What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a system of healing which is based on the traditional Chinese philosophy that there are flows of energy within the body. In perfect health these energies flow smoothly. But when affected by stress, overwork, poor diet, lack of exercise, physical/emotional trauma etc, the balance of energy will be upset and ill health can occur.

Because Chinese medical theory views the human body as an integral whole, it is believed that pain and physical symptoms may have a mental and emotional cause and vice versa.

To enable the practitioner to identify the root cause of ill health, a thorough diagnosis will be carried out, involving a number of questions, and sometimes a physical examination. Based upon the diagnosis, a series of acupuncture points will be selected. Acupuncturists use sterile, single-use, disposable needles which are very fine, and therefore suitable even for needle phobic patients and children!


What can Acupuncture treat?

  • Lower back/neck/shoulder/hip/knee pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendinitis, frozen shoulder, arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia, facial palsy, trigeminal neuralgia
  • Infertility and pregnancy management
  • Migraine/headaches, dizziness
  • Stress
  • Menstrual complaints and menopause symptoms
  • IBS, heartburn, gastritis and digestive complaints
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Chronic fatigue, MS
  • Asthma, hay fever, sinusitis
  • Insomnia
  • Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis
  • Stopping smoking

and many other symptoms and medical conditions. It is always advisable to call and discuss your individual problem first, to establish whether acupuncture treatment is able to help you.



For information regarding articles and latest research on acupuncture, please visit the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre

The NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines on the use of acupuncture in the treatment of back pain.


The Western Perspective

A more scientific explanation of how acupuncture works, is that the stimulation of certain acupuncture points on the body, prompt the body to release specific hormones and chemicals (such as serotonin and dopamine). These are effective in reducing pain, regulating the endocrine system, and promoting normal function of the central nervous system.

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves which transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. In this way, acupuncture helps the body to heal itself as opposed to the use of drugs for this effect. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture is particularly effective for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.

The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture. Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.

To the human body, acupuncture needles are a physical stimulus. In Western science, a stimulus is defined as a detectable change in either the external environment or within the body itself. When the body detects change, it produces a response. Although acupuncture is not yet fully understood by Western science, with modern technology scientists can now actually begin to "see" the body's response to acupuncture. For example, using MRI, researchers have shown that when a needle is inserted at specific acupuncture points on the body, corresponding changes occur in the brain.


Giving blood after having Acupuncture

If you have received Acupuncture from a qualified health professional who is registered with a statutory body such as the GOsC or BAcC, as we are, you are clear to donate your blood immediately.

Further information from the NHS Blood Doners service is available here.


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What we offer and where

Our clinics in Cambridgeshire and London offer Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Naturopathy, Trigger Point Therapy, Sports Injury and Deep Tissue Massage treatments for an extensive range of conditions.

Our Sawtry clinic covers a wide area from Peterborough to Huntingdon and St. Neots, while at the Steeple Morden clinic we receive patients from Baldock and Royston, plus Ashwell and all over North Herts.

From Deeping St James, our most rural clinic attracts patients from Stamford, Spalding and Peterborough.