Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

What can acupuncture do for the muscles?

I've been experiencing muscle spasms in my leg and my friend suggested acupuncture after I tried a few things that didn't work. Does acupuncture work for this problem? What does acupuncture actually do for the muscles?

28 Answers

Science has not yet determined how acupuncture works for me to have an explanation for you. I have seen it work. But you might try a vitamin D supplement and magnesium citrate, as magnesium deficiency can cause this all on its own.
Of course by reducing inflammation and increased circulation
Acupuncture may work for your spasms; however, if they are due to a mineral deficiency, herbs and supplements may be helpful as acupuncture cannot replace minerals.
It can calm them. I would probably also recommend a good Magnesium supplement. There can be many reasons for the muscles to spasm. So an exam may shed more light as to why.
The way Chinese medicine looks is that muscle cramps are caused from a deficiency in the liver which stores blood and controls the tendons or the spleen which dominates limbs and controls muscles or the kidneys which controls bones. When these organs are weakened, they fail to nourish the muscles and tendons. This results in abnormal movements in the limbs. Additionally, when external pathogens like coldness, dampness or sports injuries further disturb the blood and
qi function in the legs, muscle cramps will be induced. Acupuncture for leg cramps aims to reinforce the internal organs functions of blood and qi, along with nourishing and loosening the muscles and tendons in the legs.
Acupuncture is a huge solution when it comes to musculo-skeletal issues and treats variety of conditions related to myocramps or pain.
Acupuncture will relax your muscles.
Energy flows along meridians throughout your body. This continual flow of qi (energy) keeps the yin and yang balanced. When this flow gets interrupted, the interference may lead to lack of function, pain or illness. Acupuncture can release the blocked qi in your body. This will enable the body’s normal healing response. Acupuncture is stimulating your nerves, muscles and connective tissue. The stimulation increases blood flow, and also triggers your body to respond. Your body will then release hormones called endorphins.
It helps with circulation to feed the muscles along with herbs and vitamins
Acupuncture is used to treat muscle pain, small tear and inflammation. Without knowing your condition's history, it is difficult to know what acupuncture will provide for you. I would definitely recommend to try acupuncture because the success rate for a muscle issue is very high.

Alexandre Hillairet, DAOM.
Acupuncture may alleviate muscle pain through the insertion of needles into the body. During this therapy, the body releases hormones called endorphins and endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers, which help you to feel alert, relaxed and mobile. Once your body is relaxed, you are not as tense and your muscles get better blood flow, which in turn allows them to recover.

That’s a great question. Leg spasms can be contributed to many things, such as an overactive nervous system, mineral deficiencies, lack of sleep, lack of water (to only name a few).

Acupuncture is phenomenal at balancing out your entire system so it can help relax nerves and muscles, as well as address the underlying cause of your condition. This means it not only fixes the issue, but it also prevents it from being a problem again in the future. The muscles themselves can benefit from acupuncture, because the insertion of the needles loosen the muscles fibers, while also activating the circulatory system. This brings fresh blood and nutrients to the area.

In short, acupuncture works at the local area (the affected muscle) and the central nervous system (the brain) to combat your symptoms and keep them at bay.

I hope this information is helpful.
To determine if acupuncture can help you we would first need to evaluate you however with that said I’ve helped many people with muscle spasms and had positive results less spasm and less pain
Acupuncture can be very helpful, since it regulates blood circulation and breaks stagnation in the muscles in your case.
There are a few techniques that acupuncture can use to locally treat the muscle spasms, but it also works in balancing your body to treat why the muscles are spasming to begin with. For example, the spams may be due to dehydration. If you're drinking enough water, but your body isn't retaining it, the acupuncture can help adjust that. Local treatments include but are not limited to trigger point dry needling, cupping, gua sha, and moxibustion.
Acupuncture moves blood. As the needle inserts in certain points, your brain send a lot blood flow to the affected area and your brain secret a lot endorphins to fix the pain.

Acupuncture helps muscle spasms by bringing clean oxygen and blood in the areas of spasm as well as the whole body. Blood circulation is also important part of acupuncture to help the spasm.


