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syringe with multineedle for mesotherapy


Mesotherapy: Targeting the Middle 

Elias Lu, DTCM,

Acupuncture Physician

Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine

St. Petersburg, Florida

What is Mesotherapy?

Developed by the renowned French physician, Dr. Michel Pistor in the early 1950s, mesotherapy or local intradermal therapy (LIT) employs small-volume injections of sterile medications into the skin. This modality combines acupuncture, trigger point injection, and pharmacotherapy – all reinforcing each other. Patients report immediate and long-lasting relief.


What Does “Meso” Stand For?

Prefix “meso” comes from the Greek word mésos, which means "in the middle" or “mean,” thus referencing both the injection route (into the middle layer of skin) and the medication dose used (less than a regular allopathic dose but more than a homeopathic dose). Another take on the name is that medications are commonly injected into the structures derived from embryonic mesoderm (connective tissue, muscle and circulatory system).


How Mesotherapy is Used?

Initially envisioned solely for pain relief, mesotherapy of today is also used as a cosmetic procedure – to reduce cellulite, fade wrinkles and lines, tighten loose skin, and even treat alopecia (hair loss). At Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine, we offer mesotherapy to treat fibromyalgia, headaches, back pain, neuralgias, TMJ pain, sprains, strains, bursitis, and tendinitis.


What Points are Used for Pain Management?

Injection points are chosen according to palpation (tender points), pain radiation (trigger points), neurology (nerve bifurcation points and spinal segments), and Traditional Chinese Medicine (meridian points). In other words, the rationale for point selection is the same as for regular acupuncture.


Does It Hurt?

Not much beyond a brief initial burning sensation. Injection pain is minimal since we use extra thin (32 to 34G) and short (2 to 4 mm) needles. Plus, the injection solution always contains an anesthetic - either lidocaine (for acute conditions) or prilocaine (for chronic conditions).


What Medications are Injected?

It depends on the condition treated. At a spa, enzymes like collagenase and hyaluronidase may be used. In a medical setting, we stick mostly to anesthetics with or without NSAIDs (ketorolac), muscle relaxants (baclofen), vitamins, and minerals.


How Often Would I Require These Injections?

2 to 3 sessions in acute cases (musculoskeletal injuries) and 10-12 for chronic conditions (chronic pain). It will depend on your response, of course.


Is It Safe?

Since we are not injecting any deep structures (nerves or joints), the procedure itself is rather benign. The most common side effects are mild pain, redness and/or itching during/after the injection. In certain types of skin, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for up to 6 months has been reported. Finally, some patients may be allergic to the substance injected – which we try to prevent by collecting a good history from all our new patients.


Do You Have Proof That Mesotherapy Works?

Truth be told … there is little good-quality research on mesotherapy. The “buzz” about this therapy is mostly based on individual “case” reports. That said, tens of thousands of physicians use mesotherapy successfully in their practice worldwide. The side effects are minimal. It doesn’t cost much. Why not give it a try?


Where Can I Try Mesotherapy?

Dr. Lu at Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine does use mesotherapy for treating many pain conditions. Please call our clinic at 727-252-6060 for more information.


Bifarini, B., Gori, F., Russo, D., Mammucari, M., Maggiori, E., Di Marzo, R., Migliore, A., Massafra, U., Ronconi, G., Ferrara, P. E., Paolucci, T., Vellucci, R., Mediati, D., Violo, B., Natoli, S., & Brauneis, S. (2022). Intradermal therapy (mesotherapy): the lower the better. La Clinica terapeutica, 173(1), 79–83.


Mammucari, M., Maggiori, E., Russo, D., Giorgio, C., Ronconi, G., Ferrara, P. E., Canzona, F., Antonaci, L., Violo, B., Vellucci, R., Mediati, D. R., Migliore, A., Massafra, U., Bifarini, B., Gori, F., di Carlo, M., Brauneis, S., Paolucci, T., Rocchi, P., Cuguttu, A., … Natoli, S. (2020). Mesotherapy: From Historical Notes to Scientific Evidence and Future Prospects. TheScientificWorldJournal, 2020, 3542848.


Ranieri, M., Marvulli, R., D'Alesio, E., Riccardi, M., Raele, M. V., Dell'Anna, L., Fai, A., Farì, G., & Megna, M. (2024). Effects of Intradermal Therapy (Mesotherapy) on Bilateral Cervicobrachial Pain. Journal of personalized medicine, 14(1), 122.

picture of a confident doctor

Dr. Elias Lu, DTCM is an acupuncture physician with Point of Cure Acupuncture and Electromedicine. In practice for over 25 years, he integrates traditional Chinese medicine with modern functional therapies to help people with chronic pain, trauma, neurodegenerative disorders, anxiety, depression, and many other life's challenges.

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