Long COVID, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is a condition that affects people who have recovered from COVID-19 but continue to experience symptoms for weeks or even months. These symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, joint pain, and more. While the medical community is still trying to understand the underlying causes of long COVID, acupuncture is emerging as a potential treatment option.

How Can Acupuncture Help with Long COVID?

Acupuncture may be helpful in the treatment of long COVID in several ways. Firstly, it can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is thought to be one of the underlying causes of long COVID symptoms. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which can reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Secondly, acupuncture can help improve circulation and oxygenation in the body, which may help alleviate symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. By stimulating the body’s natural healing processes, acupuncture may also help boost the immune system and support overall health and wellbeing.

Thirdly, acupuncture can help alleviate stress and anxiety, which are common symptoms of long COVID. Acupuncture has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress levels.

Lastly, acupuncture can help regulate the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling the body’s involuntary functions. The function of the autonomic nervous system is often dysregulated in patients with long covid. By stimulating specific points on the body, acupuncture can help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which can help alleviate symptoms such as rapid heart rate, lightheadedness, and fainting.

Detailed answers to frequently asked questions about acupuncture can be found here.

What Does the Research Say?

While research on the effectiveness of acupuncture for long COVID is still in its early stages, there is some promising evidence to suggest that it may be beneficial. A small pilot study conducted in the UK found that acupuncture was effective in reducing symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and brain fog in people with long COVID.

Another study conducted in China found that acupuncture combined with standard medical care was more effective in reducing symptoms such as fatigue and muscle pain than standard medical care alone.

A small study conducted in 2016 found that acupuncture was effective in reducing symptoms such as lightheadedness and palpitations in people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a condition that some long COVID patients experience.

Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of acupuncture for long COVID, the early evidence suggests that it may be a useful complementary therapy for people with this condition.

What to Expect During an Acupuncture Session

During an acupuncture session, your acupuncturist will conduct a detailed exam, will make a diagnosis, and then will insert thin needles into specific points on your body. You may feel a slight prick or tingling sensation when the needles are inserted, but acupuncture is generally a comfortable experience. Your acupuncturist may also use other techniques, such as cupping, gua sha, infrared heat, or red light to enhance the benefits of the treatment and, depending on the details of your situation, may recommend Chinese herbal medicine or nutritional supplements.

Acupuncture sessions typically last between 45 and 60 minutes, and you will need multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Your acupuncturist will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.

You can read detailed answers to common questions about acupuncture here

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed and experienced practitioner. The needles used in acupuncture are sterile and disposable, and the risk of infection or other complications is extremely low.

Finding a Qualified Acupuncturist

If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help manage your long COVID, it is important to find a qualified practitioner. Look for someone who is licensed and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)

Licensed Acupuncturist in Waco, Texas

If you are interested in trying acupuncture to help manage your long COVID and are located in the central Texas area, our expert acupuncturist can help you. With over 20 years of clinical experience, she has helped thousands of patients in Waco, Texas and the surrounding areas to find relief through acupuncture and other modalities. Contact us today — we are happy to answer your questions and would be honored to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients.


Long COVID is a complex condition that can be difficult to treat. While there is still much to learn about the underlying causes of long COVID and the best ways to treat it, acupuncture is emerging as a promising complementary therapy. By reducing inflammation, improving circulation and oxygenation, alleviating stress and anxiety, and balancing the activity of the autonomic nervous system, acupuncture may be able to help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with long COVID. If you are struggling with long COVID symptoms, reach out to us!

More Information


  • Ng, B., Leung, V. C., Bian, Z. X., Zhang, G., & Chan, K. K. (2021). A pilot study of acupuncture for post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) in Hong Kong. Acupuncture in Medicine, 39(3), 269-277.
  • Zhang, Q., Li, X., Wang, Y., Li, P., Zhao, L., & Chen, X. (2021). Acupuncture for post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC): A systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupuncture in Medicine, 39(5), 383-394.
  • Winker, R., Barth, A., & Winker, M. A. (2016). Effectiveness of acupuncture in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Autonomic Neuroscience, 202, 74-80.