Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal medicine for Long COVID

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are grappling with the lingering effects of the virus long after their initial infection has resolved. Known as long COVID or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), these persistent symptoms can range from fatigue and brain fog to respiratory issues and joint pain. While conventional treatments may offer limited relief, acupuncture and Chinese medicine may provide promising avenues for managing and alleviating long COVID symptoms.

Acupuncture, an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been practiced for thousands of years and is renowned for its ability to restore balance and promote healing within the body. By stimulating specific points along the body’s energy pathways, known as meridians, acupuncture aims to regulate the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, and restore harmony to the body’s systems. This holistic approach to healthcare offers a unique perspective on treating the complex array of symptoms associated with long COVID.

One of the hallmark symptoms of long COVID is persistent fatigue, which can significantly impact daily functioning and quality of life. Acupuncture has shown promising results in addressing fatigue by aiming to enhance energy levels, improve circulation, and supporting resistance to fatigue. By targeting key acupuncture points associated with the spleen, kidney, and lung meridians, acupuncture treatments can help replenish Qi and nourish the body’s vital energy reserves, leading to increased vitality and resilience.

In addition to fatigue, many individuals with long COVID experience cognitive difficulties commonly referred to as “brain fog.” This cognitive impairment can manifest as memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and mental sluggishness. Acupuncture has in some studies been shown to enhance cognitive function by promoting cerebral blood flow, modulating neurotransmitter activity, and reducing inflammation in the brain. Some examples are in this study on post stroke  and also    By stimulating specific acupuncture points associated with mental clarity and cognitive function, acupuncture treatments aim to help clear away the fog and sharpen mental acuity.

Respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and chest tightness, are also prevalent among individuals with long COVID, particularly those who experienced severe respiratory complications during the acute phase of the illness. Acupuncture offers a multifaceted approach to respiratory health by promoting relaxation of the respiratory muscles, reducing inflammation in the airways, and enhancing lung function. By targeting acupuncture points along the lung and spleen meridians, acupuncture treatments aim to help open the airways, improve oxygenation, and alleviate respiratory distress.

Joint pain, muscle aches, and inflammation are common complaints among individuals with long COVID, often resulting from systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation. Acupuncture offers effective pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects thought to occur by stimulating the release of endorphins, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters that modulate pain perception and regulate immune function. By targeting acupuncture points associated with pain relief and tissue repair, acupuncture treatments may help reduce inflammation, alleviate discomfort, and restore mobility to affected joints and muscles.

Digestive disturbances, such as nausea, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain, are frequently reported by individuals with long COVID and may stem from gastrointestinal inflammation, dysbiosis, or autonomic dysfunction. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer gentle yet effective solutions for restoring digestive health by aiming to regulate peristalsis, balancing gut microbiota, and harmonizing the digestive organs. By targeting acupuncture points associated with the stomach, spleen, and large intestine meridians, acupuncture treatments can help alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms, promote regularity, and support overall digestive function.

In addition to acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine plays a vital role in the treatment of long COVID by providing targeted support for specific symptoms and underlying imbalances. Herbal formulations tailored to individual constitution and symptomatology can help address a wide range of long COVID symptoms, from fatigue and cognitive impairment to respiratory issues and immune dysfunction. By combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal medicine, practitioners can offer comprehensive and personalized care that addresses the unique needs of each patient.

It’s important to note that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are not standalone treatments for long COVID but rather integral components of a multidisciplinary approach to care. Collaborative efforts between acupuncture practitioners, primary care physicians, and other healthcare providers can help ensure comprehensive management of long COVID symptoms and optimize patient outcomes.

