When acupuncture doesn't work

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

I would love to say that 100% of people who get acupuncture treatment, with me, will be 100% better.

I'm not a modern-day medical miracle. I am not and cannot say I will cure everything and everyone.

Medicine is fallible. Biomedicine doesn't always work. Acupuncture doesn't always work.

So today I will talk about when acupuncture treatments don't help. And if you have any questions then get in touch. I would love to chat.

Love from Andrea


When we enter into a therapeutic relationship we each have to bring 50% to the table. The relationship is like Yin and Yang. We each require the other to play their part.

My 50% is that I will bring my knowledge and expertise in acupuncture. My advice, according to Chinese medicine principles will be given to you to follow between treatments. I will bring 100% to my half of the relationship.

In turn, your 50% is that no one will know what it is to live in your body. To live with, for example, your pain or acne or hayfever or depression. You are the expert in your signs and symptoms. Your body. Your mind. You may need to consider changing or altering your behaviour to help your body mend. Your 50% also requires 100% commitment.


So what happens when treatment doesn't help your signs and symptoms?

I wish I could say which treatments will work. When we speak on a discovery call we will discuss your condition and my experience. I know which conditions, acupuncture is purported to help with. But what I cannot account for is:

  1. How long you have had your condition. The longer you have lived with something the longer it may take to treat.

  2. The complexity and layer of your conditions. You may have multiple conditions

  3. If you cannot or will not make changes, based on my guidance, and which my experience tells me will help you.

  4. Consistency. Consistency means coming for treatments regularly i.e. not one week and then coming back 3 weeks later and then coming again 2 weeks later. Someone once described acupuncture to me like antibiotics. You need to complete the course to see if they have worked. Consistency also means you cannot expect acupuncture to do everything. It is part of three legs, alongside food and lifestyle. Consistency needs to be across all three areas.

  5. I have been learning acupuncture for the past three years (approximately 3,800 hours in total). Full-time. I have dedicated myself to its practice. However, my own clinical experience is CURRENTLY limited to the 400 hours of student clinic which I have just undertaken. I will not have seen every condition. But it doesn't matter, because, for example, one person's insomnia (that I have already seen in the clinic) will be different to another.

  6. And I may get it wrong. As hard as I try to be the best acupuncturist I can be, with continued professional development and learning, maybe there will be practitioner fault. I might not have asked you a pertinent question that would have led me to a different and correct diagnosis.