Two of the most famous treatments for pain in the modern era have been acupuncture and massage. These ancient, but updated treatments have an important place in history and a bright future, as well. However, when some people experience pain, they consider each of these treatments and don’t know which is better for foot pain relief and other conditions that might be affecting them that could be treated by either of these methods. 

If you are wondering which of these methods is the better treatment for foot pain relief, top of foot pain, sore feet relief, or other types of pain elsewhere in the body, you are in the right place. We’re going to take a deep dive on each of these pain treatment methods and what they are best used for. 

Acupuncture or Massage

These are two of the most famous methods for dealing with top of foot pain relief and other kinds of pain relief. We break each of these treatments down to give you an idea of when you should use each of them and which one is best for your foot arch pain and other foot-related pain. 

What is acupuncture?

Before we get started on our comparison, it’s good to define each of these methods of pain relief so that we know what they are and can match them up against each other. Acupuncture is the first one that we will take a look at. 

 acupuncture can be a little bit intimidating at first and scary, but as you see how this great treatment works, it becomes more obvious that it is a highly effective way to deal with pain in ball of foot or other foot pain

Acupuncture is a medical practice that centers around the stimulation of certain points in the body with the ultimate goal of pain relief. This is most commonly done with a needle.

 For this reason, acupuncture can be a little bit intimidating at first and scary, but as you see how this great treatment works, it becomes more obvious that it is a highly effective way to deal with pain in ball of foot or other foot pain. 

This treatment method was developed thousands of years ago and originates from China.

Though it has its roots in medical treatments that stretch back centuries, modern medicine still recognizes acupuncture for providing moderate medical benefits and it has been found that this treatment is still effective. This is pretty impressive for a treatment that is this old, and it’s one of the reasons that it’s so commonly used even in modern times. 

Some of the things that acupuncture has been known to cure include soreness, pain, and nausea. 

What is massage?

If you have heard of acupuncture before, you have undoubtedly also heard of massage. Massage is another very old form of treatment that sometimes is used for pleasure but can also be used as a medical treatment. This is known as massage therapy

While there have been relatively few studies done on massage therapy to determine if it is a credible medical treatment, many will still attest to it being a valuable addition to alternative medicine. When it is used in conventional medicine, it is often used as a way to cure soreness and some mild pain. 

Massage can also be traced back thousands of years almost to the same roots as acupuncture. It was most commonly used in Asia and Northern Africa as well as Greece and other parts of Europe. The wide range of applications for massage therapy include pain relief, rehab for sports injuries, reduction of stress, relaxation, assuage anxiety, help with depression, and help maintain a state of general wellness for the body. 

In the right setting, massage could be used for foot arch pain or feet pain relief, but you would need to consult your massage therapist. One popular way to address both ball of foot pain relief and shoulder/neck pain is to get one of the top Shiatsu massagers

Though massage is considered to be an ancient art, we do have technology available today to make it more accessible and easy to get for the average person. One of the ways that you’re able to do that is to get an electric Shiatsu massager, which combines the ancient art of massage with a modern delivery system. If you are having foot pain, you might also consider a massaging heating foot spa to relieve your pain. 

When to use massage vs acupuncture

now that you have some background on each treatment, you are probably wondering when it is best to use massage or acupuncture

So, now that you have some background on each treatment, you are probably wondering when it is best to use massage or acupuncture. This is natural, since the treatments often collide in the real world and are found in some of the same alternative treatment facilities. Here is how these two treatments are generally best used. 

If you are experiencing chronic and more severe pain, then it’s probably best that you explore acupuncture as a treatment first. While a massage therapy session is more aimed at temporary relief and short-term solutions, acupuncture is much more involved and really aims at trying to reconfigure the way that your nerves feel pain. 

Given everything that we know about how acupuncture works, we would definitely say that it should first be explored by those who are frequently taunted by chronic pain and have tried a lot of other solutions without success. 

On the other hand, you have massage. Massage is more often seen as a more temporary treatment. You can certainly receive long-term massage therapy, but most of the time you’ll see massage being used for anxiety relief, relaxation, and sometimes to nurse body parts back to health after a sports injury or other intensive injury. 

The other thing about massage is that it’s less often seen as a credible medical treatment for anything more severe than bruising and soreness. While many studies have been done on acupuncture that determine that is has a role, albeit small, in legitimate medical purposes, there has not been such a conclusion made for massage therapy. 

So, if you are an athlete who has experienced an injury or someone experiencing general soreness, you should probably seek out massage therapy over acupuncture. While acupuncture is effective for some things, minor soreness and injuries probably don’t require such an involved method of alternative medicine. 

How acupuncture helps

Part of knowing whether you should use acupuncture or massage hinges on your understanding of how the treatment can help you. Acupuncture is a great treatment that is notorious for its effectiveness in the treatment of side effects. This includes side effects that might be experienced during chemotherapy, sprained ankles, serious operations, dental operation pain, and most types of headaches. 

These are all conditions that can be helped by using acupuncture, so if you are experiencing any of these, you might want to check it out as a treatment method. Based on studies done by the WHO (World Health Organization), acupuncture is effective as a legitimate treatment method for over 100 illnesses and conditions that span many different areas of the body. 

It’s clear that although acupuncture isn’t always the right choice for everyone, it is a highly effective treatment for those who qualify. 

How massage helps

just as we need to know how acupuncture helps, we also need to know the same information for massage in order to make an informed decision

Just as we need to know how acupuncture helps, we also need to know the same information for massage in order to make an informed decision. Massage is mostly effective in muscle-related injuries. While acupuncture helps severe pain stemming from the nerves, massage addresses a more mild type of pain that originates from the muscles as the result of injuries. 

It is true that this kind of pain is less severe than nerve pain, generally, but it’s important to note that it will also often last longer.

That’s why it’s still important to address this kind of pain in the best way possible to increase your comfort. One thing that happens when you undergo massage therapy is that your muscles and nervous system will release endorphins, which help to relieve pain in your muscles. This is a hugely beneficial result of massage therapy. You can also count on massage to help your blood circulation, which helps with a number of health problems and can help you recover from injuries faster. 

Though massage is considered a more mild treatment with less proven benefits for severe injuries, it does serve a vital role in the recovery of minor injuries and soreness. 

Best of both worlds

If you want to enjoy both of these treatments for what they offer and you feel you need it, you absolutely can. There’s nothing to say that you can’t safely get massage therapy for your minor soreness and acupuncture to help cure your more severe nerve pain. Now that you know each of these treatments a little bit better, you can deploy them to their full potential to increase your quality of life and start tackling your injuries and soreness one by one!


Now that you know a lot more information about both massage therapy and acupuncture, you can make the right decision when it comes to your foot or body pain. If you are experiencing a mild, cut constant soreness in your muscles, it’s best that you use massage therapy. In contrast, if your pain is severe and comes from the nerves or you are experiencing severe side effects of an operation or medical treatment, you should probably look into acupuncture as a possible treatment option. 

If you are experiencing both, feel free to explore both treatment methods! These alternative forms of medical treatment offer a lot in the way of natural pain relief and comfort.