What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Because traditional acupuncture aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, it can be effective for a wide range of conditions. NICE recommends acupuncture for chronic pain, back and neck pain, knee pain, migraine and headaches.


Some people turn to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. Others choose to have treatment to help maintain good health, as a preventive measure, or to improve their general sense of wellbeing.


What training do acupuncturists have?

Traditional acupuncture is practiced by members of the British Acupuncture Council, who must each undertake a minimum of 3 years training at degree level, meeting World Health Organisation standards. Traditional acupuncturists also have a comprehensive understanding of modern health complaints as training covers extensive Western medical theory.


Increasingly supported by scientific studies in the West, acupuncture is now also used in the NHS, by doctors, physiotherapists and midwives. Their acupuncture training varies from a couple of days to six months.


What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture needles are as fine as a cat’s whisker and nothing like those used for an injection or to take blood. Most people find acupuncture very relaxing. Patients often describe the needle sensation as a tingling or dull ache.


How many treatments will I need?

The frequency and number of treatments you need will depend on your individual condition. Your condition is likely to improve within three to six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient. You may choose to have regular acupuncture to maintain your health.


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe. The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.


What happens in a typical acupuncture treatment?

During the initial consultation, your acupuncturist will take your full medical case history, including past health and current conditions. They will also take your pulse, look at your tongue and may examine any areas where you feel discomfort.


Your acupuncturist will then make a Chinese medical diagnosis and put together a treatment plan, which may include lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture. They will select acupuncture points based on your diagnosis and will use very fine, single-use, sterile needles.

Acupuncture works

Acupuncture originated in China more than 2,000 years ago and is now one of the most widely used therapies in the UK. Rooted in over 2,000 years of history and backed by evidence based research, traditional acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of both physical and emotional conditions.

What is acupuncture?

Fine, sterile needles are placed painlessly on the body, activating the body’s own healing response. The holistic style of traditional acupuncture means that treatment is unique for each person. The focus is on the root cause of the problem and not just the symptoms. This helps to restore and maintain good health.

Acupuncture and...

How does acupuncture work?