Different Types Of Acupuncture — (Wellness Coach’s Advice)

Types of Acupuncture from Find It Health Coaches and Benefits for Traditional Chinese

As a health and wellness coach at Find It Health, I’d like to introduce you to the various types of acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing technique that has been used for centuries to promote health and well-being.

 It involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the human body, known as “acupoints.” This stimulates the flow of energy, or qi (chee), and can help to release blocked or stagnant energy, therefore improving the body’s overall health. Keep reading to learn more about what this ancient practice can do for your health and wellness.

Types of Acupuncture from Find It Health Coaches and Benefits for Traditional Chinese

Acupuncture Types and Benefits

No matter your health concerns, there is likely a type of acupuncture that can help you find relief. Our research team here at Find It Health has compiled a list of the most common types of acupuncture and what they’re used for:

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

This type of acupuncture is based on the Chinese medical system and involves inserting needles into acupoints along meridians to stimulate qi flow. It treats chronic pain, digestive issues, menstrual irregularities, and fertility issues.

Japanese Acupuncture

This type of acupuncture is very light and precise. It uses ultra-fine needles inserted shallowly into the skin and is often used to relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and fatigue, and promote relaxation.

Its subtle nature means that the needles usually cause minimal discomfort during treatment.

The theory behind Japanese Acupuncture is based on the belief that proper alignment of pathways between the body and mind can stimulate healing energy within the patient. With its impressive track record, this powerful modality continues to provide significant relief to many patients across the globe today.

Auricular Acupuncture

Auricular acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing method that applies pressure to specific points on the ear, often resulting in pain relief throughout the body. This approach is widely believed to be effective among many health professionals and can be used for addiction treatment and managing conditions like chronic pain and fatigue.

Its subtle nature means that the needles usually cause minimal discomfort during treatment.


Electroacupuncture is a unique form of acupuncture that uses low-intensity electric current to further energize the needlework. By increasing the frequency and intensity of stimulus, not only can this method help reduce muscular pain, but also allow healing energy to flow more freely. 

This type of treatment has been used to treat headaches, neck pain, backaches, and sore muscles with encouraging results in many chronic ache sufferers.

Laser Acupuncture

This non-invasive treatment harnesses the power of laser light to stimulate precise points on the body. Laser acupuncture is much gentler than needle acupuncture, as there are no needles involved, making it ideal for families with children, elderly individuals, or those who have a fear of needles.

Unlike traditional acupuncture, this technique can also be used for pain relief without insertion of sterile needles in the skin. It is becoming quickly accepted as a viable option for both conventional and complementary treatments in many clinical settings.

Korean Hand Acupuncture 

Korean Hand acupuncture is a unique treatment that has been used in Korea for centuries to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain.

It involves using very thin needles inserted into specific points on the hands and feet and then manipulated to stimulate those areas. 

This stimulation can help reduce inflammation,vomiting, and treat irritable bowel syndrome. It is often used as an alternative therapy to conventional medicinal treatments since it carries very few risks and has been proven effective in many cases.


Acupressure is a gentle alternative to traditional acupuncture that uses finger or hand pressure applied to specific points in the body, known as acupoints. The pressure helps relieve tightness, tension, and provides  pain medication in these areas, with results that are often long-lasting. 

Because of its non-invasive nature, it can be used safely and effectively to treat a vast array of conditions related to stress and discomfort, including chronic pain, insomnia, emotional disorders, and digestive issues. Given its minimal risk profile, acupressure is quickly becoming a popular holistic medicine option for many.


Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that uses heat to stimulate energy pathways and relieve various physical ailments. It is often combined with acupuncture treatments and involves burning packaged Mugwort (‘moxa’) on or near acupuncture points on the body. This heat increases blood circulation, warms stiffness, and encourages the release of endorphins, providing relief from chronic pain. 

It also helps improve digestive issues and is an effective treatment for fertility issues. In addition to its many therapeutic benefits, moxibustion can provide soothing relaxation during stress-related times, allowing people to live a better quality of life.

Five-Element Acupuncture

Five-Element acupuncture is unlike other forms of acupuncture as it takes into account the subtle balance between physical, emotional, and spiritual energies that live in each person.

 It puts together five elements that act as a matrix to determine where blockages are located and how best to heal them. Using pressure points along pathways or ‘meridians’ in the body can unblock blocked energy, enabling balance and harmony. 

This form of treatment is highly beneficial for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Still, it is also known to have a positive effect on chronic pain, digestive problems, and even infertility.

 Integrative Medicine Acupuncture 

Integrative Medicine Acupuncture is a specialized form of acupuncture that bridges the gap between Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A trained practitioner will assess patients to determine how best to approach their condition and use a combination of techniques that may include electrical stimulation, laser therapy, and other TCM treatments. 

This style of Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating chronic pain, fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

 Sham Acupuncture

Sham acupuncture is a form of placebo acupuncture used to test the effectiveness of more traditional forms of acupuncture. It involves the insertion of needles into non-acupuncture points to simulate the experience of a regular acupuncture session without any therapeutic benefit.

It has been used in clinical studies to demonstrate how effective acupuncture is, and it is also used by practitioners to better understand the effects of acupuncture.


Risks Of Different Styles of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment option, although there are certain risks associated with each style. Having a simple routine health check prior to treatment is recommended, as well as consulting a qualified practitioner who is experienced in the style of acupuncture being used. 

Complications such as bruising, lightheadedness and bleeding can occur but are generally minor.

Always check with your primary care physician before taking part in any natural remedies.

