Acupuncture or Massage? Which One Do I Need?


People ask what can acupuncture treat?  Nearly anything you can think of.  Of course, it cannot repair structural conditions that require surgery like broken bones but it can aid in the healing process by encouraging bone growth & reducing scar tissue. 

  • Pain is the most widely known condition that Acupuncture can treat.  Being a Massage Therapist as well as an Acupuncturist influences the treatment of pain located in or due to dysfunction of muscles & joints.  Before deciding that Acupuncture is the best option for the patient's condition, a hands-on examination of the patient is performed during a 30 Minute Massage.  

  • Fertility
  • Medication Management
  • Symptom Management



Most Pain conditions are rooted in the Musculoskeletal System.  The soft tissues of the body need to be examined by touch to determine if another treatment option, such as Acupuncture or Chiropractic is needed.  Many people make appointments for Acupuncture when they need Massage instead. 

  • Arthritis is another condition that people seek Acupuncture for.  Arthritis is commonly self-diagnosed & even when the patient has had imaging proving its existence, the root of their pain may be muscular.  Muscles attach via tendons at our joints.  When a muscle stops functioning properly it puts stress on the joint & the other muscles that attach to it which can cause the pain experienced.

  • Headaches & Migraines are commonly caused by muscular issues of the head & neck.  Excess muscle tension & adhesions/ knots can impinge nerves, reduce blood flow, or move vertebrae causing headaches & migraines.  Most can be resolved with bodywork but if there is a structural component, chiropractic will be recommended.


Chills, Fever, Sweat

Head, Face, Eyes, Ears, Nose, & Skin

Head:  Dizziness, Headaches, Migraines, Vertigo.

Face:  Bell's Palsy, Edema, Spasms, TMJD, Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Eyes:  Dryness, Impaired Vision, Itching, Swelling.

Ears:  Discharge, Itching, Tinnitus.

Nose:  Post Nasal Drainage, Pressure, Rhinitis, Sinusitis. 

Skin:  Acne, Boils, Dermatitis, Eczema, Hair Loss, Psoriasis, Shingles, Vitiligo.

Chest, Heart, & Lungs

Heart:  Blood Pressure Issues, Palpitations, Poor Circulation.

Lungs:  Asthma, Chronic Cough, Chronic Congestion, COPD, Difficulty Breathing, Emphysema, Frequent Colds & Flus, Frequent Bronchitis.

Back, Limbs, & Musculoskeletal




Thirst, Taste, Appetite, & Digestion

Mouth:  Difficulty Swallowing, Dryness, Excessive Thirst, Recurrent Sore Throat, Taste Loss, TMJD, Voice Loss. 

Appetite & Digestion:  Acid Reflux, Crohn's Disease, Excessive or Loss of Hunger, IBS, Indigestion, Nausea,  Ulcerative Colitis, Weight Concerns.  

Urine & Stool




Women's Health

Menstrual Issues:



Breech Presentation:

Induce Labor:

Post Partum Care:


Men's Health

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia


Head, Face, Eyes, & Ears


Chest & Shoulders

Upper Arm, Forearm, Wrist, & Hand



Upper Back & Scapula

Mid Back

Lower Back & Glutes

Thigh, Lower Leg, Ankle & Foot


Vision and Strategy: WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy: 2014-2023

The strategic objectives are:

  • To build the knowledge base for active management of T&CM through appropriate national policies. 
  • To strengthen the quality assurance, safety, proper use and effectiveness of TCM by regulating products, practices and practitioners. 
  • To promote universal health coverage by integrating TCM services into health care service delivery and self-health care.

In 2003 the World Health Organization published a report about clinical trials researching the effectiveness of acupuncture.  More than one hundred indications were discussed and divided into four groups concerning the strength of existing evidence. 

The report is the only official WHO opinion about the effectiveness of acupuncture.  Nevertheless, the level of evidence existing in 1998 was not high.  The Authors included findings from Chinese trials which were not evaluated as highly reliable.  For that reason the report and acupuncture itself was criticized by many scholars.  


Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved – through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
  • Dysentery, acute bacillary
  • Dysmenorrhoea, primary
  • Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headache
  • Hypertension, essential
  • Hypotension, primary
  • Induction of labour
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, correction of
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Craniocerebral injury, closed
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
  • Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
  • Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
  • Hyperlipaemia
  • Hypo-ovarianism
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
  • Postextubation in children
  • Postoperative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic
  • Pruritus
  • Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
  • Raynaud syndrome, primary
  • Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • Retention of urine, traumatic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sialism, drug-induced
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis
  • Vascular dementia
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

  • Chloasma
  • Choroidopathy, central serous
  • Colour blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hypophrenia
  • Irritable colon syndrome
  • Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
  • Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
  • Small airway obstruction

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

  • Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Coma
  • Convulsions in infants
  • Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
  • Diarrhoea in infants and young children
  • Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
  • Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobul

Learn More

Read more about this WHO report @ or via the link below.