Yvonne Claremont Acupuncturist in Southampton and Lyndhurst acupuncture and cupping in action

About acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the most popular and well-established types of complementary medicine in the UK. There are over 2,600 acupuncture practitioners belonging to the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the largest professional body for acupuncture in the UK. The BAcC set ethical, safety and educational standards for acupuncturists in the UK. Worldwide there are upwards of three million practitioners.

Increasingly, mainstream medicine is recognising acupuncture as an excellent treatment option for a whole host of conditions and GPs are increasingly happy to recommend it to their patients. New pieces of research into the benefits of acupuncture frequently appear in the national press or are presented on the radio or television.

Some background about acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient system of medicine dating back well over 2,000 years. It offers an holistic approach to the management of disease as well as the maintenance of general health. The focus is on improving the overall wellbeing of the patient rather than simply treating specific symptoms in isolation. As well as focusing on relieving your symptoms, acupuncture treatment will attend to your individual needs. Consequently, treatment can also result in you having increased energy, improved sleep patterns and generally feeling ‘much better’.

How acupuncture works

photo of acupuncture needlesAcupuncture is the insertion of very fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points which are located all over the body on a network of invisible pathways called channels. The human body is full of energy, termed 'qi' (pronounced 'chi') by the Chinese. This energy needs to be in balance, and illness and disease occur when it is not. This energy drives all of our physiological processes such as our digestion, our physical energy and our metabolic energy. Chinese medicine believes that this smooth flow of energy can become altered through many different causes e.g. poor nutrition, stress or physical injury.

Extremely fine needles stimulate the pathways of energy, which run beneath the surface of the skin. The needles stimulate the body's healing response and help restore the body's balance of energy. As a result patients can experience a change in physical symptoms and an overall sense of well-being.

Acupuncture from a western perspective

From a Western perspective it is believed that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system, which then releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals stimulate the body’s self-regulating systems, such as the immune system and hormonal system, to work to overcome any imbalances existing in the body. This therefore promotes physical, mental and emotional health in a person.

Acupuncture also often has an explanation for signs and symptoms that Western doctors puzzle over. This is because the diseases have arisen from imbalances or blockages in the channels and their connected organs. For example when patients are having heart problems, they often have pain radiating down the arm to the little finger, this can be explained by the fact that the acupuncture channel of the heart travels down the little finger. The same with headaches and feeling nauseous. Acupuncturists recognise this as being an imbalance in the gall bladder and this channel travels from the toes, up the side of the leg, the side of the body, round where the gall bladder lies, up to the eyes (which is why vision is sometimes affected with migraines) around the ears and over the head leading to a feeling of nausea.

General public survey

A survey into complementary medicine was carried out by Which magazine in 1995. Of the 745 people who replied:
75% felt that their condition had been helped as a direct result of treatment
83% felt their general sense of wellbeing had improved.
Of those who had acupuncture 81% said they were satisfied with the result of their treatment.

For more information on acupuncture

More information on how acupuncture works is available from the British Acupuncture Council.


logo Acupuncture in Southampton and Winchester at:
The Grove Centre, Southampton, Hampshire
The Naturopathic Centre, 1 Lake Court, Hursley, Winchester, Hants

©2015 Yvonne Claremont, Acupuncturist