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You’re already being treated for what ails you. But there’s something you might not have tried yet — and it could bring some extra relief.

For more than 3,500 years, the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has helped people ease their symptoms and lessen their pain. Acupuncture isn’t a replacement for conventional medicine, but it can be the perfect add-on to your current treatment.

Some people use acupuncture to relieve the pain of a chronic health condition or to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Others use it to help clear up seasonal allergies or pair it with physical therapy after an injury. Whatever your reason, Cleveland Clinic’s licensed acupuncturists will customize your treatment to your specific health needs.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Acupuncture?

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Personalized care:

Our acupuncturists look at your overall health and diagnoses to decide on your acupuncture points and create your unique treatment plan.

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Collaborative care:

Because acupuncture is a complement to traditional medicine, our experts work with your regular medical team to incorporate acupuncture into your care. Meet our team.

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Comfort convenience:

To make acupuncture as accessible as possible, we offer group appointments, where groups of people can get low-cost treatment at the same time in the same place.

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Recognized expertise:

When it comes to the mind/body/spirit connection, our providers are at the forefront of the most updated research and practices, serving as a resource for both physicians and patients.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We’re recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

What Acupuncture Can Help With

Lots of people, both with and without health concerns, can benefit from acupuncture. Just trying to unwind? That’s a perfectly valid reason to try this soothing therapy, which can stimulate your body’s immune system and promote overall well-being.

If you’re already having treatment for a health condition, though, you can add acupuncture to the mix as a form of complementary medicine. It’s often used to help relieve the pain and discomfort that can come with conditions like:

Acupuncture can also be used as a complementary treatment for conditions that affect your reproductive system, including:

And, finally, acupuncture isn’t just for people with physical health challenges. It can also help with conditions related to your mental and emotional health, like:

What to expect at your first visit

If you’ve never tried acupuncture, you may be feeling a little bit uneasy about the idea of having someone stick needles into your skin. It’s natural to feel a little nervous! When you come in for your first appointment, though, our specialists will help make sure you know exactly what to expect.

First, your acupuncturist will spend some time learning more about you. They’ll want to know why you’ve come to see them and what health issues you’ve had in the past. They’ll also:

  • Ask about your medical history and current health concerns.
  • Do a brief physical exam, including looking at your tongue and taking your pulse.
  • Explain your treatment options and how acupuncture may be able to help you.
  • Answer any questions you have about the process.

This part of the visit typically takes 20-30 minutes. Then your first acupuncture session will begin.


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

Acupuncture at Cleveland Clinic

Our acupuncture sessions are all about creating a calming, stress-free atmosphere where you can feel comfortable and relaxed, sort of like being at a spa. Sessions take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

You’ll lie on a padded table as your acupuncturist carefully inserts fine, steel needles into certain points on your skin, like your hands, legs, ears and scalp. Unlike sewing needles, acupuncture needles are very slender — almost as thin as a human hair — so that they don’t cause pain. You could feel a tiny prick or tickle when a needle goes in, or you may not feel anything at all.

Depending on your treatment, your acupuncturist will insert anywhere from three to 20 needles, which will stay in place for at least 20 minutes. You’ll lie still and listen to some light, soothing music while you wait for them to remove the needles. It can be such a relaxing experience that you might even fall asleep!

Follow-Up Appointments

Your first acupuncture appointment is the only one that starts with a formal evaluation. During future visits, you can update your acupuncturist on how you’ve been feeling since you last saw them and whether there’s anything you want to focus on during this session.

How often you see your acupuncturist depends on what condition you’re being treated for and how bad your symptoms are. In the beginning, you may have one acupuncture session a week for a few weeks. Then, you and your acupuncturist will talk about how often you should see them.

Taking the Next Step

Acupuncture isn’t a substitute for traditional medicine, but when paired with other therapies, it can be a powerful addition to your overall care. After all, you’re not just your medical conditions. You’re a whole person. While your other treatments focus on your physical well-being, acupuncture hones in on your mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. It can make your symptoms easier to bear and relieve some of the stress that often comes when you have a health condition.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s licensed acupuncturists is easy. We’ll help you get the treatment you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s licensed acupuncturists is easy. We’ll help you get the treatment you need.

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