April Bui Acupuncture 

Clinic Houston 

Phone 713-922-3474

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Phantom Limb Pain

For all people out there who had amputation or organ removal, please know that acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment can really help.



Why is pain still present when the physical body part is no longer there?


The reason is because our body is an energy matrix composing of many layers, and our physical body actually has an energetic layer called the etheric body which closely wraps the physical body as if we have a wet suit on. According to acupuncture principles, we recognize that the body is governed by energy channels and that these energy channels actually reside in our etheric body, not in the physical body. This is why when a physical body part is absent, the energy channels pertaining to and regulate that body part is still present and alive and this allows a person to continue to feel and experience all normal sensations as if a missing body part is still there. Because acupuncture affects the etheric body where the energy channels reside, it has proven to successfully treat phantom limb pain.


** Note that acupuncture treatment for missing limbs applies the same to missing organs whether due to congenital defect or surgical removal.

In acupuncture treatment for phantom limbs, we diagnosis and treat just the same as if a patient still has the physical body parts. For example in our patient's case below, we diagnosed and treated her as if she still has two legs although both of her legs were amputated above the knees.

Patient Case:

In July 2016, a patient (female, 80 years old) came to us for help with phantom limb pain. She had amputations above the knees on both legs due to diabetes. After the amputations which were done two years prior to her treatment at our clinic, the excruciating and unrelenting pain remained in her phantom feet. She had been on massive doses of pain medications, nonetheless the constant daily pain was so unbearable that she had to reach out to acupuncture for hope of relief.


We prescribed six weekly acupuncture sessions plus Chinese herbal medicine. After the first week, the pain in her left phantom foot went away, but pain in right phantom foot remained. After the third week, pain in the right phantom foot was noticeably less. By the sixth session, she no long has pain in both phantom feet. Sometimes the pain is felt in her right little phantom toe but is mild and short-lived. 

Acupuncture is especially effective for treating pain.

Throughout the long history of Chinese medicine which spans over 5000 years, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used to treat all types of pain. According to Chinese medicine principles, pain is a consequence of obstruction to the energy and blood flow due to many different causes such as impact from physical trauma, overexertion, surgery, prolonged illness, significant inflammation, edema, invasion of evils such as wind, cold, heat, damp, deficiencies, degeneration of the body. Pain can manifest anywhere along numerous energy channels in the body and is not confined only to the local area(s) where the impact occurred. Once the obstructions in the body are removed which allows energy and blood to free flow again, pain ceases to exist.


The primary treatment modalities for pain involve acupuncture and Chinese herbs and they work to resolve pain by removing the causative obstructions as well as restoring and rebuilding the affected areas of the body. Therefore, long term relief is achievable. The synergistic actions of acupuncture and herbal medicine can produce powerful healing and maximum effectiveness.