4 Ways To Use Acupuncture For Tendonitis

Person having acupuncture on hands, close-up

Get in Touch With the Master

In acupuncture, the points have very specific mechanisms of action and uses. For tendonitis, you can use the Master Point of Tendons to help stimulate healing. The point known as Gall Bladder 34, located on the lateral side of the leg, about a hand-breadth below the knee joint, is known as the master or influential point of tendons or sinews and has been used for thousands of years to speed healing in musculoskeletal injuries involving ligaments and tendons. Its effective use has also been verified over the years through a number of scientific studies, in combination with other points, including some near the affected site. You can massage this point yourself or apply linaments or essential oils to this point to help speed your healing. Check with a point location guide to get the exact location.

Poke the Healthy Side

An old Oriental theory states that injuries or lesions are sometimes caused by the opposite side being too strong or otherwise out of balance. Thus, acupuncturists may sometimes treat the side opposite the injury to balance the flow of energy without having to needle an already-injured spot. This type of treatment is best for chronic tendonitis that has not responded to other types of treatment, or for the very old, weak or otherwise compromised patients. If you have an injury that just will not heal, ask an acupuncturist to treat the opposite side of the body.

As Above, so Below

Sometimes indirect treatment works best. In this approach, the practitioner will needle areas of the body above and below the site of the injury, without directly treating the injury itself. This treatment method works very well for repetitive motion injuries where a lot of stuck energy or inflammation, swelling or scar tissue builds up a the site of the pain. It works by drawing energy through the site of the injury, creating flow, rather than just drawing energy to the site. This protocol may also involve the use of electroacupuncture or qi gong, energy emitted by the practitioner, to help create the needed flow through the site. Talk to your acupuncturist about these options for creating more flow through the site of the tendonitis.

A Hot Topical

Some practitioners, in addition to acupuncture, will apply a paste, cream or gel made of warming or hot herbs like cayenne, to help increase blood flow to the site and decrease pain. Because Oriental medicine developed alongside the Asian martial arts traditions, there is a very long tradition of topical herbal treatment for things like tendonitis. Certain martial arts schools developed secret or proprietary formulas for treating injuries. The Buddhist Shao Lin monks, famed for their martial arts prowess, developed a formula called Yunnan Baiyao for treating things like tendonitis, while the Taoist monks developed Dit Da Jow, literally translated as Hit Medicine, for the same purpose. Both are very effective. Look for topical herbal remedies for tendonitis herbal apothecaries and Asian markets worldwide.