Acupuncture Treatment of Shoulder Pain

Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

Practitioners of Chinese Medicine divide the shoulder into regions that correspond to specific meridians or energy pathways. Stagnation or other derangements of qi flow along these channels will impair the shoulder movement and sensation of the shoulder and other body areas. Licensed acupuncturist Dr. Lisa Oskardmay uses acupuncture treatment, massage, and chiropractic adjustments to the spine and extremities to improve qi flow and heal shoulder pain naturally.

Many people ask how an acupuncturist knows which points to choose for problems affecting the shoulder. Dr. Oskardmay uses individualized treatments for each person; point selection depends on many factors. Location of pain and type of pain, and associated conditions such as movements causing distress or other conditions play a role in point selection. Acupuncture points along meridians reflect various treatment goals, and point selection is an important treatment component.

For instance, the metal channel consists of lung yin and large intestine yang energies on the thumb side of the hand, forearm, arm, and shoulder. Pain in these areas may indicate an imbalance in metal qi flow, and points along the metal channel may benefit this condition. Alternately, fire element channels small intestine yang and heart yin, or Xin bao yin or san jiao yang exist on the posterior aspect of the shoulder, upper back, and pinky finger side of the hand. Pain in any of these areas may indicate disturbance of fire dynamics, and point selection of points along the fire channels could support these regions. Along the lateral shoulder side and outer upper back exist wood energies; Dr. Oskardmay may choose points along the associated gallbladder yang or liver yin channels to soothe wood imbalance resulting in shoulder pain and irritation there.

Additionally, emotional states may suggest channel flow concerns, and points selected can help to support organs associated with the channel in question. For instance, the metal channel organs- yin lung and yang large intestine benefit from treatment to the metal meridian and associated channels. We use our lungs for breathing and gathering energy, and the affiliated organ of the skin detoxifies and protects us. The large intestine releases toxins. Issues with toxicity, energy, inspiration, grief, and ‘not letting go’ of things may indicate a need for metal point selection. Dr. Oskardmay will ask a few questions during each treatment session to further understand which points to address while treating upper extremity conditions.

Fire channel organs, heart yin, and small intestine yang relate to our joy, spirit, and consciousness. The physical heart pumps blood throughout the body, and the energetic heart, as seen in Chinese medicine, energizes our being in many ways. The small intestine passes food from the stomach to the colon, absorbing necessary nutrients along the way. Similarly, the energetic fire yang organ assists in the organization of thoughts and feelings, helping us make a good decision. If patients describe issues with joy, consciousness, organization, calm decision-making, Dr. Oskardmay may choose points along the fire channel to treat shoulder pain.

Many factors go into point selection for shoulder pain. Dr. Lisa Oskardmay will gently guide each patient to help her understand where pain exists and some of the accompanying acute or chronic channel conditions. For more information on how acupuncture can help your shoulder pain or other health problems, call us today to schedule your appointment at (919) 929-1400 or schedule online 24 hours a day at

Serving the communities of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Hillsborough, and the rest of the NC Triangle

205 Providence Rd. Chapel Hill NC 27514 | Phone: (919) 929-1400

Powered by Matador Solutions
The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.