What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture, as one of the main components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been practised in China for more than 2000 years and has become increasingly popular in the UK over the past decade.

Acupuncture is based on the distinct and comprehensive theories of TCM with its own unique diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. It views the body as an organic whole with a network of meridians connecting and co-ordinating the internal organs, muscles, bone and the skin. Qi (“vital energy”) of the body circulates along the meridians. Good health relies on the dynamic balance of the two opposite yet interdependent aspects of Qi - Yin and Yang.

What will happen when I come for an appointment?

Acupuncture aims to restore a natural balance of Yin and Yang throughout the whole body, seeking to assess the root cause of the problem rather than just to relieve symptoms. It involves the insertion of very fine sterilised needles, (disposable and never re-used), into the body surfaces at strategic points (acupoints) of the meridians. The needles generate a therapeutic effect by regulating Qi mobilisation to regain Yin-Yang balance in the body. The use of needles is virtually painless. Some other therapies of TCM are often applied in combination with acupuncture, such as Tuina (Chinese remedial massage), moxibustion and cupping therapy.

Your first appointment will take an hour and a half. A full case history will be taken. Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into acupoints. By stimulating these points the therapist is able to stimulate Qi. When the needle is inserted, you may feel a slight prick and often nothing much is felt at all. After insertion, the needle will be gently manipulated to cause an important sensation called Deqi. This sensation feels like a dull ache. You will be treated by student practitioners, under the close supervision of a qualified practitioner. All of our practitioner supervisors are full members of either the British Acupuncure Council or the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK), and are fully insured.

Moxibustion is the application of a smouldering herb held close to the skin to cause a therapeutic effect by encouraging the free circulation of Qi along the meridians.

Cupping is the application of glass or plastic cups to specific areas of the body. A vacuum is created in these cups encouraging the circulation of Qi.

Gua Sha involves rubbing the muscles with the blunt edge of a porcelain Chinese soup spoon with a lubricating massage oil. This invigorates the circulation of Qi.

Pulse diagnosis is different from western pulse taking. The therapist takes your pulse on three levels pressing deeper and deeper to find the qualities of the pulse.

Tongue diagnosis is part of the normal appointment where the acupuncturist will look at your tongue for signs and symptoms of any underlying imbalance.

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is our governing body, which ensures the highest level of training at educational institutions and the continuing development of acupuncturists once they have qualified.

When are we open?

Clinics take place most days per week during term time and one or two days per week during the Summer holidays. Messages can be left on the answer machine if the clinic is closed, and someone will return your call when the clinic is next open.

What does it cost?

Payment is £15 per session, payable on the day of treatment. Payment is by debit card or cash.

Consultation is free for new patients.

Appointments must be cancelled at least 24 hours in advance, if not we reserve the right to charge the full amount for that session.