Scott Sang In Lee
Hi there,

Acupuncture treatment can release muscle spasms, give more strength and energy to muscles, and make muscles more elastic.
Muscle spasm could be due to not enough blood supply or inflammation. Acupuncture can increase the local blood circulation. Acupuncture also has very good anti-inflammatory effect. Thus acupuncture can help for the muscle spasms.
The muscle can spasm from a couple of reasons. Either you are not hydrating enough, not stretching enough, or does not have enough blood circulation to help nourish the muscles.
Acupuncture in theory is excellent for promoting circulation. When the leg spasms, acupuncture is great at curing this annoying symptom.
What acupuncture is doing, is its allowing blood to flow to all areas of the body. This circulation will help provide the muscles with natural substances to help alleviate spasms. The acupuncturist may also place needles on other regions of the body. The reason for this is because to ensure circulation throughout the body, there are points that work in harmony, like siblings, to help bring maximum effect!
Cupping is also another excellent adjunctive therapy to acupuncture to help completely relieve any spasms.
After you receive treatment, it is important to stay hydrated and consume nutrition with plenty of potassium!

If the spasm persists for longer than a week to 2 weeks, please go see your doctor for further evaluation.

From the perspective of Chinese Medicine, spasms and cramps in the muscles are considered to result from stagnation of qi (energy) and blood. Acupuncture has been used throughout the ages for treating muscle spasms by needling acupoints that promote the free flow of qi and blood to release the stagnation.

In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture promotes the body’s release of natural anti-inflammatory steroids as well as pain relieving endorphins.
Yes, it worse for the problem. How it should be done right to relieve muscle tension or spasm.
Acupuncture helps your muscle let go. Think of your muscle pain as a 'half flexed' muscle that won't let go until if finishes it's flex. Like if you wanted to lift a chair over your head but only got to your chest. Even when you put the chair down, the muscle stayed flexed - so it is tight, like when you're still holding a chair. The acupuncture helps your muscle finish the flex and return to relaxed position - it lets you put the chair back down without holding the flex.

Another way to look at it is to think of a tight muscle as a stretched rubber band. It too is tight and stretched. The acupuncture would be like un-stretching the rubber band so the muscle again loosens and relaxes.

The spasms are from tight muscles - the acupuncture keeps them more loose and also helps the nutrients be delivered through the blood, so that the muscles can be nourished and relaxed. Like a plant being watered to soften up, muscles need the fluids and blood to keep them soft, supple and relaxed. Acupuncture helps the body nourish the muscles.

There are more ways, but those are the basics. Find a licensed practitioner and it may take a few treatments to fully help - don't give up after 1 treatment if the one doesn't seem to help. Also, if your acupuncturist isn't helping, you can always switch to another one. Just like auto mechanics and donut shops, some places are better for you than others, but everyone has their own personal favorite.

Good luck
Yes. Acupuncture is highly effective for muscle pains, spasms, injury, etc. Depending on why you are experiencing muscle spasms, we can use acupuncture to unblock any of the pathways obstructing the nerve signals and strengthening the muscles themselves.
Yes, acupuncture can help with muscle spasms. I can't tell you what it does for the muscles because the spasms could be from any number of causes. You might also want to try rubbing vinegar on your legs to stop the spasms in the meantime.
Muscle spasms can be alleviated with acupuncture because acupuncture improves circulation and nerve conduction. It's important to note, muscle spasms may be due to deficient minerals in the body, so I would recommend getting a full vitamin and mineral panel done on your bloodwork. If that seems like too much trouble at the moment, it wouldn't hurt to try supplementing magnesium glycinate and see if that does the trick.
It works great for muscle pain! Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to relax the muscle fibers. When people are experiencing pain, the muscle fibers are either too tight or loose. When an insertion of the acupuncture needles, it promotes blood circulation to the localized pain, thus, removing old red blood cells from the tissue and promoting new blood in the damage tissue for healing.
Yes, acupuncture works very well for spasm/cramping/restlessness. What, exactly, acupuncture is doing for these conditions is still somewhat an open question.

We know acupuncture regulates a set of neurotransmitters at the level of the brain and spinal cord. We know that acupuncture is affecting brain structure and how sensory signals are processed in the brain. Acupuncture can also be used to release tight muscle through the use of trigger points. Any or all of these could be playing a role in symptom relief.

For the best results, please make sure you see an NCCAOM board certified acupuncturist. To find someone in your area, go to the "Find a Practitioner" link at