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Please could someone clarify what 'Intention' is in acupuncture and how it works. It has been suggested to me that the practitioners intention can make all the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome.

Thank you.


Intention is incredibly important and have a friend who has experienced it first hand. He was treating a cancer patient, as his first solo patient, just starting his practice after college. He had treated this patient with the same point perscription weekly for over 2 months. when scratching his head after achivieving NO results he went to a mentor who then asked him "what intention are u using?" and he responded "Intention?"

After returning to the patient with a definite intention program of what functions he wanted the needles to do, he began to see results with his patient immediately.

I think HOW u use intention is different for everyone. If you think that each point on the body has a few different benifits or "jobs" it specialises in, and some having a huge amount such as LI4 for example. simply locating the point and sinking in a needle without any idea in you head why your doing it really cant activate any healing process.

for me personally my method is to locate the point with touch, have a clear idea in my head which of its functions id like it to do, and then insert the needle into the channel and when iv manipulated, if needed, i then leave the needle and simply guide the energy up the channel with the tip of my finger very softly,sometimes not even touching the skin, and still with the same intention, asking the channel to get moving and access its function.

Again intention is different to alot of people, this way is just what works for me. and the patients really do feel the movement when i ask. sometimes i ask the point half way through a treatment to go to another function, and the patient has reported a shift in the movement felt with tingles, warmth etc.

In my own opinion, intention really is the driving force behind acupuncture. Energy will always listen if you simply ask with the KNOWING that it will listen to you and follow.

hope this helped a little


Thank you very much for your detailed and very clear explanation. This has been a great help.


I couldn't agree more with what "CC" has said above. Intention is crucial in acupuncture and it is a large part of why some practitioners get good results and others do not even when using the same or similar points. You need to have a very clear idea of what it is you are trying to accomplish with your treatments and then the patients body will listen and change accordingly. Needling without intention is what we call "empty" needling and it will accomplish very little beyond basic pain cases.

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