… unbearable period pains due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome… my response to the treatment was nearly instant and results unbelievable.
Ivana, San Francisco

Chronic Pain

Musculo-Skeletal Disorders include conditions such as lower back pain, sciatica, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and any other condition affecting the joints and soft tissues of the body. Pain relief for these conditions usually occurs quickly; however, the overall prognosis depends on each patient and severity of disease.

A 1989 meta-analysis1 examined 14 studies regarding acupuncture and its effectiveness in treating chronic pain. It concluded that acupuncture treatment was superior to placebo and the overall risk difference was in favor of acupuncture.

Arthritis has many different forms but two of the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The presentation of symptoms between the two diseases is different.

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease in the United States and affects up to 20 million adults. 90% of all adults show radiographic features of osteoarthritis by age 40. Symptoms usually begin with stiffness and develop into pain worse with activity or weight bearing; the area most commonly affected are the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints. Deformity is absent or minimal except for the bony enlargement of the interphalangeal joints. These joint enlargements are usually bony and cool.

A methodologically rigorous trial2 on 73 patients with osteoarthritis concluded that acupuncture was superior to conventional treatment. No adverse events were recorded and acupuncture was deemed safe and effective when compared with standard care.

Hand and Shoulder

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder of unknown cause and its incidence in women is 3:1 vs. men. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis has an average age of onset between 20-40 years of age. At initial onset symptoms include general malaise, fever, weight loss and morning stiffness. Deformities are usually symmetrical and include the wrists and metacarpophalangeal joints; joint enlargements tend to be spongy and warm.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a difficult disease to treat and if the pain or deformity is severe, there must be an increased frequency of visits (at least 3 visits per week) until the condition is stabilized. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that can affect multiple body systems. This requires holistic treatment of the whole body and not just the symptom of pain.

Fibromyalgia is also a disease of unknown origin. It is commonly found in conjunction with Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS). Approximately 75% of fibromyalgia sufferers also have sleep disturbance. In our experience, regulating sleep is an essential component of treating Fibromyalgia. Sleep is when our body undergoes its most profound healing. When sleep is disturbed, the healing process is stymied and recovery from pain and fatigue is difficult.

Sung Kim’s background in chronic pain comes from experience both as a healthcare practitioner and patient. In 2000 and 2001, he was diagnosed as permanently disabled in both arms by three different medical doctors; the diagnosis was bilateral tendonitis and tenosynovitis. After trying anti-inflammatory medication, wrist splints, hand therapy and researching the possibility of surgery, he learned that acupuncture could be helpful for his condition. Upon treatment with acupuncture and herbs, he realized pain relief and improvement in his other symptoms. Today he is 100% pain free.


  1. Ezzo J: Is acupuncture effective for the treatment of chronic pain? A systematic review. Pain 2000;86:217
  2. Berman BM et al: A randomized trial of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee. Rheumatology (Oxford) 1999; 38: 346.