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Acupuncture is the use of fine needles placed in acupuncture points. The technique has been used for over five thousand years. A comprehensive system was developed in the far east and this was first introduced into Europe in the 17th century. However, widespread interest in the technique did not develop until the political events of the 1970's allowed travel restrictions between east and west to be eased.

Because of increasing public interest in the subject over the last thirty or forty years, considerable scientific research has been carried out, though much remains to be done. Much more is known about how acupuncture works and some of the myths about it can be laid to rest. It is demonstrably untrue to say that the effects of acupuncture are all in the mind.

Modern imaging techniques have demonstrated changes in brain activity - particularly those areas responsible for the processing of pain and suffering. Current research shows that acupuncture can affect most of the body's systems - the nervous system, muscle tone, hormone production, circulation, and allergic responses, as well as the respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems.

Acupuncture is therefore effective in a wide range of painful conditions and is generally used to treat musculoskeletal pain, for example in the back, neck, shoulder and leg.

In 2009 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended that acupuncture should be made available on the NHS, as a cost-effective short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent, non-specific lower back pain.

Marjolijn Visser

Acupuncturist & Qualified Physiotherapist

"I could not fault the help, advice and service my husband and I received."

I qualified as a physiotherapist in Holland and as an acupuncturist from the University of Westminster in London in 2007. After obtaining a post graduate certificate in medical education, I am now also involved in teaching western style acupuncture to physiotherapists. Acupuncture is now widely used and accepted all over the world.

In the UK more and more people are finding out what acupuncture can do for them. I am keen to integrate acupuncture and physiotherapy so that patients can benefit from both approaches. Acupuncture can be really helpful in obtaining pain relief so that exercises to gain strength will be tolerated better. I have an interest in, and enjoy treating running and other sports injuries, back and neck pain, shoulder problems, and other Musculo skeletal conditions.

Our team member Marjolijin.

More Info

What type of complaints can be helped by acupuncture?

It has been used successfully in the treatment of: headache, migraine, trapped nerves, chronic muscle strain, sports injuries, and various kinds of rheumatic and arthritic pain. This is not an exhaustive list and many other conditions have been treated with acupuncture. Before starting a course of acupuncture the practitioner must be sure that all the necessary tests have been carried out that might point to any serious or potentially serious condition which may require other forms of treatment.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is a potent therapy and, whilst it is generally safer than most conventional treatments, if used without due care it can have adverse effects or interactions with other treatments. Members of the British Acupuncture Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists are bound to a professional code of conduct and are regulated by the Health Professions Council.

Minor side effects such as bleeding and bruising may occur infrequently, and serious side effects are very rare indeed (Witt et al, 2009).

The Treatment will involve the insertion of sterile, single-use needles that will remain in place for 20-30 minutes. The needles may be placed near a painful area, away from the painful area, or on the opposite side of the body. Once in place, you may feel a mild ache, numbness, warmth or heavy sensation.

The results of two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ September 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.

What happens when you come for an acupuncture treatment?

I will use a number of different diagnostic methods to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, including taking a full medical history, reading your pulses, and looking at your tongue. It helps if you can bring a list of your medications with you. Based on this information, a diagnosis and a personal treatment plan will be made. Acupuncture points are selected according to your symptoms.

The needles used are single-use sterile needles that come in sealed packs: they are opened in front of you and are safely disposed of after each treatment.

What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles used for injections and blood tests, and they are not hollow so don't leave a hole behind. When the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling sensation or dull ache. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.

Should my doctor know I'm having acupuncture?

If you have been prescribed medication I recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell me about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.

To book an appointment, call us on 01353 661039, or email

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