Acupuncture for Artists & Musicians

Performing Musician
Performing Musician
Ballet Dancers
Ballet Dancers
Guitar Playing
Guitar Playing
On Stage
On Stage

Why Acupuncture for Performing Arts Medicine?

Performing artists are athletes. Just like “sport” athletes they:

• Practice or perform almost every day

• Play through pain

• Compete in challenging environments

• Experience little “off season”

• Face extreme competition

• Face real risk of career-threatening injury

Injuries that arise from repetitive use or overuse from playing music or performing are referred to as "Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders" (PRMD.)

39-47% of adult musicians suffer from a ‘serious’ playing-related musculoskeletal injury.

Up to 87% are bothered with a ‘minor’ or ‘annoying’ injury. 

Many of these injuries, if left untreated with continuous use will result in arthritis or more serious conditions that may cause a disruption (or worse) in an artists' ability to preform.

Common Music/Arts Related Health Concerns Treated with Acupuncture
  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)

  • finger issues (pulley tears or trigger finger)

  • hip, leg, and foot issues

  • sciatica 

  • repetitive motion injuries

  • substance abuse

  • insomnia

  • post-tour depression

  • performance anxiety

  • and many more!

Why choose Flow Acupuncture?

Flow Acupuncture specializes in Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders and other physical, emotional, or mental issues that can arise from the demanding lifestyle of a performer. 

  • Member of the Performing Arts Medicine Association

  • Healthcare provider in the MusiCares Medical Network

  • Melissa Zappa, LAc completed the Performing Arts Medicine Training Course for Health Professionals (June 2017)

  • Mallory Berge, LAc is official acupuncturist for Ballet West's onsite physical therapy program

What the Research says....

Acupuncture in treatment of musculoskeletal disorders of orchestra musicians.

Evidence on the benefits of acupuncture for musculoskeletal disorders suggests that it could be of benefit as a complementary treatment of PRMD (Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders.) We suggest performing clinical trials to demonstrate the value of standard treatment, acupuncture and complementary medicine for PRMD.

Molsberger F. Work. 2012;41(1):5-13.

Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow / Elbow Pain

Acupuncture for the alleviation of lateral epicondyle pain: a systematic review

Six high-quality acupuncture studies were reviewed to compare outcomes for treatment of lateral epicondyle (tennis elbow) pain. All the studies suggested that acupuncture was effective in the short-term relief of lateral epicondyle pain. Five of six studies indicated that acupuncture treatment was more effective compared to a control/traditional treatment.

Rheumatology (2004) 43 (9): 1085-1090.

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A randomized clinical trial of acupuncture versus oral steroids for carpal tunnel syndrome: a long-term follow-up.

We prospectively followed up patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in our previous study for 1 year. A total of 77 consecutive patients with electrophysiologically confirmed mild-to-moderate idiopathic CTS were randomized and assigned into 2 treatment arms: 1) 2 weeks of prednisolone 20 mg daily followed by 2 weeks of prednisolone 10 mg daily (n = 39); and 2) acupuncture administered in 8 sessions over 4 weeks (n = 38). In the current study, the patients were further followed up at 7 and 13 months using Global symptom score (GSS) assessments and nerve conduction studies repeated again at 13 months. The acupuncture group had a significantly better improvement in GSS, distal motor latencies and distal sensory latencies when compared to the steroid group throughout the 1-year follow-up period (P < .01). Furthermore, significant correlation was observed between changes of GSS (month 13-baseline) and all parameters of the electrophysiological assessments except for compound muscle action potential amplitude.

This article demonstrates that short-term acupuncture treatment may result in long-term improvement in mild-to-moderate idiopathic CTS. Acupuncture treatment can be considered as an alternative therapy to other conservative treatments for those who do not opt for early surgical decompression.

Yang C. J Pain. 2011 Feb;12(2):272-9

Clinical Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This research completed the treatment and evaluation of 26 patients with confirmed CTS. Participants were divided into two treatment groups based on a modified neurophysiological grading scale. Of the total number of participants, 15 received acupuncture and 11 received electroacupuncture on both upper limbs. After the acupuncture treatment, grip strength in the major symptomatic side in CTS patients could be significantly increased. In addition, Tinel's sign significantly decreased in the major symptomatic side. Our findings indicated that electroacupuncture could improve symptomatology, while acupuncture could exert positive therapeutic effects for CTS patients, as evidenced by improved symptomatology, grip strength, electrophysiological function, and physical provocation sign.

Ho CY. J Pain. 2011 Feb;12(2):272-9.

Please reload

Preventing dance injuries: current perspectives
by Jeffrey Russell (published in Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine)
Injury Prevention for Dancers Blog
by The Dance Training Project