Acupuncture has been used for more than 2,500 years, possibly longer.   There are two different ways to explain how it works, the first is a philosophy based on the way that the ancient Chinese cultures saw the world.  They described Qi (chee) as a form of energy flowing in the body, if there are blockages in this free flow of Qi then pain or disharmony in functioning arises.  Qi is not really energy in a way that can be measured, but more something that can be oberserved.  Similar things to Qi are described other cultures for example Prana in asian traditions or Pneuma in ancient greek (breath/spirit/soul).

A simple example would be – if a person is always tired, perhaps pale looking and weak, they would in Chinese medicine diagnosis be Qi deficient.  The key to treatment for this is identifying the root cause and increasing Qi.

This is quite a common explanation when seeing an acupuncturist – it really doesn’t affect the treatment outcomes at all if you choose to understand what is happening due to a biomedical mechanism of action or chinese medicine philosophy.

If you need a modern biomedical explanation, the British Acupuncture Council have a great explanation by clicking here 

Ben Hymas

Acupuncture treats a wide range of medical conditions

I believe that acupuncture should be a convenient and approachable part of everyday life. There are 28 diseases, symptoms, or condition recognized by the World Health Organization that acupuncture effectively treats and more than 60 additional conditions are currently being studied. Studies are expensive to run and are usually funded by a large body such as the British Acupuncture Council. In a clinical setting we see improvement in 95% of cases.

Acupuncture is proven to help those suffering from many conditions that can negatively affect your ability to live life to its fullest. There’s no age limit (under 16 is ok with parental consent), no drugs, no expensive diagnostic testing, no dangerous side effects and over 2500 years of experience! I am western medical trained in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology and biomedicine which means I am able to understand your health problems in the same way any other medical professional would be able to.

An estimated that over 8 million people suffer from chronic pain in the UK, that equates to 14% of the population. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting for more than three months. Lower back, mid back, upper back, hip, shoulder, knee, elbow and general joint pain being the most common complaints. Studies have shown that acupuncture helps alleviate chronic pain and it comes without the side effects of more common treatments like surgery and prescription medications, especially as it is well known that prescription pain medications can lose effectiveness over time and cause damage to internal organs. Acupuncture increases blood flow and triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties. They are the bodies natural pain killing hormones. Acupuncture helps to manage chronic pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and neck pain

Severe headaches or migraines are also effected significantly by acupuncture.

The Archives of Internal Medicine has documented research compiled by international experts spanning 29 studies and 18,000 participants. The results of these controlled studies concluded that acupuncture relieved common forms of pain up to 50%. In addition, there is less risk associated with acupuncture treatments compared to prescription medications.

In the UK, analgesic drugs and opiates are often prescribed as a first-line treatment, yet only 23% of patients with chronic pain find opioids effective. Acupuncture is an effective, evidence-based, safe, cost-effective, and available treatment modality to treat chronic pain.

Insomnia and depression are often linked and can be a result of chronic stress. The WHO estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Acupuncture induces the release of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. A meta-analysis of research regarding the use of acupuncture for insomnia indicates that it is an effective treatment method

Acupuncture has been proven to accelerate the healing of several types of sports injuries such as sprains, strains and spasms. It relieves pain, decreases inflammation, and increases blood flow resulting in quicker recovery and enhanced performance. Check out Wilma’s review under my customer experiences page! Wilma is a professional paddle boarder and suffered a shoulder injury which affected her performance. We managed to heal the problem just in time for a big 52Km race in scotland!

Acupuncture decreases the symptoms of Hey Fever and other allergies such as a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy and watering eyes. Usually the effects are noticeable after 2-3 treatments and with maintenance treatment can be long lasting to cover the whole season.

Stress has become part of everyday life and when left too long can lead to more serious health problems.

Anxiety is the most common mental health conditions. At present 40% of disability worldwide is due to depression and anxiety. The most recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey indicates that there are some 6 million people in the UK (approximately 3 million with depression as their primary problem and 3 million with an anxiety disorder).

Acupuncture has been proven to reduce stress, preventing the onset of several chronic conditions including anxiety, head and neck pain, weight gain, and insomnia.

Acupuncture provides a safe and effective approach to the treatment of stress and anxiety related symptoms

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend Acupuncture in the treatment of various digestive disorders based on peer review evidence.

Acupuncture is recognised as an effective treatment for nausea, vomiting, heartburn and stomach pain. Preliminary studies show that it may also be an option for treating constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Acupuncture works by altering the endocrine system to optimise the digestive process

There is no evidence to show that acupuncture can help treat or cure cancer. However, research suggests that it can help relieve some cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. Research into acupuncture for cancer focuses on treating chemotherapy related sickness, tiredness and pain. In clinical experience I have also found it very beneficial for pain relief in those undertaking radiotherapy, it is also beneficial in post treatment recovery.

The effects acupuncture can have with stress also mean it is really beneficial for patients at any point in their journey

Most people in the modern world are living in what I refer to as fight/flight mode. In response to acute stress, the sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This process makes your body react as if you were being chased by a bear!

As a consequence the “rest/digest” part of your nervous system is impaired, you dont sleep properly, cant relax, digestion is impaired which has a knock on effect to your overall wellbeing.

Acupuncture promotes deep relaxation by activating the body’s parasympathetic nervous system (rest/digest) functions. It creates “homeostasis” which means a balance – between the rest and digest and the fight or flight part of your nervous system.

Reaching this state is essential to restoring and maintaining health. That is why regular acupuncture at least once a month is always recommended