Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice that has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of illnesses. Some people with lupus have utilized acupuncture to relieve pain and other symptoms.
What does it involve?
During an acupuncture treatment, you will lie still on a table. A trained acupuncturist or TCM practitioner will insert fine needles into the skin or connective tissue just beneath the skin. The needles are left in the skin for up to 30 minutes. Different regions of the skin are targeted during acupuncture depending on the condition being treated. The practitioner may gently twist or move the needles. Heat or electricity may be applied to the needles. Acupuncture is usually painless.
In TCM, acupuncture is believed to work by balancing and correcting the flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), throughout the body. Some Western researchers have proposed that acupuncture works by stimulating nerves and increasing blood flow.
The goal of acupuncture as a treatment for lupus is to reduce pain and help you feel your best.
In one study involving 24 people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 40 percent of those who received acupuncture or minimal needling reported a pain improvement of 30 percent or greater.
More research is needed to determine the potential benefits of acupuncture for people with lupus.
Some insurers will cover acupuncture, but others may not. Out-of-pocket costs for acupuncture may be expensive.
Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find or travel to an acupuncture provider.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Acupuncture – Mayo Clinic
Acupuncture for systemic lupus erythematosus: a pilot RCT feasibility and safety study – PubMed