Health Benefits of Acupuncture for Seniors

Guest article by Oliver Leonetti L.Ac.

Acupuncture has grown from an obscure Asian medicine into an integral option for natural healthcare. Many doctors now recommend acupuncture for the treatment of pain, digestive disorders and stress management. Many elderly people have added acupuncture into their care routines.  If you or an elderly loved one has aches and pains, digestive distress, or need to decompress, then acupuncture may be the perfect natural treatment. 

Back Pain

Many recent studies have shown acupuncture can relieve chronic back pain. Ageing backs typically have degenerative changes. Discs, facet joints and sore muscles all contribute to chronic back pain. These are all issues that can be addressed directly with acupuncture. Most people find acupuncture on the back to be both comfortable and relaxing.


Acupuncture therapy is commonly used to calm the digestive system. Symptoms such as acid reflux, diarrhea and constipation respond well to regular acupuncture therapy. Many of the proton pump inhibitor medications have side effects related to absorption of nutrients. Acupuncture is a natural treatment for digestion and has no side effects. It may be able to help you reduce your medication use and start feeling much better.


Many studies have substantiated that acupuncture can reduce chronic headaches. If you are someone who suffers from headaches, then acupuncture could greatly improve your quality of life. Again, acupuncture is a great alternative to the heavy pain medications and migraine abortive medications needed to control chronic migraines.


It sounds strange that small needles would be a relaxing experience but most patients find acupuncture to be the most relaxing part of their day, week or month.  Acupuncturists often treat one patient at a time and spend far more time with their patients than medical doctors. These strong relationships can be important and healthy for seniors.  

Insurance Coverage

Many insurance companies cover acupuncture therapy. They have realized the benefits of acupuncture for their clients. Often patients are only responsible for a modest copay. Also, many clinics offer senior discounts. Currently, Medicare does not pay for acupuncture but there are several Medicare supplements that do cover acupuncture.  

Oliver is a practicing acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon with 15 years of clinical experience. Learn more about Oliver at