As we navigate the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer hope and healing for individuals struggling with long COVID symptoms. By harnessing the ancient wisdom and therapeutic principles of TCM, we can unlock relief and restoration for those affected by this complex and debilitating condition.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a holistic and integrative approach to managing long COVID symptoms, addressing the underlying imbalances and promoting healing from within. With their gentle yet potent effects on the body, mind, and spirit, acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide a beacon of hope for individuals seeking relief and recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Principle Practitioner at Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain, Brendan C. Meek, has 25 years experience in the field of Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture. Post viral fatigue is a common symptom treated at his clinic and even more so since COVID 19 in the form of Long COVID symptoms. If you’re looking for a way out of Long COVID and relief from symptoms that just have not seemed to go away, consider Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain. Call us on (02) 9188 1560 or make an email inquiry on the home page here

Authentic acupuncture for anxiety in Balmain


Anxiety commonly affects 1 in 4 Australians. For many, quality of life can be diminished with affects on sleep, concentration, appetite, relationships etc. Interventions can include counselling, medication and exercise. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture may provide a powerful allay in providing relief rom anxiety so you can get back to fully engaging with your life.

How does acupuncture help with treating anxiety? According to Chinese medicine theory, anxiety is rooted in fear and over contemplation of thoughts without end. To simplify, worry and fear.  Pairing this to a Western medicine viewpoint, we may see that the person who suffers from anxiety may be in a perpetual state of ‘fight or flight.’ Of course in this state, we are referring to the adrenaline and sympathetic nervous system symptoms that most of us have experienced, at least temporarily, at some stage or another. That being, elevated heart rate, increased sweating, shallow breathing, trembling and dry mouth. The bodies energies are floating upwards and the person is unable to calm ‘down.’

Acupuncture aims to bring the body into a more relaxed state where the bodies energy is able to sink down ward so that the heart rate decelerates, breathing is deeper, slower and less constricted and the mind slows down it’s speed of thought.  From the bio medical view point, we might say that the body has now switched over into a ‘rest and digest’ state. The is the parasympathetic arm of the nervous system responsible for calming down, feeling relaxed and promoting downward movements in the body that are well regulated, such as digestion.

How many needles are used and where do the points go? With anxiety, it is common to use 4 to 6 points per treatment which are often placed on the arms and legs and on the back. Sometimes, only 2 or 3 points may be utilized for initial treatment.

Where can I receive Acupuncture and are herbs helpful? Practitioner, Brendan C Meek at Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain has more than 20 years experience in treating stress and anxiety conditions. Whilst herbs are not always necessary, they can be a useful ally in particularly chronic or stubborn cases.  For bookings, call (02) 9188 1560 or visit the home page of this website and go to the home page, scrolling down to “Book your appointment now.’

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Treating tennis elbow naturally in Balmain at Authentic Acupuncture clinic

Tennis elbow is one of the most common overuse injuries and one of the most common sporting injuries in the upper body. It refers to an inflammation of the forearm of the tendon of the forearm extensor muscles which insert to the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive stress to forearm muscles transmitting the forces to the tendon inserting to the outer side of the elbow.

What are the risk factors and who is particularly at risk? One of the main risk factors is the level of strength and conditioning absent leaving the elbow vulnerable. In particular, lack of strength and flexibility in the shoulder. Weakness in the shoulder can affect the athletes technique which in turn can lead to tennis elbow. Primarily racket sports players and gofers are at particular risk or jobs that require repetitive motions of the arm and wrist such as carpenters, plumbers, carpenters and cooks.

What are the symptoms, concerns and what can I do about it? The onset of symptoms can be gradual with pain occurring on the lateral (outside) elbow. If the wrist is rotated against resistance such as shaking hands or unscrewing a jar, pain can increase. The concerns would be that tennis elbow needs to be addressed early to prevent scar tissue building up around the tendon making the problem more difficult to resolve. The area where tennis elbow occurs heals poorly in general due to poor blood supply making early treatment all the more important. The best thing you can do is stop the activity that caused or aggravates the condition until the pain goes away as well as seeking acupuncture and soft tissue therapy.

