Leading acupuncture Melbourne therapists

Our natural therapy association has been accrediting Melbourne acupuncturists for more than 60 years, ensuring that they meet the high educational and training standards required for membership.

Every acupuncturist in our directory is qualified and capable of delivering first-rate treatment. If you’re looking for the best acupuncture in Melbourne, you’ll find it in our directory.

Find acupuncture near me

Search our directory of experts to find local acupuncture practitioners in Melbourne, including the CBD and surrounding suburbs.

Why use an acupuncturist who is an ANTA member?

✔️Our acupuncturists are qualified and accredited
✔️Our acupuncturists practice holistic medicine, treating you entirely, rather than just your symptoms
✔️Our acupuncturists will stimulate your body’s natural healing and regulating abilities
✔️Our acupuncturists are recognised by federal and state governments
✔️We’ve been working with professional acupuncturists for more than 60 years
✔️Our directory includes fertility acupuncture in melbourne, to help with your pregnancy

Expert guide on acupuncture


What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is performed by inserting tiny, flexible needles into a patient’s body, which alleviates pain, and treats a number of different symptoms. The needles used in acupuncture are made of stainless steel, are roughly 0.2mm thick (about the width of a human hair), and are used to stimulate meridians (lines that run through the body), acupuncture points, and neural zones that sit under the skin.

History of acupuncture

Acupuncture originated in China, and has been practised for 2,500 years. Some people argue that it originated in Eurasia, after the discovery of acupuncture-type needles made of stone and animal bone, dated from the Stone Age (from 8700 to 2000 BCE). But it’s widely accepted as a traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture was first described in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, which was written in China around 300 BC. The first types of acupuncture needles created by the Chinese were made from bamboo, silver, copper, bronze, iron, and even gold. Modern hypodermic needles are thought to have originated from these Chinese needles.

The philosophy of acupuncture

According to traditional Chinese medicine, there’s a life force in our body called Qi (pronounced chee) which flows along 12 to 14 pathways (meridians), through our skin, fascia, muscle, and bone, and also our internal organs. When our Qi is disrupted or imbalanced, we can become ill. Acupuncture is a method that manipulates and fixes our disrupted Qi.

Qi has never been proven by science, but acupuncture certainly has, and is used to treat a range of issues from anxiety, fertility issues, weight loss, and chronic pain.

How does acupuncture heal the body?

The body is complex, made up of numerous systems that work together to keep you functional and healthy. It’s difficult to determine exactly how acupuncture works, although there’s been a number of scientific studies over the years, which show that it’s likely to work in a number of different ways.

In 2013, Dominic and Gabriel Lu discovered that acupuncture activates neurohormonal pathways (Dominic P Lu, Gabriel P Lu, 2013, PMC), which triggers the body’s biochemical processes and releases a number of different chemicals, including “endorphins, serotonin, enkephalins, γ-aminobutyric acid, norepinephrine and dopamine.” The release of these chemicals can help to heal a patient’s ailments.

As acupuncture needles stimulate the body’s nerves, signals are sent to the brain to release neural hormones, which can make the patient feel happier, and bring down their pain. Acupuncture isn’t believed to directly release feel-good chemicals, but instead works at a broader level, by stimulating vital organs such as the pituitary gland and producing additional hormones.

Other studies reveal the effects of acupuncture on a debilitating bodily response that can lead to multiple health issues: inflammation. Our bodies contain proinflammatory marker proteins, which are capable of increasing inflammation, and acupuncture has shown to decrease some of these markers (such as IL-1β and TNF), helping to reduce inflammation and pain. A commonly targeted pro-inflammatory market in acupuncture is found below the knee, which when targeted, has a tendency to reduce inflammation throughout the entire body, in addition to increasing energy, and strengthening the immune system (Elizabeth Palermo, 2017, Livescience).

