Acupuncture for Liver Disease

Acupuncture for Liver Disease

Fatty Liver

Patients coming to The Acupuncture Clinic often ask if acupuncture can help with other problems apart from pain conditions like back sprain. Acupuncture has in fact been used for centuries to treat all types of internal organ complaints such as liver and heart problems. Each major organ of the body has a meridian that connects with it and the different acupuncture points on the meridian can treat a variety of symptoms associated with that organ.

The symptoms of hepatitis were known to ancient Chinese physicians who called the disease Damp and Heat of the Liver. Many centuries ago, Chinese physicians did autopsies and examined and documented for example patients with cirrhosis of the liver. They also had treatments for the hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver using acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

Modern day research has confirmed many Chinese herbs as having a benefit for liver function such as wu wei zi commonly known as schizandra. But recently, scientists have been able to confirm specific physiological changes that an acupuncture point actually can do. This type of research is quite novel from an acupuncture research perspective and opens the door for scientists to really understand how acupuncture works.

There is an acupuncture point on the liver meridian known as Liver 3, called tai chong in Chinese, and it is known as the source point of the liver. The source point means that by needling the point, the acupuncturist can actually move energy directly into the liver itself.

The researchers found that acupuncture performed on this point improved the activities of Liver ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase). These are enzymes and their levels are used as indicators in blood tests to ascertain liver health. From a medical viewpoint, the acupuncture point liver 3 can thus help many liver disorders including damage by alcoholism and hepatitis.

Modern pharmaceuticals including Tylenol, antibiotics, anti-seizure medications and statins all can damage the liver and alter AST and ALT levels.

Many patients seek acupuncture to repair the damage done to their liver by pharmaceutical prescription medications.

About Heiko Lade

Hi, I'm Heiko Lade - qualified acupuncturist at The Acupuncture Clinic in Hastings, New Zealand. If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation and treatment, please contact me.


  1. Karen in despair says:

    My copper level is slightly elevated. My feet and hands hurt, and my feet tend to twist on their own. I have a feeling this may be Wilson’s disease. My Mother had these same symptoms and she died at the age of 71. She refused to see a doctor. I really think I inherited what she had. Can acupuncture help relieve my neuro symptoms?

  2. Santhanam – How is your brother doing? I recommend prayer. It changed my life. Jesus says You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it. I stood on that passage and my life changed. Matthew 21:22

  3. My liver enzymes have been elevated over the past few months and my doctors have had difficulty bringing them back down. Would you recommend acupuncture? I am currently exercising a lot more and doing yoga to stretch my side because I am starting to develop some pain. I do not drink or smoke so I am boggled by this whole thing. I feel like somehow I need to re-start my liver because it has started to make me very anxiety ridden and stressed. Thank you!

    • Remember acupuncture is not specifically a treatment to change liver enzymes. It is a treatment to help the liver if the liver is presenting symptoms that indicate a liver imbalance according to traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis. This may include symptoms like being excessively irritable, not waking fresh in the morning, headaches, sore eyes, neck tension, tight muscles, the list of symptoms is vast. Then when an acupuncturist treats the person the liver and the liver enzymes can improve. I suggest seeing a qualified acupuncturist , in NZ a member of NZ Register of Acupuncturists.

      • I see you are in NZ, if you are near palmerston north, there is a chinese guy called wilson chen, i think its rangatiki st.
        I have been to him he is very good.

    • Look up Gilbert’s Syndrome.

    • I have been having acupuncture for my hep c and cirrohsis for about a year now, early this year i had a MELD score of 16 and had the workup in hosp ready to go on the list for a transplant.
      My MELD score now is 13, i have stabilised and probably wont need a transplant for 5 years.
      I would definitely recommend acupuncture, it can give you energy and make you feel normal again.
      A chinese doctor is best as it is their heritage and I found western people are no good at it.
      Please consider, you wont regret it.

      • Rsmeralds says:

        My husband has cirrhosis of the liver I’m thinking of trying acupuncture for him, did u feel a difference?

  4. My friends wifes liver is badly damaged.She is admitted in Hospital for treatment.Plz let me the solution .
    is there transplant or replacement for liver.?

  5. Santhanam says:

    my brother liver is damaged very badly due to alchol. now doctors has said only 10-15% of liver is functioning, so they give medicine, but not hope for cure. he has jondice also.
    is there any way to increase the % of liver funtion again ?

    • Yes, acupuncture, it will help him a lot, as i said only go to a chinese doctor.
      You can find one on the internet.

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