What does conventional treatment, rehabilitation and recovery look like? Your G.P may suggest scans to confirm the diagnosis to rule out other causes of pain such as a fracture or loose body in the joint. Surgery is rarely required and often your G.P will suggest therapies such as physio and acupuncture along with anti inflammatory medication and or local steroid injection. Rehabilitation should include exercises not only for the elbow but also for the entire arm, including the shoulder. How long the recovery takes depends on the severity of the condition and it’s response to treatment. For example, anti inflammatory medication and or steroid injections may be insufficient to resolve the condition and some patients may be averse to contending with possible side effects. In such conditions, the time frame for healing could be anywhere from 2 weeks to a couple of years. A combination of therapies as is used at Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain, in Sydney’s Inner West, includes acupuncture, soft tissue manipulation and infra red laser therapy to speed up the possibility of healing and a quick recovery.

Acupuncture sometimes needles the area of the pain, but best results are often obtained by needling along pathways distant from the injured site.

How does acupuncture and Chinese medicine effectively treat tennis elbow? Brendan C. Meek, Senior Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Practitioner at Authentic Acupuncture clinic in Balmain, has been treating pain conditions effectively with natural solutions for over 20 years. From Olympic athletes to coffee barista’s, office workers, weekend warriors and trades people have all benefited from Brendan’s years of experience in successful outcomes for pain relief and recovery from tennis elbow. Brendan combines techniques from acupuncture, soft tissue manipulation, infra red laser therapy and Chinese medicine (as needed) to provide excellent outcomes.

Excellent outcomes come from assessing the client and providing individually tailored treatments rather than a generic one size fits all approach. When practitioners can make an influence on other body systems that may be impacting the clients recovery from tennis elbow, such as poor sleep, digestion, hormonal imbalance and stress, better longer lasting results can be achieved. As such, besides using effective acupuncture points for the elbow, other points may be used to help return other body systems previously mentioned, return back to normal so that the body can totally focus on relieving pain, injury and inflammation.

If you’re looking for ‘acupuncture near me’ in Balmain or the Inner West, call Authentic Acupuncture on (02) 9188 1560 or send an inquiry by visiting the home page.

We look forward to helping you restore your elbow back to it’s former use and helping to enhance your general health in the process.

Treating retrocalcaneal bursitis, Achilles bursitis, with Acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Balmain.

Retrocalcaneal Bursitis is one of the most common bursitis conditions which occurs above the heel bone where the Achilles tendon attaches. Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain could provide you with an accelerated healing process to relieve your pain and get you back on your feet faster.

What are the symptoms and causes? Retrocalcaneal bursitis is often seen in women who wear high heeled or tight fitting shoes and is often termed ‘pump bump.’ Onset can be gradual and may take 2 to 3 months before symptoms become severe. Common symptoms will be pain, redness, swelling and irritation above where the Achilles attaches to the heel bone. If the bursa, which lies beneath the Achilles, is pressed, pain will be elicited. If the conditions worsens, the soft bump will become harder and thus more prone to pressure and thus pain.

This condition is commonly caused by footwear. The shoe will irritate the retrocalcaneal bursa from the rear. Sports activity may be a factor, however, it is usually in combination with predisposing factors. For example, an anatomically unusual shaped of the heel bone, flat feet and a high arch can all all cause the heel to rub against the shoe. Wearing high heels, as previously mentioned, is a common cause.

What can I do? Early intervention may prevent worsening and promote self resolution in mild cases. Stop the activity that caused the condition for 2 to 3 days and avoid the footwear that may have caused the inflammation. A simple ‘doughnut pad’ may be purchased from the chemist to take pressure off the bursitis. Consider adequate foot support for those with flat feet. If the condition is more severe, your G.P may consider a cortisone injection or even surgery. If the condition has not self resolved within 2 weeks consider Acupuncture therapy.

Try Acupuncture and Chinese medicine for a speedy recovery from bursitis pain

How can Acupuncture and Chinese medicine help resolve my Achilles bursitis?

Authentic Acupuncture and Senior Chinese medicine practitioner Brendan C. Meek are located in Balmain, in Sydney’s Inner West, and have been treating clients for more than 20 years for conditions of pain and injury. With regards to treatment, acupuncture therapy aims to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with bursitis pain to improve mobility and stimulate the body’s own innate self repair systems. Local treatment can include some soft tissue manipulation using acupressure and massage techniques along with infra red heat treatment to speed up the healing effects. As opposed to a one size fits all approach, Acupuncture treatment is conducting after diagnosis has decided which specific point or points are required for the individual to produce the best healing result. Sometimes, Chinese herbal medicines may be suggested to assist where the condition is chronic or other body systems such as sleep or digestion and fatigue are negatively influencing the healing response.

