World Health Organisation

Diseases and disorders that can be treated with Acupuncture 

(published by The World Health Organisation) April 18 2017

The diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials reported in the recent literature can be classified into four categories as shown below.

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proved— through controlled trials—to be an effective treatment:

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy 

Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)

Biliary colic

Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

Dysentery, acute bacillary Dysmenorrhoea, primary

Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)

Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders) Headache

Hypertension, essential Hypotension, primary Induction of labour Knee pain

Leukopenia Low back pain

Malposition of fetus, 

Correction of Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting 

Neck pain

Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)

Periarthritis of shoulder 

Postoperative pain 

Renal colic Rheumatoid arthritis




Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)

Acne vulgaris

Alcohol dependence and detoxification 

Bell’s palsy

Bronchial asthma 

Cancer pain 

Cardiac neurosis

Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation Cholelithiasis

Competition stress syndrome 

Craniocerebral injury, closed

Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent 


Epidemic haemorrhagic fever

Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease) 

Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection

Female infertility 

Facial spasm

Female urethral syndrome 

Fibromyalgia and fasciitis 

Gastrokinetic disturbance 

Gouty arthritis

Hepatitis B virus carrier status

Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3) Hyperlipaemia



Labour pain

Lactation, deficiency

Male sexual dysfunction, 

non-organic Ménière disease

Disease and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture

Neuralgia, post-herpetic



Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence


Pain due to endoscopic examination

Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans

Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)

Postextubation in children

Postoperative convalescence

Premenstrual syndrome

Prostatitis, chronic


Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome

Raynaud syndrome, primary

Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection

Reflex sympathetic dystrophy

Retention of urine, traumatic


Sialism, drug-induced

Sjögren syndrome

Sore throat (including tonsillitis)

Spine pain, acute

Stiff neck

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Tietze syndrome

Tobacco dependence

Tourette syndrome

Ulcerative colitis, chronic


Vascular dementia

Whooping cough (pertussis)

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:


Choroidopathy, central serous

Acupuncture: review and analysis of controlled clinical trials

Colour blindness



Irritable colon syndrome

Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury

Pulmonary heart disease, chronic

Small airway obstruction

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Convulsions in infants

Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)

Diarrhoea in infants and young children

Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage

Paralysis, progressive bulbar and pseudobulbar

Compliments of Chinese Medicine Yard.