Acupuncture Points for Shoulder Pain (Health Coach's Tips)

Acupuncture Points for Shoulder Pain from Health Coaches at Find It Health Helping You with Tendonitis

As the primary health and wellness specialist at, I’m here to explain how acupuncture can considerably help with the alleviation of shoulder discomfort.

Acupuncture is a natural alternative therapy that offers amazing benefits for a wide array of symptoms. If your job puts you at risk for this issue or if your painful shoulder is persistent or comes and goes, you should think about trying acupuncture. Let this article be your starting point.

Acupuncture Points for Shoulder Pain from Health Coaches at Find It Health Helping You with Tendonitis

Shoulder Pain Acupuncture Points

The following acupoints are pertinent for treating shoulder pain.

Fan Hou Jue

The acupoint is located on the back of the hand and down from the webbing.

Ce San Li

Located on the exterior of the shin bone, several inches below the kneecap. The nerve and circulatory structures that link to the shoulder are stimulated by this acupoint.

Lou Zhen

This acupoint, which is situated in a depression right beyond the knuckles, targets stiff necks but also works well for treating shoulder pain.

Small Intestine 3

Making a fist will help you find this place; just follow the lengthy palm crease to the end below the pinky. This acupoint can stimulate the healing of the shoulder.

Gallbladder 21

This acupoint is regarded as a local point and is situated at the apex of the trapezius muscle in the neck and shoulder region. In acupuncture parlance, a local point increases the blood flow to the area to help the injury heal.


Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain: Effectiveness

We’ve found through our research that acupuncture for shoulder pain can be effective but needs further review.

The efficacy of acupuncture for shoulder discomfort is examined in the following research:

One clinical trial examined the effectiveness of customized and standardized acupuncture treatments for chronic shoulder muscle pain. Standardized acupuncture uses predetermined acupoints for healing, whereas personalized acupuncture calls for the prescription of particular acupoints based on the diagnosis.

Both acupuncture techniques were found to be effective after 6 weeks of therapy, but using standardized points may simplify patient care.

In a systematic review, results indicate that acupuncture could be safe and effective for pain reduction and restoring shoulder function for the short term and mid-term. But for more definitive evidence, more high-quality and longer studies are needed.


Acupuncture for Tendonitis in The Shoulder

Because it can significantly shorten the healing period, acupuncture can be an excellent treatment for tendon problems.

Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon’s fibrous tissues that attaches the muscles to the bone.

Tendonitis is characterized by pain and tenderness at or near the joints, particularly when moving the joints, as well as potential swelling in the region. 

Patients occasionally describe feeling numb and tingly. The afflicted joints may be unable to move freely because of stiffness and pain. The shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, and heel are the joints most frequently impacted by tendonitis. Most typically, a person who works long, continuous hours on a computer, a massage therapist, a musician, or a mechanic will sustain an arm strain injury.

These ailments have the potential to cause what is known as local Qi blood congestion in the channels, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture can aid in reducing pain while also promoting the body’s natural capacity for recovery. 

Blood flow and oxygen levels can be improved by needling the painful location to help the tissues heal. According to research, acupuncture can significantly aid to lessen tendonitis pain and improve blood flow to and around a tendon.


Acupuncture Points for a Rotator Cuff Injury

Using trigger point acupuncture needling to relieve rotator cuff pain is quite effective.

When you raise your arm above or behind your head, particularly if you have a rotator cuff injury, you may have acute shoulder discomfort and stabbing pains in the shoulder area. This kind of injury frequently occurs as a result of overusing the shoulders while doing overhead activities like throwing a baseball or lifting large objects. The injury manifests as a partial or total ripping of the shoulder’s muscles or tendons.

The muscles constrict, preventing vital blood from getting to the affected area. Nevertheless, trigger point acupuncture can clear these obstructions, reduce discomfort, and start the healing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many acupuncture sessions are needed for shoulder pain?

For a frozen shoulder, an acupuncture session of once or twice per week for four weeks is a good starting point. Your acupuncturist will determine the precise number of sessions you require on your initial visit after evaluating your medical history and the seriousness of your problem.

