Can Acupuncture Help Circulation in the Legs?

Breeze Academy July 17, 2023
A woman's legs against a blue background

Poor circulation can be both the cause or the result of a number of conditions. But, what if there was a simple, drug-free solution to improving blood flow and circulation? Not only that, but a solution that can be targeted to problem areas such as the legs. In this article, Breeze Academy explores the use of Acupuncture for circulation, how it works and the specific points used to target the legs.

So, can Acupuncture help circulation in the legs? Acupuncture is known for its ability to improve blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Practitioners can target the legs by using specific Acupuncture points. This treatment may also help to improve oxygen circulation, reduce pain, lower blood pressure and boost energy.

Read on to learn more about Acupuncture and circulation with Breeze Academy.

Does Acupuncture Improve Circulation?

A number of studies report how Acupuncture and Dry Needling both improve blood flow and therefore improve overall circulation.  A 2014 review additionally highlighted that improved circulation may also result in pain reduction (low blood flow is typically linked to greater pain intensity). Additionally, Acupuncture may help to improve oxygen circulation, lower blood pressure, promote vascular health and boost energy levels.

Acupuncture for circulation works by inserting needles into specific parts of the body to stimulate nerve fibres and dilate constricted blood vessels that inhibit blood flow. Research into Acupuncture for circulation suggests that the treatment signals the nervous system, causing it to release biochemicals that have a positive influence on blood, tissues and brain cells. When specific Acupuncture points are used, hormones such as substance P, endorphins and peptides flood the bloodstream, correcting conditions such as poor circulation.

In TCM Acupuncture (Traditional Chinese Medicine), this is explained as stimulating energy pathways in the body and enhancing peripheral circulation.

Can Acupuncture Help Poor Leg Circulation?

As above, Acupuncture can help to treat poor leg circulation but specific Acupuncture points must be used to achieve this. These include:

  • Spleen 12 (SP-12) - located at the pelvic region in the centre of the crease where the thigh joins the trunk. 
  • Bladder 40 (BL-40) - located at the soft, fleshy area at the back of the knee, right in the crease of the joint. Note that some practitioners refer to this point as BL-54.
  • Stomach 36 (ST-36) - located approximately four finger widths below the bottom of the kneecap, one finger width outside of the tibia. 
  • Spleen 6 (SP-6) - located approximately three finger widths above the inner ankle.
  • Liver 3 (LR-3) - located in the soft, fleshy area between the big and second toes.

Conditions This Can Help With

Acupuncture for circulation can help with a number of different conditions where poor circulation is a cause or symptom. These include:

Acupuncture for Circulation Contraindications

Acupuncture is known to be a relatively safe intervention, with minimal risks and side effects in comparison to standard western treatments. However, where blood is concerned, there are risks involved. 

For instance, those with haemophilia or other blood disorders are usually advised to not undergo Acupuncture as there are increased risks related to bleeding and clotting. 

Other contraindications to be aware of:

  • Pregnancy
  • Those with uncontrollable movements or spinal instability
  • Skin conditions such as recent wounds, keloid or skin with sensory deficit
  • Those with a pacemaker
  • Those that have had a stroke
  • Those with cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy

Learn more about the safety of Acupuncture and its contraindications in our dedicated blog, Is Acupuncture Safe?

Final Thoughts

Acupuncture is known for its ability to improve circulation. In fact, it’s often improved circulation that helps Acupuncture to treat a wide range of other conditions. With regards to the legs, the use of specific Acupuncture points means that practitioners can tailor their treatment and localise it to the legs, thus improving circulation in that area.

If you’re a healthcare professional interested in offering Acupuncture for individuals struggling with poor circulation, take a look at our Acupuncture courses online today. 

Our foundation-level Acupuncture courses are available throughout the UK, giving you all the knowledge you need to safely and effectively practise Acupuncture. There are also a number of more advanced CPD Acupuncture courses available to take your skills to the next level. 

Take a look at our range of courses online today, or get in touch for more information.

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