Acupuncture for Acne (What to Expect)

A woman getting acupuncture for her acne.Traditional acupuncture involves a holistic approach to health and well-being. Ancient acupuncture philosophy states that when illness strikes, there is an imbalance occurring within the body, and this imbalance is what causes the illness.

Acupuncture for acne in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM considers a variety of factors, including the emotional, physical and environmental conditions of an individual and how these factors contribute to the health of the skin. According to TCM, acne is usually caused by excessive dampness and heat affecting organs along specific “channels”. The three organs responsible for acne are the spleen, stomach and lungs.

Each organ has to perform a specific task and is connected to the channel that flows from the internal surface of the skin and connects with a specific organ. Therefore, acne can occur when there is a dysfunction occurring within one of these organs, in addition to its positioning on a specific channel.

How Do Acupuncture Acne Treatments Work?

Acupuncture helps to increase the body’s release of certain neuro-chemical messengers by stimulating the nervous system. This change in physiology influences the well-being of homeostatic processes, which help to keep the body healthy and disease free.

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points have shown to be effective for stimulating areas within the brain that help reduce pain and decrease stress. Stress is one of the main causes of acne; therefore, when stress levels are decreased, there is also a decrease in the release of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that causes acne.

Acupuncture can treat one specific area; however many people notice a vast improvement in other places on the body…

Acupuncture works for a variety of causes for acne, whether your acne is stress-related, food related, biologically related or hormone related. It also works when these causes overlap one another. For instance, let’s say you have naturally oily skin that leads to acne pimples and breakouts, but you also eat foods that cause you to breakout. Acupuncture can treat both of these causes of acne in one sitting, so you’ll be able to deal with each problem separately and get to the root of the problem.

Acne Acupuncture May Also Help:

  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Keep the number and ratio of different immune cells within a normal range.
  • Increase microcirculation locally, which reduces swelling in an area.

Added Benefits Of Acupuncture For Acne

When the point is inserted into the skin it helps to increase the energy needed to promote healing. Acupuncture can treat one specific area; however many people notice a vast improvement in other places on the body, for which they did not seek treatment for.

This is because many pressure points sit on specific meridians; therefore when you treat one ailment, like acne, you’ll also get relief from other ailments that share the same meridian.

Frequent patients of acupuncture report feeling more relaxed, a sense of calm within the self and a reduction in stress levels.

Other Types Of Acupuncture Acne Treatments


Cupping is an alternative method of acupuncture that does not involve needles. Instead, the practitioner will use glass cups to create suction at specific acupressure points on the body. This can be done in two different ways. There is “fire cupping” where a burning cotton ball is inserted into the cup to burn out the oxygen and create a vacuum.

A cupping acupuncture treatment. Cupping is also good for treating acne.

Then, the cup is very quickly placed against the acupressure point where it will create suction and draw the skin up and into the cup a little bit.This suction helps to increase blood flow, loosen the fascia, and remove dampness, or according to TCM remove excess heat, and etc.


Electroacupuncture is very similar to traditional acupuncture. They both use needles, and the same points are stimulated. Here’s the difference. After the needles are inserted a device is attached to them using small clamps and continuous electric pulses are administered. Needles are placed in pairs so that the electric pulses will flow from one needle to the other. This stimulation can continue for up to thirty minutes.

Electric acupuncture. Another type of acupuncture useful for acne treatment.

There are two advantages to electroacupuncture. First, the practitioner does not have to be as precise with the needles, because the electric pulses will stimulate a larger area than the needle alone. Second, a similar treatment called TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) does not use needles. Instead, it uses electrodes taped to the skin. This allows people with a fear of needles, or those who have a condition that prohibits the use of needles, to still get this type of treatment.

Augment Your Acupuncture Treatment With Additional Natural Acne Treatments

While acupuncture can definitely help improve your acne, you may find that it isn’t doing enough or it just doesn’t quite get you to where you want to be. If so, it could be because your diet, lifestyle choices and other factors have created an “acne environment” in your body.

If you really want to eliminate these underlying causes of acne and heal your body from the inside out, then I highly recommend you check out my review of Acne No More, a step-by-step guide to holistic acne treatment which specializes in eliminating this “acne environment” that is the underlying cause of most peoples acne.

Alternatively, you may choose to make your acupuncture treatment more effective by combining it with other powerful natural acne treatments like aloe vera for acne or apple cider vinegar for acne.

In Conclusion

Many people swear by the benefits of acupuncture, and it definitely has a long history of use. There are scientific reasons why it works like increasing blood flow, and even some studies that seam to indicate that it can be effective for a number of health issues.

Whether or not you buy into the whole idea of excess body heat, and everything else that traditional Chinese medicine teaches, I still think that acupuncture is worth trying if you are serious about healing your body and clearing up your acne. Just make sure you only have acupuncture performed by a licensed acupuncturist who has been trained in the art. If you have tried acupuncture before, please tell us about it in the comments! Good luck with your skin care, and have a great day!

Sophia Simmons

I'm not a doctor or anything like that :( , but I love writing about how to have beautiful, clear skin. I put a ton of time and research into everything I write, so I really hope you'll enjoy reading my articles!!

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