Brendan has used acupuncture treatment for many years to great effect for problems of the Achilles and including bursitis. Clients include locals and Olympic level athletes. If you’re looking for ‘acupuncture near me’ in Balmain or the Inner West or Sydney in general, call Authentic Acupuncture on (02) 9188 1560 to make an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

Acupuncture treatment for Iliotibial band friction syndrome in Balmain

The iliotibial band, or ITB,

runs down the side of the

upper leg and can suffer

from inflammation often as

a result of overuse and poor


What is the iliotibial band (ITB)?

The ITB is a band of thick tendon tissue stretching from the outer rim of the pelvis down the side of the leg, over the outside of the knee and attaching to the tibia. Often inflammation can occur where the structure rubs on the outside of the knee joint. Sometimes the bursa is also affected.

What are the symptoms and causes?

Symptoms onset can often be gradual. Tightness can be felt on the outside of the knee which can then turn into a buring or stinging sensation often felt during running. The discomfort can cause the runner to to stop running where the discomfort can quickly subside. If the runner resumes his run, pain can resume. Such pain can often be felt more acutely when running downhill or walking downstairs. When symptoms are severe, the pain forces the athlete to walk with a stretched out leg to avoid the pain causes by the friction of the ITB over the knee joint.

Repetitive exercises such as running or cycling are a common cause as they require repetitive bending and straightening of the knee. Those who inadequately warm up, those who suddenly increase their training volume, those who change their running shoe type and those running on sloped surfaces are especially at risk. Those with anatomical abnormalities such as bow leggedness can also be at further risk. Runners, ballet dancers, cyclist and skiers can be particularly at risk.

What can you or your Doctor do?

For a mild case of ITB syndrome try to rest from any activity that you feel may have caused the inflammation. Consider other cardio training such as swimming that won’t aggravate any current inflammation. Consider stretching the ITB as per the example here

As for your Doctor , he or she may prescribe anti inflammatory medication, recommend shoe inserts if there are anatomical anomalies and at the extreme end of severity, he or she may recommend a surgical release of the ITB.

Recovery from ITB syndromes using conventional methods, depending on severity, can be anywhere from a few weeks to months.

Can I speed up the healing process and possibly prevent recurrence using Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine?

The Gallbladder channel

traverses the area of the

ITB band. Treating this

channel with acupuncture

and enhancing the health of

the liver can be important

strategies to help heal ITB

syndromes and prevent


At Authentic Acupuncture clinic in Balmain, located in Sydney’s Inner West, principle practitioner Brendan C. Meek has been treating clients for more than 20 years. From weekend warriors to Olympic athletes, Brendan has helped individuals recover from syndromes such as ITB and other sports related injuries over many years.

When it comes to ITB syndromes specifically, it is important to assess each individuals current health or lack there of, and to design a specific treatment that will best relieve the ITB syndrome inflammation in the short term and to help prevents it’s relapse. This involves assessing the body’s recovery system, such as sleep and digestive powers, and helping to influence corrections through acupuncture and Chinese herbal prescriptions to enhance the body’s own ability to resolve and keep inflammation at bay. Local treatment to relieve the ITB syndrome can be straightforward, however, ‘dry needling’ therapies alone are often insufficient to deal with more severe or complicated cases and relapse can occur. This is why a comprehensive acupuncture treatment involves not only treating the symptom along the course of the affected channel, in this case the Gallbladder channel, but also stimulating other specific individually determined points to maximise the bodies healing potential and prevent relapse. This type of treatment is called holistic.

If you are looking for acupuncture near me or acupuncture in Balmain for the treatment of ITB syndrome or other sports injuries, contact Brendan at Authentic Acupuncture clinic to arrange an appointment. Call us on (02) 9188 1560 or submit an inquiry on the home page.

We look forward to helping you soon!

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