If you are receiving acupuncture for acute pain or sports injury you might notice that the pain relief happens almost instantaneously from the very first treatment.

But for chronic pain, it could take up to two to three sessions for the pain to start subsiding. In some cases, you might notice that your pain moves to other areas of the body. Because once the primary pain heals, the secondary pain sites become more noticeable.

However, it is likely that acupuncture does not work for you if you have tried it for longer than two weeks or four to six sessions without experiencing any obvious improvement. It’s essential to attend your sessions consistently to maintain the momentum and continue experiencing pain alleviation.

What are the acupuncture points for shoulder pain?

For shoulder stiffness, acupuncturists aim for the muscle or fascia below the meridian points. Specifically, many healers aim for the trigger point (TP) as the therapeutic point. The effectiveness of this group of acupoints has been examined in a study. Between the meridian point treatment group, false acupuncture group, and TP group, only the TP treatment considering the pain in the muscle and fascia was effective.

If you’re not sure if your discomfort is neck and shoulder pain, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Your shoulder blades feel tight
  • You have trouble turning your head
  • It’s challenging to touch your chin to your chest
  • You have trouble leaning back because it hurts or you feel vulnerable
  • You find it challenging to maintain your arms in the air for an extended amount of time
  • When you raise your arms above, you experience a squeeze in your shoulders
  • You frequently have headaches

What is the fastest way to cure shoulder pain?

The following are treatments for shoulder discomfort that work quickly:

  • Medication for soothing inflammation if you are allowed to take these medications
  • Treatment with heat and cold for the painful area.
  • Salt baths have been shown to reduce pain and edema.
  • Stretch within the limits of your pain tolerance and physiological awareness.
  • Massage the site of injury to reduce spasms and pain.

Keep in mind that there are numerous reasons for shoulder pain. If you think your shoulder pain is unusual or that none of the suggested treatments works, you should see a doctor.

Is acupuncture good for rotator cuff pain?

Many muscular-skeletal problems, such as shoulder and rotator cuff pain, are treatable with acupuncture. A collection of tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint is known as the rotator cuff. These muscles support the joint and lift the arm. The rotator cuff injury is brought on by inflammation or muscle tears at this location. Athletes and others who engage in repetitive motions at work are prone to rotator cuff injuries.

For relief from rotator cuff pain, people frequently seek acupuncture for the reasons listed below:

  • The rotator cuff pain is persisting for more than a few weeks
  • The pain is impeding your routine and keeping you from doing activities you enjoy
  • Your shoulder pain is harming your quality of life
  • You’ve undergone nonsurgical treatments without success

Where are acupuncture needles placed for shoulder pain?

Around the shoulder area and upper arm, acupuncture needles are placed at various depths. Even though the insertions could be slightly uncomfortable due to the thinness of the needles, most people don’t even notice them. Typically, five to twenty needles are used in therapy.
But, after evaluating your general health, your acupuncturist will decide the exact acupoints to perform the procedure. To promote equilibrium and the release of neurotransmitters, they can be needling additional locations close to organ meridians.


Conclusion – Research by

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Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate healing and relieve pain. Many people choose acupuncture as a complementary therapy for shoulder pain because it can be an effective and non-invasive way to manage pain and improve mobility.

There are several reasons why someone might choose acupuncture for shoulder pain:

  • Pain relief: Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body. By promoting the release of these endorphins, acupuncture can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the shoulder.
  • Improved circulation: Acupuncture can also improve blood flow to the affected area, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Non-invasive: Unlike many conventional treatments for shoulder pain, such as surgery or corticosteroid injections, acupuncture is a non-invasive therapy that does not require any drugs or surgery.
  • Holistic approach: Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to healing and considers the entire body, not just the affected area. This can help to address any underlying imbalances or issues that may be contributing to shoulder pain.

It’s important to note that while acupuncture can be an effective therapy for shoulder pain, it may not be appropriate for everyone. It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before trying any new therapies, including acupuncture.


Find It Health Editor in Chief Luz Chacon Health and Wellness Coach Giving You Advice

Luz Chacon

Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches