About Acupuncture at our Bristol Clinic

Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine that works by inserting very thin needles at specific points in your body.

These acupuncture needles are believed to stimulate the body’s natural life force, and thereby promote its healing function. Different points are said to have a variety of effects such as improving organ functions, nourishing blood, smoothing the flow of qi, and calming the mind.

At your first appointment, your acupuncture practitioner will perform a thorough investigation and then tailor their plan to your specific needs. Treatment will seek to address your fundamental well-being in addition to any symptoms that might be present.

Scientific evidence for the benefits of acupuncture is growing exponentially and, in the past twenty years, there have been over 13,000 studies conducted in 60 countries. A wide variety of areas have been studied, including pain, cancer, pregnancy, stroke, mood disorders, sleep disorders, and inflammation, to name a few.

So lay back, relax and allow the needles to do their work...


What to Expect at your First Acupuncture Appointment...

1. Case History

30 minutes

We will start with a general assessment of your health which will include:

  • Discussing your presenting complaint.
  • Questioning physical, emotional and environmental factors.
  • Assessing your pulse, tongue, channels and acu-points.
  • A chance for you to ask questions.

2. Treatment Plan

10 minutes

Prior to treatment I will discuss my initial findings with you, and explain where I intend to insert needles. With your consent, I will then begin to insert the needles as discussed.

3. Treatment

30 minutes

If ancillary treatments such as guasha or cupping are needed, these will be performed before any needles are placed. When the acupuncture needles are in, they will be left for 10 to 20 minutes. This is a good opportunity to apply moxa if it is needed. Then, at the end of treatment, acu-points may be stimulated with needles that are removed as soon as their effect is felt.

4. Needle Removal

5 minutes

When your treatment is finished, all needles will be removed and disposed of hygienically.

I will also advise when to book a follow-up appointment in line with your treatment plan.

Book a Complementary Consultation

I am always happy to call you back for a complementary consultation over the phone, or you can come and visit me in the clinic. If you’re in Bristol and not sure if acupuncture is right for you, I am here to answer any and all of your questions.

How Often Will You Need Treatment?

In general, a course of weekly treatments will be prescribed with an initial course commonly lasting for six weeks. After this course of treatment, I will reassess your condition and prescribe either weekly or fortnightly treatments. Then, as your health improves, treatment sessions will be spaced further apart. Some conditions require several monthly maintenance treatments after the initial course of treatment. In acute cases, you may be asked to come for treatment twice a week initially, and the course of treatment is therefore shorter. 

Acupuncture Information

The NHS website discusses conditions that NICE recommends considering acupuncture for, as well as other conditions that acupuncture is often used to treat. ​

The British Acupuncture Council website gives an overview of acupuncture practice in the UK, and lists all member practitioners.​

The Evidence Based Acupuncture website gives an excellent overview of research into acupuncture, as well as addressing research into specific conditions.​

Client with Acupuncture Needles in Neck
Acupuncture Client with Needles in Shoulder

Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture is considered a safe treatment which, at times, can cause minor side effects, like tiredness, dizziness or local bruising. The risk of a serious adverse reaction is extremely rare. All acupuncture needles are individually packaged, sterile, and disposed of after each use.

Although acupuncture does not hurt there is generally some sensation associated with it. As the needle is inserted the tiniest of pin-pricks is sometimes felt on the skin surface. This is nothing like the feeling you might associate with having an injection as the needles are much finer (0.22mm) and solid rather than hollow.

Please try to eat a light meal about two hours prior to treatment, as it is best to avoid feeling too full or too hungry when on the couch. Please also avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol for at least two hours before your session, as these can interfere with your treatment. Please wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes as many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs and this will make treatment more convenient. Finally, please avoid brushing your tongue, wearing strong perfume, and wear only minimal makeup, as this will allow for more accurate diagnosis.

If you are receiving acupuncture for the first time then you may feel a little light headed or tired directly after treatment. This is a normal reaction and is not something to be concerned about. Acupuncture can also cause the body to become a little dehydrated so it’s good idea to drink some water after treatment. Very occasionally a bruise can appear where a needle has been inserted, but this will be very minor and will clear after a few days.