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Can Acupuncture Help with Chronic Fatigue?


For individuals dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome, can incorporating acupuncture with other treatment protocols help regain functionality and improve quality of life?

Can Acupuncture Help with Chronic Fatigue?

Acupuncture For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Research is looking at how acupuncture can help manage symptoms of chronic fatigue. These studies focused on specific acupoints and techniques and how they affected certain symptoms or abnormalities linked to the condition. The researchers found that acupuncture may help manage and alleviate some symptoms (Qing Zhang et al., 2019). However, they were still unable to determine the mechanisms of how acupuncture exactly works.

Symptom Relief

Various studies showed that acupuncture could improve physical and mental fatigue symptoms, including:

There Were Also Improvements In

Other studies Found How Acupuncture Helped In

Treatments Vary by Study

  • One case study showed improvements in groups of athletes who were put through a series of exhaustive physical exercises and short-term rest. One group of athletes was treated with acupuncture on selected acupoints while the others were given an extended rest. Analysis was applied to the metabolic profiles of urine samples collected from the athletes at three points: before the exercises, before and after the acupuncture treatment, or taking extended rest. The results indicated that the recoveries of disturbed metabolites in the athletes treated with acupuncture were significantly faster than in those who only took extended rest. (Haifeng Ma et al., 2015)
  • Researchers said studies involving acupuncture alone or in combination with other treatments appear to show that it is effective at lessening fatigue. (Yu-Yi Wang et al., 2014) However, further studies are needed to confirm the benefits. This is a significant change from a review that found limited evidence for the effectiveness of alternative treatments for relieving chronic fatigue symptoms. (Terje Alraek et al., 2011)
  • Another review of alternative therapies found acupuncture and certain meditation techniques showed the most promise for future investigation. (Nicole S. Porter et al., 2010)
  • Another study compared prednisone, a steroid, with an acupuncture technique called coiling dragon and an additional treatment called cupping. It suggested that acupuncture and cupping treatments surpassed the steroid regarding fatigue. (Wei Xu et al., 2012)
  • Another study found that needling with heat application or moxibustion produced better results than standard acupuncture regarding physical and mental fatigue scores. (Chen Lu, Xiu-Juan Yang, Jie Hu 2014)

From Consultation to Transformation: Assessing Patients In A Chiropractic Setting


Zhang, Q., Gong, J., Dong, H., Xu, S., Wang, W., & Huang, G. (2019). Acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupuncture in medicine : journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 37(4), 211–222. doi.org/10.1136/acupmed-2017-011582

Frisk, J., Källström, A. C., Wall, N., Fredrikson, M., & Hammar, M. (2012). Acupuncture improves health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) and sleep in women with breast cancer and hot flushes. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 20(4), 715–724. doi.org/10.1007/s00520-011-1134-8

Gao, D. X., & Bai, X. H. (2019). Zhen ci yan jiu = Acupuncture research, 44(2), 140–143. doi.org/10.13702/j.1000-0607.170761

Mandıroğlu, S., & Ozdilekcan, C. (2017). Impact of Acupuncture on Chronic Insomnia: A Report of Two Cases with Polysomnographic Evaluation. Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies, 10(2), 135–138. doi.org/10.1016/j.jams.2016.09.018

Zhu, L., Ma, Y., Ye, S., & Shu, Z. (2018). Acupuncture for Diarrhoea-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Network Meta-Analysis. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2018, 2890465. doi.org/10.1155/2018/2890465

Ma, H., Liu, X., Wu, Y., & Zhang, N. (2015). The Intervention Effects of Acupuncture on Fatigue Induced by Exhaustive Physical Exercises: A Metabolomics Investigation. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 508302. doi.org/10.1155/2015/508302

Wang, Y. Y., Li, X. X., Liu, J. P., Luo, H., Ma, L. X., & Alraek, T. (2014). Traditional Chinese medicine for chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Complementary therapies in medicine, 22(4), 826–833. doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2014.06.004

Alraek, T., Lee, M. S., Choi, T. Y., Cao, H., & Liu, J. (2011). Complementary and alternative medicine for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 11, 87. doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-11-87

Porter, N. S., Jason, L. A., Boulton, A., Bothne, N., & Coleman, B. (2010). Alternative medical interventions used in the treatment and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 16(3), 235–249. doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0376

Lu, C., Yang, X. J., & Hu, J. (2014). Zhen ci yan jiu = Acupuncture research, 39(4), 313–317.

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The information herein on "Can Acupuncture Help with Chronic Fatigue?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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