Find an acupuncturist...

Can acupuncture get fluid off your feet and ankle

Q. Can acupuncture get fluid off your feet and ankle

A. We are assuming that you have already sought appropriate medical advice about the swelling in your feet and ankles. Although in the vast majority of cases this is a relatively benign symptom it can in one or two cases be the first sign of something more serious and these conditions need to be eliminated before you proceed.

As far as the swelling itself is concerned this is not a 20th century phenomenon, and the Chinese were just as susceptible to these kinds of problems 2000 years ago. Chinese medicine has a different way of looking at the physiology of the body, and especially at the way the Organs of the body work. Because everything is understood as the balance and movement of energy, the Organs are responsible for functional aspects of the flow which extend far beyond what we see an organ doing in the west. The poor distribution of fluid in the body, especially the pooling of fluids in the lower parts, points immediately to a weakness in a specific part of the system as the most likely cause.

That said, it isn't simply a matter of sticking a needle or two in formula points and away you go. in the majority of cases a weakness in one part of the system is a consequence of patterns of imbalance across the whole system, and our belief is that the most important need to be corrected so that the lesser ones will clear. Symptoms are alarm bells, not the problem itself, and although there will be times when a symptom is just what it is and no more, most of the time it requires the skill and expertise of the practitioner to determine how best to unravel the complex patterns.

The best advice that we can give is that you visit a local BAcC member for a brief chat about what may be possible. Most members offer a small amount of time without charge to prospective patients to enable them to make an informed choice about treatment. It will also enable the practitioner to assess whether they need to take care in needling. We try not to needle into heavily swollen areas to reduce the chances of cellulitis and other nasty problems, and this can condition what we are able to do. Working at a distance is just as effective, i.e. needling arms to address problems in legs, and one of our colleagues has led the field in researching the effectiveness of this. It can be quite disconcerting to a patient, though, and a chat before treatment starts may well prepare them for this outcome.

Post a question

If you have any questions about acupuncture, browse our archive or ask an expert.

Ask an expert

BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

Browse the facts