What is Acupunture

Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine and dates back at least 3000 years and possibly a lot longer. It is based on the theory that energy flows through the body along paths known as channels or meridians. This energy can be manipulated at certain points along these meridians by the insertion of very fine acupuncture needles.

A very basic premise is that where there is pain, there is a blockage of this energy. The acupuncturist aims to move this blockage and therefore alleviate the pain.


However this is a very simplified explanation and the scope of acupuncture is much greater than just pain relief.  The flow of our energy, or Qi is what keeps us in good or bad health and if our Qi is stuck, deficient or is too hot or too cold, then we can experience ill health. It is the aim of the acupuncture treatment to balance this energy.

Each of the channels also runs deep into the body and joins to an organ such as the Heart or the Liver. In this way acupuncture can help with internal problems as well as with mental and emotional issues.


What will a treatment entail?
A treatment will start with a consultation to establish a correct diagnosis. A set of points will then be formulated and needles will be inserted into the appropriate areas. The needles are retained for around 30-45 minutes depending on the situation. 

Other treatment modalities may include:

  • Cupping therapy. This is where a vacuum is created on the body using glass cups and is good for relieving tension and pain.
  • Gua Sha. This is a kind of intense skin massage used to alleviate pain and stagnation.
  • Moxibustion. This involves the burning of a herb known as moxa, a kind of mugwort, at certain acupuncture points. This is designed to add energy to the body by warming the Qi.
  • Electro-acupuncture. This relatively modern, yet effective treatment, involves the attaching of small electrodes to the needles and giving a small electrical pulse to the channel. This is excellent for pain relief.


Frequently asked questions


  • Does it hurt? This is one of the most frequently asked questions and the answer as always with Chinese Medicine is that it depends. Sometimes you don’t feel a thing, sometimes a dull ache and some times a little sharp shock. However most people are pleasantly surprised with how little you actually feel.
  • Are the needles clean? All the needles I use are high quality, single use, sterile, vacuum sealed and disposed of safely after use.
  • How long is session? The first session will usually involve a consultation of around half an hour with a treatment of around 45 minutes. Subsequent sessions will usually last an hour.
  • How will I feel after? Usually you will feel quite relaxed and some people describe it as a ‘floaty’ feeling. It is usually best to not do anything too strenuous afterwards, which is a benefit of having the treatment in your own home. Sometime symptoms will be relieved instantly, other times, the benefits may be felt several days later.