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Acupuncture for Raynaud's disease

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Treatment
  5. Research

1. Overview

Raynaud's disease is poor circulation to the hands and feet. Often the fingers and toes are affected.

2. Symptoms

Raynaud's symptoms include cold hands and feets, which ma ybe numb, painful and discoloured. Fingers may look deformed.

3. Causes

In western medicine, there are two types of Raynaud's phenomenon; primary Raynaud's, when the cause is unknown, and secondary Raynaud's, which occurs as a result of another condition. In traditional Chinese medicine, the cause is always known.

It occurs more in women when they are cold, such as winter time or emotionally stressed.

Raynaud's disease is very much related to a person's circulation. A person's circulation can be reduced by cold weather, which makes blood move slower and stress, which causes tension and again doesn't allow energy or blood to move freely.

4. Treatment for Raynaud's disease

Treatment of Raynaud's disease include reducing exposure to triggers, exercise and stopping smoking whilst reducing emotional stress.

In traditional Chinese medicine theory, Raynaud's is poor circulation to the hands caused by stagnation of qi and blood.

Conventional treatments on offer include emotional counselling, heat therapy and alternative treatment such as acupuncture. Traditional acupuncture reduces Raynaud syndrome.

Chinese acupuncture treatments are great at reducing the duration of attacks in people with primary raynaud's disease. It does this by regulating energy and blood flow as well as reducing stress and tension and reduce the frequency of attacks. It is therefore ideal in the treatment of Raynaud's disease.

5. Research evidence

Clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of accupuncture treatment in people with Raynaud's disease.


S. Anderson, et al. Acupuncture- from Empiricism to Science: Functional Background to Acupuncture Effects in Pain and Disease. Medical Hypotheses (1995) 45, 271-281.
Bacchini M, Conci F, Roccia L, Carrossino R. [Circulatory disorders and acupuncture] Minerva Med. 1979 May;70(24) 1755-1757. PMID: 450314.
Qureshi, N., Sharma, S., Guru, R., Kahlenberg, A., & Alharbi, M. (2019). Raynaud�s Disease and Clinical Challenges: A Minireview of Literature with a Spotlight on Acupuncture. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 29(7), 1-10.