Conditions Treated by Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can treat a wide variety of ailments and disharmonies. The following four surveys list  conditions acupuncture is commonly used for. This list is by no means complete.

California Occupational Survey 1996 Maryland Patient Survey 1999
General List of Most Common Illnesses Treated World Health Organization Reccommendations

California Occupational Survey

 In 1996, an occupational survey was conducted under contract to the California State Acupuncture Committee in order to update the content of the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam. This survey identified well over one hundred conditions or categories of conditions treated. The following is a top twenty-five conditions the Licensed Acupuncturists treated.

25 Commonly Treated Conditions

    Anxiety & Depression

    Arthritis, Tendonitis, & Joint pain

    Asthma & Allergies

    Auto Injuries 

    Bladder and Kidney Infections 

    Cardiac Palpitations (Irregular Heartbeat)

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Common Cold & Influenza

    Degenerative Disk Disorders 

    Diet, Nutrition, & Weight Control


    Headaches & Migraines

    Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

    Indigestion, Gas, Bloating, Constipation


    Menopause Symptoms 

    Musculoskeletal pain 


    Orthopedic Conditions

    Pain - other kinds

    PMS & Menstrual Irregularity

    Sports Injuries 

    Tension / Stress Syndromes 


    Work Injuries 


Common Conditions Treated

The most common conditions treated effectively by Acupuncture include:

chronic pain

    neck and back pain

    migraine headaches

acute injury-related pain



gastrointestinal problems





cardiovascular conditions

    high blood pressure

    low blood pressure

genitourinary problems

    menstrual irregularity



muscle and nerve conditions



addictive behaviors

    substance abuse


    drug dependence





Maryland Patient Survey

The Maryland Acupuncture Society contracted for a patient survey to be conducted in 1999, with the results being published in January, 2000. The Patient Satisfaction Survey - Final Report lists the following thirteen most common conditions for which patients sought treatment from an acupuncturist. Over 80% of the respondants also found these treatments to be very effective or moderately effective.

Thirteen Commonly and Effectively Treated Conditions




    Back Pain

    Other Musculoskeletal Pain



    Other Headaches

    Female Concerns





World Health Organization

A World Health Organization Interregional Seminar on Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Acupuncture Anesthesia was held in Beijing ( Peking ) in June 1979, attended by participants from twelve countries. 

The World Health Organization Interregional Seminar drew up the following provisional list of diseases that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment. The list is based on clinical experience, and not necessarily on controlled clinical research: furthermore, the inclusion of specific diseases are not meant to indicate the extent of acupuncture's efficacy in treating them.

The following is a list of conditions which the World Health Organization determined may respond to acupuncture.

 Upper Respiratory Tract , Respiratory System 

   Acute sinusitis, rhinitis, tonsilitis, common cold

    Acute bronchitis, bronchial asthma

Disorders of the Eye and Mouth

    Acute conjunctivitis

    Central retinitis

    Myopia (in children)

    Cataract (without complications)

    Toothache, post-extraction pain , gingivitis

    Acute and chronic pharyngitis 

Gastro-intestinal Disorders 

    Spasms of esophagus and cardia , hiccough


    Acute and chronic gastritis

    Gastric hyperacidity

    Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief)

    Acute duodenal ulcer (without complications)

    Acute and chronic colitis

    Acute bacillary dysentery

    Constipation , diarrhea

    Paralytic ileus 

Neurological and Musculo-skeletal Disorders 

    Headache and migraine

    Trigeminal neuralgia

    Facial palsy (early stage, i.e., within 3-6 months)

    Pareses following a stroke

    Peripheral neuropathies

    Sequelae of poliomyelitis ( within six months)

    Meniere's disease

    Neurogenic bladder dysfunction

    Nocturnal enuresis

    Intercostal neuralgia

    Cervicobrachial syndrome

    "Frozen shoulder," "tennis elbow"

    Sciatica, Low back pain , Osteoarthritis


Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Holly B Goguen, LAc