Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an integral part of Chinese medicine, the original "Holistic Therapy", and as such offers a unique view of the body. A key benefit is that It sees body, mind and emotions forming a whole, and addressing and one of these three must include the other two to regain balance.

As an acupuncturist I am able to take the long view of a person's condition and focus on the innate wellness and wholeness of the body. This shifts the view from a problem centred one to a solutions centred one, and then helps build health and wellness based on concrete changes in the persons balance of vitality

Solutions focussed approach

The Chinese Medical tradition has an unbroken literary and practical lineage that stretches back two thousand years. However it is a medicine very much of the present day, with its flexible and adaptable approach that looks for the integrated workings of body, mind and emotions. I always take the time to investigate the main complaint very well, but keeping aware of this bigger picture. This is a key benefit of acupuncture: careful investigation of the main condition with an open mind to causes and thus possible solutions. I call this a "solutions focussed" approach and is both a benefit and hallmark of this medical approach.This is a traditional acupuncture treatment; the form of which is very similar to treatment that has been practiced for the last twenty centuries in the East.

Acupuncture is a kind of holistic therapy that can complement or be an alternative to conventional approaches to healthcare a.k.a standard medicine. Acupuncture treatment aims to rebalance the body, naturally boosting vitality and easing any tension and anxiety. A degree qualified acupuncture practitioner like myself has a very good grounding in medical knowledge and is able to treat lots of conditions, just like a GP might.

I am focussed on treating the main thing you have come with. I will listen to the problem, research it and try and work on getting it better. If it seems I can't help you as well as I would like, I have access to supervisors and a network of other practitioners to get a solution!

My top treatments include acupuncture for back, neck and shoulder pain and acupuncture for fertility. I also have a special interest in the treatment of sleep disorders and insomnia: part of the wide spectrum of approaches of acupuncture for mental health including anxiety and depression. More information about conditions can be found here in the conditions zone. Once your main complaint has been properly treated, some people choose to continue treatment at a less frequent rate with the aim to keep well.

Overall, my treatment aim to treat both symptoms and also the person themselves: to rebalance their energy, and ensure the person feels better in themselves: better from the inside out.

One thing about my approach is that I will always keep trying to look for a solution to your condition and not give up! With so many ways of approaching any problem that with persistance, positive change can be achieved. And when it comes to keeping well, the acupuncture approach is great, as I will look to rebalance your system, and keep the vitality that is naturally present moving.


Treatment is not just getting well but keeping well too. I advocate a long term approach to nearly all treatment, and give tailored lifestyle and dietary advice. To complement this, here on the website is wellbeing advice and special self treatment videos on the Wellbeing page.

Benefits of Acupuncture

The benefits of acupuncture therapy can be grouped into three broad categories of action:

Relaxing Tension, Boosting Vitality and Calming Anxiety

These three actions are a catchphrase of treatment, and actually underpin some of the key theories and mechanisms of the method. We will look at them in turn.

Relaxing Tension is all about stress, and our response to stress. We find a new, very relaxed mode of life.

Boosting Vitality is about combating tiredness, and increasing our inner spark of vitality.

Calming Anxiety is about finding a calm core of our being that can't be shaken by life's ups and downs.

Each of these actions correspond to a set of specific channels and points in the acupuncture system. When we rebalance the body by focussing on one aspect, we actually enhance all three, as these actions are mutually interlinked.

These states actually underpin our health, allowing our system to work optimally, increase bloodflow, enhance metabolism, boost the immune system, provide good sleep and maintains our fertility.

Acupuncture FAQ

What is the meaning of acupuncture?

The meaning of the word "acupuncture" is interesting. Acu means "sharp" and is also found in such words as accurate. "-puncture" is just like it sounds! In chinese the words used for it is "zhen-jiu" 针灸 which means needling (with an acupuncture needle) and moxabustion. That last word refers to heat treatment, often by using a glowing herbal stick we call a "moxa stick".

Does acupuncture have any side effects?

Acupuncture is an extremely safe technique, with very high standards of hygiene and training. Degree level training and continuing professional development ensure a professional approach. I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council which insists on a code of safe practice, ensuring that levels of hygeine and safety in treatment are extremely high.

In essence there are no negative side effects to treatment. Very few adverse effects of treatment have ever been recorded, and these few were traced to unregistered practitioners. On the contrary, the after effect of acupuncture is overwhelmingly positive, with incresed relaxation and sense of wellbeing.

How does acupuncture work?

How acupuncture works is a really good question! Because acupuncture is a traditional treatment form in China for literally thousands of years, it something of a fact of life that acupuncture gives effective treatments, and ordinary people are not very questioning of "how" and "why" it works. Here in the west, we use the scientific tradition to know and make progress, so to answer this we can approach it from this tradition.

In scientific terms acupuncture is thought to profoundly stimulate nervous system, the cerebellum, endocrine system and immune system. Functional MRI scans show actual changes in the cerebellum (part of the brain) during acupuncture needling that relate to increased parasymathetic sysem function and release of dopamine. These changes are then thought to actually mediate direct changes in physiology.

What exactly are acupuncture points?

It is quite well known that pressing certain points / places has an benficial effect on the body. Acupuncture uses these same places, and with placing a needle to a depth of half an inch or so it can make a very specific change. In fact the traditional Chines terms for these places are actually called "holes" or xué 穴

Knowledge of acupuncture points is well known in the technique of acupressure and uses the same places as acupuncture but with strong pressure applied. This can be very useful for clients to use for themselves and I show some self-care acupressure points here on the wellbeing page of this site.

Does acupuncture work?

Another excellent question. The short answer is "Yes acupuncture works!". For most conditions that people come to treatment for, they experience a decrease in symptoms.

The long answer is that it is actually not so easy to answer this question with 100% certainty. In common with other "complex medical interventions" like physiotherapy, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, surgery and nursing, it is very hard to tell with complete accuracy how well the therapy does.

This is because the actual nature of the intervention is completely individualised for each and every client. We do not generally follow standard protocols, and no two treatments will be exactly alike. This means that following more stringent scientific testing is never going to be possible for acupuncture.That being said, there is increasing evidence for the efficacy of treatment for acupuncture. This is reported widely across scientific papers. I use the Journal of Chinese Medicine as my main source of scientific information showing the ways that acupuncture works. for many conditions, there is quite reasonable levels of evidence for treatment, and I often use this information to plan my treatments and communicate with my patients regarding treatment outcomes.

I am passionate about addressing patient's main complaints well, using evidence based acupuncture appropriately and persuing the latest professional training or CPD. These two factors of Evidence based acupuncture and ongoing CPD form the gold standard of acupuncture care.