Run by Patients for Patients

Presentation By Michaela and Emma on Acupuncture – 16.5.14

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to facilitate a change in your health and wellbeing.

Is everybody clear about that basic concept?

After your diagnosis which consists of questions about your health and all the usual things you would expect to be asked.

Then the practitioner will look at your tongue and take your pulse and ask a few more questions that may think are a bit odd but bear with it because it really helps us to put a picture together.

The needles are then placed in the acupuncture points for your condition and mostly left in place for up to 30mins or until a change can be felt on the pulse. 

Pain, very basically, In Acupuncture terms, is mostly diagnoses as stagnation of Qi and Blood so the main principle of acupuncture is to move qi and blood, thereby relieving pain.

The Science

There are, and are continuing to be more and more good quality research and studies being done now to understand why acupuncture is so successful for treating chronic painful conditions and these are some of the theories that have come to light.

It is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules, resulting in biochemical changes (the release of endorphins).

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points have also been shown to affect the area of the brain that is known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.

It also promotes relaxation and deactivates the analytical brain which is responsible for anxiety.

If you would like to know more about those studies and others please see me afterwards


The practice of burning herbs in conjunction with your treatment, either on the needle, directly on the skin or in the form of a large cigar shaped roll.

The Herb is call Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) it grows a weed in our country (usually be the side of the road) but it is produced commercially in China and Japan and is widely available here in the UK.

Because this herb smokes, there have been concerns about the toxicity of breathing in the smoke, but studies have shown that the smoke is non carcinogenic and safe to use even on pregnant ladies, which, as some of you may know is moxa’s most popular claim to fame. By burning the herb at the end on the little toe of a pregnant lady it can actually turn a baby in the breech position.

This herb has been recorded to have been used by St John the Baptist, who, as legend goes, wore a bunch around his neck to keep away disease. 

In medieval Britton families used to burn a smudge stick of Mugwortto cleanse the air after a death.

The reason we have it growing by the sides of the road in this country is because the Romans seeded the verges so they could pick it and put it in their shoes to stop their feet aching.

In Chinese medicine we use it to move Qi and Blood, warm cold areas, stimulate the circulation and nourish Qi.

Tui Na

Tui Na (push grab) is a Chinese massage technique to move Qi and Blood stagnation, to stimulate circulation reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility.

It can be done through clothing sitting or lying down and consist of a series of pushing and pulling, muscle release techniques and deep tissue work.

It works very well alongside Acupuncture and is especially effective for painful joint conditions.

What we offer

At Woolpit Complementary we offer a range of proven and established complementary healthcare treatments to help manage and support chronic painful conditions.

These include: Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Massage, Clinical Reflexology, Podiatry, Hypnotherapy, Nutritional Therapy, Counselling, Mindfulness Meditation and Tai Chi.

Our Practitioners and Therapists are all highly qualified in their relative fields of expertise, so you can be assured of the best attention at all times in a clean, safe and friendly environment.

Our Practice provides well equipped spacious treatment rooms with good disabled facilities and disabled access; we have plenty of parking and are located just off the A14 between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

To find out more about our services please have a look at our Website Facebook page.

What I offer to help chronic pain

A professional, well documented and effective treatment recognised by the world health organisation and by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) is an excepted treatment for chronic pain.

I have a degree in in Acupuncture and Western Biomedical Sciences; I am regulated by the UK’s largest Acupuncture body, The British Acupuncture Council and as such, have to follow strict clinical and ethical codes of practice, conduct and continuing professional development.

I am also licenced by the local authority, which means I have to follow their health and safety, cleanliness and hygiene protocols.

I have been in practice for 11yrs and have enjoyed having a very busy clinic and feel very privileged to be able to work with people in this way. As a person who lives with Chronic Pain I know how it feels, how it affects and dictates your life. So I am, understanding, considerate and supportive of what you need.

The benefits of treatment

Acupuncture makes you the best you can be, with the resources you have available to you, at this moment in time, so it is totally bespoke to you.

By balancing your resources or Qi, it stabilises it, gives you better access to it thereby improving your overall condition.

So you can then expect some or all of the following things to happen.

It can reduce your symptoms, so you may need to take less medication.

You may have less peaks and troughs of pain, and break through pain.

It will reduce the anxiety and depression that goes alongside chronic pain.  I have often joked with my patients that although I may not be able to cure your pain, I can certainly make you feel better about it!

You may be able to do more of the things you like doing, or feel able to try something new.

Chronic pain is frightening sometimes and it helps to get some professional reassurance, it’s not often these days that we have the opportunity to speak openly about how we feel, so there is a huge therapeutic benefit to your acupuncture treatment.

Taking control of your health and wellbeing is hugely empowering, because you’re not the victim of your illness anymore.

How long would it last

How long is a piece of string?

It varies from patient to patient and differing types of conditions.

Everyone in acupuncture terms is unique; therefore, two people who may have the same western diagnosis will not have the same acupuncture treatment.

Likewise, two people’s experience of treatment for the same condition in regard to how long the benefits last may also be different.

In my experience both as an acupuncturist and a patient I have found that four or five treatments fairly close together (weekly/fortnightly)  are needed to achieve the initial improvement, then start spreading the treatments out until you get to a goal of having a maintenance treatment maybe monthly or bi monthly  or even longer according to what you need.

There are of course, as in all medicine, some patients (roughly 10%) that have no response at all to treatment, which is unfortunate but at least you will know early on if it’s not working for you before you invest too much time and money on treatment

What may you experience following treatment

Acupuncture always gives you what you need, and as an acupuncturist I have no idea what that may mean for you as an individual.

In my experience patients can feel tired after treatment and report that they had a really peaceful rest and felt less pain and more refreshed.

Others feel invigorated and get loads of jobs done.

Sometimes patients have a slight worsening of symptoms for a few days, then feel that they have improved overall for the better.

Some feel much improved for a few hours or days then go back to feeling the same as before.  This is more positive than it sounds, because I can make the improved feeling last longer as the treatments progress.

As mentioned earlier, in a small number of cases Acupuncture does absolutely nothing good or bad.  So the experience is different for everyone.

What Conditions can be treated

Because Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine, in a standalone way, it can treat any condition, because, as I mentioned earlier, it is based on the principle that it makes you “the best you can be”

There is however some conditions identified individually; this is because research and studies have been carried out on these specifically to determine the efficacy of acupuncture.  These conditions include things like osteoarthritis, Migraine Lower back pain, Fibromyalgia etc.

For a full list of conditions you can visit the BAcC website download the list, or look at a particular condition and download the factsheet detailing the condition with supporting information, which includes any research and studies.

Please feel free to ask me about your own conditions afterwards or make an appointment at the clinic for a free consultation.

How Did I come to the Profession?

I was born with a rare condition that affected my growth and bone chemistry.  As a result of that I have premature OA of all my joints.  Some have already been totally replaced and others are on the list to be replaced.

I have been in pain for most of my life, which makes me the lucky one because I don’t know what it is like not to be in pain.

I have always had the very best of care from the NHS and if it wasn’t for the doctors that took an interest in my condition I would not be standing here before you now.

I have always had to have pain medication of some description so I became interested in other ways to help with pain and maintain my health.

I have tried EVERY possible therapy available; I have purchased every gadget known to mankind, I have popped pills and purchased surgical supports.

What worked out of all that, for me, was Acupuncture, Osteopathy and Tai Chi.

Chronic Pain Support Group

Bring People in Pain Together