'A light to help you on your journey of health' Directors: Drs Martin & Sue Allbright
01684-893393 Complementary Health Centre

What is Traditional Acupuncture

Traditional Acupuncture aims to ease pain, dis-ease, discomfort by harmonising, balancing, or restoring the natural capacity or energy flow in a persons body, mind and spirit. By restoring balance and harmony to a persons energy, their health improves and a person is enabled to heal themselves. More….

What happens at a consultation?

The first appointment takes approximately two hours. The practitioner asks about your medical and family history and your lifestyle. Information is gathered about how your various systems are working such as the quality of your sleep and how well you digest your food. A physical examination is also be carried out, including the taking of pulses at the wrists, measuring blood pressure, a gentle palpation of the abdomen and observation of the structure of the back.

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What does treatment feel like?

Once the diagnosis has been made, the next step involves selecting specific acupuncture points which can then be used. This may be with needles, moxibustion (the gentle application of warmth to the points) or sometimes even with the gentle vibration of a tuning fork. Cupping is also an ancient Chinese tradition. We may use any of the above techniques in combination to treat an imbalance.

The extent of treatment depends on how ill a person is. Treatment is the process of re-establishing the energy balance. For some people, improvement may be dramatic in 2 or 3 sessions, for others it is more subtle and may take longer. Generally, a person comes weekly to begin with and then, as improvement occurs, less frequently. You and your practitioner decide when no further treatment is necessary or that treatments should be reduced to once a month, or every three months or at the change of the seasons, in order to maintain balance and health. The speed of improvement varies more according to the person rather than the label of the complaint.

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What does acupuncture needle feel like?

The needles we use are much finer than those used for injections or withdrawing blood. In most cases, only a slight prick (or nothing at all) may be felt when the needle goes

Acupuncture and medication

Many people are concerned about the side effects and symptom suppressing action of prescribed drugs. Acupuncture is compatible with most prescribed drugs. If the question of reduction is appropriate, it is best considered once it is clear that you are benefiting from the treatment and in consultation with your doctor.

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What happens after treatment?

Patients generally find the whole experience enjoyable and can feel relaxed or energised after a treatment. However to help maintain the improvement it is best to avoid the following immediately after treatment:


Excessive food

Sexual activity

Hot baths

Extreme physical and emotional states.

As the balance of energy improves health improves the effect of acupuncture is to do more than simply help the presenting symptom. Acupuncture directed at restoring the overall energy balance will help with the condition and also enable the patient feel better in a general way, hence the frequent comment, 'I'm feeling better in myself', which refers to such things as increased energy and vitality and general well-being

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Needles are made of stainless steel; they are sterile and disposable. The York acupuncture safety study: prospective survey of 34 000 treatments by traditional acupuncturists showed acupuncture to be very safe

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About the acupuncturists

Dr Martin Allbright

Dr Sue Allbright

Alex Brazkiewicz

Andy Levy

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Brief introduction to the history of Traditional Acupuncture

It was through detailed observation that Chinese physicians identified points on the skin which, when stimulated, had an effect on the homeostasis of a the whole human being.

It is generally believed that the first needles were made of stone. Stone needles have been found in ancient tombs in Mongolia dating from 2,500 B.C. Later on, wood, bone and ceramic needles were also used. Then, 3000 years ago, bronze needles were introduced and now with modern developments the needles are made of very fine stainless steel.

Stone tablets have been found with calligraphy on them relating to acupuncture which go back at least 3000 or more years. But the earliest paper writings on Chinese Medicine date back more than 2000 years when a collection of books were brought together and printed as 'Huang Di Nei Jing' (The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine).

Many other pieces of literature have been written since. Acupuncture continued to develop and spread all over the Asian continent and then with the introduction of western medicine to China in the late 19th to early 20th century the western and traditional acupuncture systems started to learn to co-exist together.

Acupuncture was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit missionaries who travelled to China and the far east. In 1929 Dr Soulie de Morant published L'Acupuncture Chinoise which he used to teach traditional acupuncture to French doctors. Then, in the 1950s and 1960s, it was brought to Britain and colleges of training were set up. One of the foremost brilliant practitioners of traditional acupuncture who made such an impact on the introduction of the subject was Professor J.R. Worsley.

Subsequently the last 20 years have seen the training and regulation continuing to develop it into the professional system it is today.

Recently, acupuncture has grown greatly in popularity. Two main forms of acupuncture are now recognised in this country:-

Symptomatic acupuncture, useful to ease the symptom in a limited range of conditions, e.g. for pain relief. This is practised by medical doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths after a short course of training.

Traditional acupuncture, which affects the whole person and assists the patient to function at their optimum well-being, as described earlier. Traditional acupuncturists undergo a minimum of three years study at a college recognised by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board, (BAAB).

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More about traditional acupuncture.

Making an analogy to the petrol (energy) flow of a car engine, if the petrol flow is altered in anyway the car engine will not work as smoothly or efficiently or as powerfully. By re-adjusting the petrol flow the car will function at its best again. Similarly, in human beings (and animals) acupuncture points are used not only at a physical level but also as to what is happening to the persons energy in their mind, spirit and emotions.

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Acupuncture and medication More about traditional acupuncture What happens at a consultation? Fees Acupuncture practitioners What does treatment involve? What does acupuncture needle feel like? Safety What happens after treatments? Brief history of acupuncture

through the skin. When the needle reaches the acupuncture point there is another sensation often described as a dull ache. The sensation felt is generally acceptable and lasts only one or two seconds. Sometimes the needles are left in for up to around 20 minutes but more often they are inserted for only a couple of seconds.

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Major update 2012 All rights reserved

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this site is accurate. It is not the intention to mislead or misinform anyone.