and yang forces in your life, and then strengthening your Qi, so you become more resilient. I hope you can find a good acupuncturist near you. Best wishes Jonathan

  3. I noticed that my friend has been having a hard time keeping up with work because of depression. I like how you explained that acupuncture could help improve your metabolism and fixes your sleeping routines. I should share this with him so he can try this out in the future.

  4. Acupuncture has been shown in studies to be effective in treating OA, headaches, migraines, and chronic pain. A licence is required for practitioners to perform acupuncture operations, and the danger of side effects is low. When done correctly, acupuncture can help a patient achieve a balance of energy in their body and a reduction in tension, which can stop sweating and further reduce their stress levels.

    1. As more research is done, more benefits from acupuncture are revealed.

      For instance, combining acupuncture with counselling seems to reduce how often depressive episodes occur (Programme Grants for Applied Research, 2017; 5: 1).

      Also, it treats pain better than opioids. (

      Likewise, for menopausal women it often helps hot flushes (flashes) (Menopause, 2016; 1: doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000735) and night sweats (Menopause, 2016; 23: 626).

      For insomnia, there’s masses of evidence. (

      Also, it ‘significantly’ improves fatigue, anxiety, depression and sleep problems. (Cancer, 2014; doi: 10.1002/cncr.28917).

  5. I was immediately interested when you talked about the relaxation benefits you can get from acupuncture. This really does sound like something that can help me out with what I need for myself as stress has been taking over my life recently. I’ll take a look around for any acupuncture clinics and ask them to treat me right away.

    1. Acupuncture and the theory behind it mean you often get many benefits from the balance it brings: better sleep, steadier equilibrium, clearer decisions, more resilience, feeling calmer, improved concentration, reliable memory and the ability to relax more easily and recover faster. It’s called ‘health’!

      However, it’s important to act on your acupuncturist’s advice, for example on food: it’s part of the treatment and you can retard the benefits of treatment by over-looking it. That advice is not a noise, to be ignored, made by your practitioner during treatment!

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