T Nation

Anyone Ever Tried Acupuncture?


I found out last night that my college insurance covers acupuncture, so I booked an appointment and had my first session today. I have had chronic lower back pain that has been narrowed down to anterior pelvic tilt and sacrum misalignment, so I figured hey it couldn't hurt to try this out.

Anyway, I am curious if anyone here has ever tried acupuncture for any reason, and if they thought it helped or not. I am naturally skeptical, but I'll be going into the next 5 or 6 appointments with an open mind.


Never gone myself but my gf swears by it. She goes for severe migraines and almost never gets them anymore..she used to take migraine medicine which barely helped as she would get one basically daily.


I tried it for acute pain when I tore my piriformis. That was some of the worst pain ever, in a close tie with sciatica. After the first session, I felt some relief of pain. The pain was caused mostly by muscle spasm, so I believe the needles calmed the muscles down temporarily. I went back for a second treatment, and the practitioner wanted to do something called "cupping" (which undoubtedly was an upcharge). Well, "cupping" didn't go so well; I left that session in more pain than before.

I would not choose acupuncture for chronic pain either, myself. Maybe acupuncture will break up some trigger points, but I feel that most chronic issues usually need active treatments like mobility and soft tissue work and correcting imbalances.


I go for acupuncture every two weeks like clockwork. Just got home actually. It really helps with recovery and a skilled practitioner can address all sorts of issues that come up for strength athletes. Example: This morning I was doing some sumo dl's and experimenting with a double-hook grip (I usually used a mixed grip). When I was driving to my acupuncture appointment I noticed that I had some pain along the lower border of my left scapula. I explained the scenario to my acupuncturist and she went to work. When I got off the table it was gone. I've had great success with tendon strains in my shoulders, wrists, and hips that are an unfortunate product of my sometimes overzealous training. Can't comment on cupping as I have never had it done. Lastly, acupuncture is only one facet of my wellness care routine. I agree that most conditions respond best to a combo of passive and active techniques.


I've had acupuncture performed by a PT/manual therapist for elbow tendonitis. It was the only thing we tried that quickly and successfully knocked out the acute inflammation. I then rehabbed with manual therapy and exercise. I'd be dubious about claims that it can cure anything, or help with a variety of internal disorders, but I'll stand by it as a useful tool in dealing with inflammation.


what should you look for in a practitioner?


Cronus, give us an update on how the appointment went. I am having the same problems as you.