Acupuncture is used to treat nerve damage too, by sending signal requests to the brain to grow and repair nerves, leading to nerve regeneration. For fertility treatment, acupuncture has proven to increase the effectiveness of hormone-increasing drugs, resulting in a better balance of hormones, and a greater likelihood of the pregnancy.

How is acupuncture performed?

Acupuncture works by inserting hair-thin stainless steel needles into the body. They usually remain in the body for between 25 to 40 minutes, with less time for people who are weak or highly-sensitive.

Search Results | All Acupuncture in Melbourne

How to choose an acupuncturist?

To get the best and safest treatment, you’ll need to find an acupuncturist who is fully qualified and accredited, and because ANTA has strict criteria for practitioner membership, the easiest way to do this is to search our acupuncture directory. You can search directly using the form at the top of this page.

If you’d still like to find an acupuncture clinic yourself, these are the things that you should be considering while searching.


Acupuncturists must have national, formally-recognised accreditation, be registered with AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency), and carry malpractice insurance.

Up-to-date knowledge

Medicine changes and advances over time, and acupuncture is no exception. To receive the most effective treatment, you’ll want to find an acupuncturist who has up-to-date knowledge for their field, using the latest technique and practices to deliver treatment.

Specialist areas

Some acupuncturists choose to specialise in certain areas, for example pain relief or weight loss. For the best treatment, you should find out the specialisations of each acupuncturist you are considering, so that they can treat you effectively.


As with any medical treatment, acupuncture must be performed in a sterilised area. Sealed, single-use needles are a legal requirement in Australia.

Your first acupuncture appointment: what to expect

Acupuncture aims to treat the entire body holistically, rather than individual symptoms. Because an acupuncturist wants to take your entire health into account, your first appointment will be extensive, covering your medical history, diet, and lifestyle. They may also talk to you about your emotional health, sleep habits, sexual function, digestive function, or urinary function, depending on the nature of your complaint. The questions may seem invasive, but they’re important for the acupuncturist to provide effective treatment.

Acupuncture Melbourne FAQs

#1 Does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture has been proven by science to treat a range of medical conditions, whether physical, mental, or neurological. These conditions and illnesses include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Rhinitis
  • Acute pain, such as acupuncture for migraines, or acupuncture for back pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Dental pain
  • The common cold
  • Tension headaches
  • Depression
  • Acupuncture for anxiety
  • Acupuncture for pregnancy or acupuncture for fertility
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Pregnancy and labour difficulties
  • Acupuncture for labour induction
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Acupuncture for weight loss
  • Stroke rehabilitation

#2 What does acupuncture do?

Acupuncture works by inserting thin steel needles into the body, which starts the body’s natural healing processes, helping to heal the patient’s complaint. Where the needles are inserted in the body depends on the condition being treated, which the acupuncturist discovers during an initial consultation.

#3 What does acupuncture feel like?

Given that acupuncture uses sharp needles, many people assume that it hurts. In fact, acupuncture usually just feels like a mild ache, or a slight tingling sensation, and many people don’t feel anything at all. If a patient feels pain, they should inform the acupuncturist.

#4 Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles, and doesn’t hurt. A mild ache or slight tingling is all you should feel (if you feel anything at all). These sensations are considered to be positive, and show that the treatment is working.

#5 What is the difference between acupuncture and dry needling?

Both acupuncture and dry needling involve the insertion of thin needles into the body. However, they’re both individual treatments with unique histories. Acupuncture has a rich 2,500 history, and aims to alleviate pain by unblocking a patient’s Qi (energy flow). Dry needling gained popularity in the last two decades, with an aim to stimulate trigger points or muscles that are causing problems.

#6 What are the risks of acupuncture?

Side effects of acupuncture are extremely rare, and usually less severe than conventional drug treatments. Potential rare side effects include bruising, soreness, light-headedness, fatigue, and emotional sensitivity (e.g. crying). Any soreness that a patient feels typically disappears within a day, but more intensive treatments can last for longer.

To prevent the chance of adverse side effects, search for a qualified and accredited practitioner from our acupuncture directory, located at the top of this page.