  • Moxibustion carries the risk of burns or scarring due to the heat generated by the moxa. 
  • Five-Element Acupuncture may cause lightheadedness or nausea due to the manipulation of energy pathways in the body. 
  • Acupressure, conversely, carries the least risk, as it does not involve any needles and is painless. 
  • When it comes to electroacupuncture, there is a risk of skin irritation, usually due to a reaction to the electrical currents used in the treatment. 
  • Laser acupuncture may have a risk of tingling or a light touch due to the high-intensity laser beams used.

It’s important to note that all styles of acupuncture should be administered by a trained and experienced professional. It is also good to seek a licensed practitioner certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for advice and treatment.


Our List: What Can Acupuncture Treat

The goal of acupuncture is to help patients achieve physical, emotional and spiritual balance in order to experience improved overall well-being.

With the help of a qualified practitioner, acupuncture can be a highly effective treatment for many ailments, both physical and mental. Some of the most common conditions that acupuncture can help to treat include:

  • Migraines 
  • Stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Insomnia 
  • Digestive issues 
  • Infertility 
  • Back pain 
  • Neck and shoulder pain 
  • Sciatica 
  • Arthritis 
  • Fibromyalgia  
  • Hypertension 
  • Asthma 
  • Addictions and eating disorders
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome


Types Of Acupuncture Points

Acupuncture points are located along pathways called ‘meridians’ that run throughout the body. Depending on the style of acupuncture, different points may be used to target blockages in the energy pathways. Common points used in acupuncture include:

  • Lungs 
  • Stomach  
  • Liver 
  • Kidneys 
  • Heart 
  • Spleen 
  • GallBladder
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Pericardium
  • Triple energizer 

Acupuncturists may also use special points called ‘auricular points,’ located on the outer ear, and ‘extraordinary points’ on other areas of the body, such as the hands and feet.

Types Of Acupuncture Needles

Acupuncture needles come in different sizes, lengths, and shapes. The type of needle used will depend on the patient’s situation and the acupuncture treatment being administered. The table below describes the nine most commonly used needles in acupuncture.

Needle typeLengthFunction
Spade type5cmUsed to treat conditions that don’t specifically impact one area of the body but are found close to the skin
Round-pointed type5cmUsed for rubbing one’s skin’s surface.
Pressure needle type11.2cmUsed for skin massage and increased qi movement
Sharp-edge type5cmTo treat persistent numbness and extreme heat through bloodletting
Sword-shape type12.8cmUsed to get rid of putrid discharge
Fine 5cm or 11.52cmUsed for pain relief
Long 22.4cmUsed for treating illnesses that are deeply rooted in the tissues
Large 12.8cmUsed for draining water from the joints
Round-sharp type5cmUsed for getting rid of violent qi

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of treatments is Acupuncture most effective for?

Acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of conditions categorized as follows: 

DigestiveRespirationEmotionalEyes, Ears & ThroatReproductiveMusculoskeletalNeurological
Irritable bowel syndromeAllergic rhinitisAnxietySore ThroatMenstrual cramps Chronic back painHeadaches
GastritisSinusitisDepressionRhinitisInfertilityNeck PainMigraines
HemorrhoidsAsthmaInsomniaSinusitisNeck painStroke

What types of treatments do acupuncturists perform?

Acupuncturists typically perform a variety of treatments, depending on the condition being treated. These may include: 

  • Manual Acupuncture – using needles. 
  • Electroacupuncture – using electrical current to stimulate acupuncture points) 
  • Laser acupuncture – using laser light to stimulate acupuncture points.
  • Moxibustion – using heat to stimulate acupuncture points. 

Acupuncturists may also use other treatments, such as cupping therapy or gua sha (scraping the skin to improve blood flow), to enhance their treatment. 

What is the difference between medical Acupuncture and Chinese Acupuncture?

Medical Acupuncture is a type of Western-style acupuncture that has been adapted to suit modern medical practices. It typically uses fewer needles and focuses more on the physiological processes rather than traditional Chinese philosophy. 

Chinese acupuncture, also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture, is a holistic approach that takes into account a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

It typically uses more needles than medical Acupuncture, and the selection of points and techniques used will depend on the individual’s constitution and the condition being treated. 

What are the nine types of acupuncture needles?

The nine types of acupuncture needles are:

  1. Spade type 
  2. Round-pointed 
  3. Pressure type
  4. Sharp-edge
  5. Sword shape
  6. Fine type needle
  7. Long type needle
  8. Large type needle
  9. Round-sharp type

Who is Acupuncture not recommended for?

Acupuncture is not recommended for pregnant women, people who have a pacemaker or metal implants, suffer from bleeding disorders or take certain anticoagulants. It is also not recommended for people under the influence of alcohol or drugs, who have an infection at the intended acupuncture site, or who have a fever. 

It is important to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about acupuncture with a licensed acupuncturist before you begin treatment. 

Which is better, Chinese or Japanese Acupuncture?

Both Chinese and Japanese acupuncture have their unique styles and approaches. Chinese acupuncture is more focused on balancing the flow of qi (energy) in the body, while Japanese acupuncture is more focused on stimulating specific points, such as the back, to alleviate symptoms

In general, both approaches are effective in treating a range of conditions. Ultimately, the best approach for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.


Conclusion – Research by Findithealth.com

find it health logo horizontal new

Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments. It is a safe and effective treatment that can relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, improve digestion, and increase fertility. 

Several types of acupuncture therapies are available, and it is important to work with a qualified acupuncturist to find the best approach for you. Remember – no matter which type of acupuncture you choose, the goal remains the same: to restore balance and health in the body.


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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
small find it health logo browser icon


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