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Featured Frequently Asked Question From Clients

How does acupuncture work?

Here is a short break down of how acupuncture influences the body in a range of contexts:

  • Acupuncture works by reducing pain and inflammation. An acupuncturist carefully inserts an acupuncture needle into the surface of the body which activates a series of signalling pathways, mediators, and receptors to influence health and wellbeing. Acupuncture effects sensory nerve pathways involving nerve fibres and encourages muscle relaxation.
  • Acupuncture balances the fight and flight (sympathetic) and rest and digest (parasympathetic) nervous systems. The parasympathetic system is associated with rest, relaxation, sleep patterns, digestion, and healing of tissue.
  • An acupuncturist via acupuncture can modify the limbic structures in the brain which are responsible for how we deal with stress and illness.
  • Acupuncture can stimulate the body to produce its own naturally occurring important biochemicals to produce a pain relief and feel-good effect. These include serotonin, dopamine, noradrenalin and endogenous opioids including endorphins, enkephalins, dynorphins, endomorphins and so many more.
  • Acupuncture regulates our hormones.

Learn more

Is acupuncture recommended for the treatment management of plan?
Acupuncture is recommended around the world by government health institutions, national guidelines, and medical speciality groups. Recommendations for acupuncture include acupuncture to help people manage chronic pain and also for non-pain conditions.
How long have you been an acupuncturist?
I have been an acupuncturist for over 18 years. I am highly qualified and an experienced acupuncturist. Learn more here.
Is there a best time to have acupuncture during my menstrual cycle?
To regulate a menstrual cycle, I work on a weekly basis over a period of time. To influence ovulation, and the luteal phase, you need to work in the follicular phase when the follicle with an egg inside is growing, I continually apply specific acupuncture points at each session to improve quality and flow of blood to the reproductive system. Weekly sessions are recommended as the appropriate dose of treatment. You should expect to be offered 12 sessions of acupuncture – although the number of sessions needed varies based on the complexity of the case, age of the patient and we bear in mind available timeframes.
How many needles do or have you used today?
I use as many acupuncture points as you need. I have never had a set number. The number of points I needle depends on the prescription during the time of treatment and the treatment strategy required to help you. The number of points applied depends on the patient’s condition, baseline pathology, and strategy. I can use anywhere between 5-30 acupuncture points. I use less acupuncture points for early pregnancy support as there are a specific number for this purpose. I use more acupuncture points when treating acute or chronic pain conditions that require both local treatment (example treatment of the back or knee) and also what we call distal systematic treatment  which is treatment away from the source of the problem. During ovarian stimulation or in the follicular phase of a menstrual cycle I use more acupuncture points that are located on the lower abdomen.
How many acupuncture points are there?
There are over 370 acupuncture points on the body. Yes, I learnt them all, and then I select from this bank which acupuncture points I am going to apply. Each point has an indication, and specific actions. There are a lot of acupuncture points as acupuncture can be applied to a range of problems.
How long do the needles remain in position?
The needles remain in position on average for 20 minutes. Some needles may only be inserted momentarily (a few seconds) at certain times depending on my strategy. The appointment for acupuncture is separated into phases. Phase one, a review which includes feedback, and pulse check. Phase two, the actual treatment process – where I select and insert the acupuncture points. Phase three where the acupuncture needles remain in position while the patient relaxes. Phase four which is the removal of the acupuncture points with a sterile cotton devise and safe disposal of the acupuncture needles.
What made you decide to become an acupuncturist?
I first qualified as a dental nurse in 2001 and needed to be able to help my partner who suffered immensely from Crohn’s disease. I decided to go to the university of Lincoln to learn acupuncture to help improve the quality of life of my partner.
What do you look for when looking at the tongue?
I am trained in ancient tongue diagnosis. This is a unique system that forms part of a method of the diagnosis of patterns. When I observe the tongue, I am looking at several characteristics that are present. These include the colour of the tongue, the shape of the tongue, and whether there are cracks, red points and where are these located. I also observe whether there is a coating on the tongue and the texture and thickness of this coating. Tongue diagnosis is integrated with other clinical assessments and helps to guide my understanding of each person’s pathology. This in turn will influence the acupuncture treatment strategy and prescription of acupuncture points.
When you take my pulse what are you looking for?
When I am conducting a pulse diagnosis, I am not taking blood pressure. I am using an ancient specialised system of traditional diagnosis called pulse examination. There are 28 pulse classifications, and I am taking the pulse to be able to make a clinical judgement of which classification your pulse reading corresponds too. This information also guides a diagnosis, provides an understanding of pathology and informs a treatment strategy. Pulse assessment is a major skill in the profession of acupuncture. Pulse examination enables early screening and staging of a condition, and preventative care within the framework it is applied.
How long does it take to be a fully qualified acupuncturist?
To be a fully qualified acupuncturist it takes around three to five years training. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in acupuncture. I am an acupuncturist specialist.
Can I have acupuncture for free?
Acupuncture is effective for a range of conditions, it is however, currently accessible in general in the UK as a private sector treatment. 
Can I claim for my acupuncture treatment though my healthcare insurance are you registered healthcare provider?
Yes, I am a registered healthcare provider, a member of the British Acupuncture Council. If you have health insurance, you can claim back for a number of acupuncture treatments from a range of insurance providers. I provide you with a receipt after each session. Here is a list of healthcare insurance organisations that cover the fee of acupuncture treatment. Patients will check with their provider before making a booking if they intend to claim back the full or part payments of acupuncture treatment.
What clothes should I wear to my acupuncture treatment?
Please where possible where loose clothing so I can access if easily required your legs, abdomen, and arms. You will need to remove your watch so I can take your pulse, and there are acupuncture points around your wrist area that I may select for you.
When coming to the Stamford Clinic where can I park?
You can park in any car park in and around Stamford. We are located in the heart of Stamford at Scotgate Mews. There is a car park 100 yards from the clinic called Scotgate car park. Many patients park there. There is off road parking close by, but spaces are not guaranteed. There is disabled parking next to the post office in Stamford which is only around the corner from Aquilia Acupuncture Clinic.
When coming to the Baldock clinic where can I park?
There is permit parking only directly outside of the building. However, there are parking spaces all around in a square shape there is a restriction between 11:00 to 12:00 only. You can also park in the centre of Baldock high street with a short walk to the BellandBee building. Or off road around the corner. Click here for our parking maps.
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture may create a feeling of a dull ache, an electric type of a momentarily sensation. Some points may feel a little bit sharp (depending on location) on insertion. Or you may feel absolutely nothing at all when I am placing them in position. Acupuncture is not a painful experience, it is relaxing. Some patients fall asleep during treatment, and they very much look forward to their sessions with me. If you are concerned about how acupuncture may make you feel and whether it is a painful experience, please do not worry about this. Acupuncture in the hands of a fully qualified acupuncturist is safe, comfortable, and relaxing. I use very fine tiny special high quality acupuncture needles and I am highly experienced in the selection and insertion of acupuncture points.
Do you find that doctors believe in acupuncture?
Some GPs may not believe in acupuncture. Whereas some doctors have trained fully to be an acupuncturist or done a short course of acupuncture to be able to provide their patients with access to a level of acupuncture treatment. In some countries doctors are also acupuncturists such as in Italy or China.

If you would like to try acupuncture it is your option to do so. You do not require a referral; you can self-refer. You can inform your doctor or consultant that you are having acupuncture. Many patients self-refer to be able to access acupuncture treatment at a high level and access my acupuncture treatment when they really need it. I am a fully qualified acupuncturist and my training and CPD includes triage and making a referral.


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Do you have a question not answered above? Please email me.