The Mini Guide to Chinese Acupuncture

Acupuncture, or Chinese acupuncture, has been used for the last 2,500 years as a main staple of the Chinese healthcare system. It’s seen as beneficial for all sorts of illnesses – both physical and emotional. At Acupuncture That Works we are specially trained to administer acupuncture so you can really feel the benefits.

Facial Acupuncture

What is Chinese acupuncture?

In a nutshell, Chinese acupuncture is based on energy flow patterns or “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). Disrupted Qi is believed to cause disease, illness, stress and many other mental and physical complaints. Acupuncture is used to stimulate and divert Qi to certain points on the skin, thus “unblocking” any disruptions. Slim metallic needles penetrate the skin and are manipulated using either electrical or manual stimulation. Acupuncture remains extremely popular in China, as well as Japan, Korea and even the USA.

What is Chinese acupuncture used for?

Chinese acupuncture is commonly used for pain related conditions such as arthritis, shoulder/neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica. However, Chinese acupuncture is also used to treat conditions including:

  • Ear, nose and throat: Sore throats, tinnitus, hay fever, earache, sinusitis.
  • Addictions: Smoking, drugs, alcohol, food.
  • Gynaecological: PMS, endometriosis, menopause, impotence, infertility, bladder infections, fibroids, morning sickness.
  • Circulatory: High cholesterol, high blood pressure, anaemia, angina.
  • Immune system: Allergies, MS, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis.
  • Gastrointestinal: IBS, food intolerances/allergies, gastritis, diarrhoea, stomach ulcers, constipation.
  • Emotional: Anxiety, insomnia, depression, stress.
  • Respiratory: Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, common cold, flu.
  • Musculoskeletal: Back pain, migraines, muscle spasms, sprains.

What are the possible side effects of Chinese acupuncture?

As with all medical procedures, Western and Eastern, there are potential side effects. Chinese acupuncture side effects may include:

  • Fatigue: Feeling drained after an acupuncture session is a possible side effect. However, that’s just your body telling you to rest. Once you get some sleep, you’ll wake up feeling very
  • Slight soreness: The needles may cause a small amount of achiness – especially in the hands and feet. This only lasts for 24 hours and should completely disappear.
  • Lightheadedness: You may feel a bit “drunk” after your Chinese acupuncture session. Make sure you eat before the procedure to combat dizziness and light-headedness.
  • Overwhelming emotions: Acupuncture is a form of mental and physical release. Some people may cry or feel an overwhelming rush of emotions. This is nothing to worry about – it just means the session has been very successful!

Ready to book your acupuncture appointment? Call us on 0800 051 76 88 to arrange an appointment now.

Can acupuncture help to reduce nausea and vomiting ?

Nausea and vomiting are symptoms that unfortunately most women will experience in early pregnancy. With worries that medication either prescribed by doctors or purchased over the counter could possibly harm their unborn child, many women are turning to acupuncture as an alternative. Despite acupuncture being a 4000 year old practice, new studies are showing evidence of the beneficial effect it can have on modern day ailments.sickness-testimonial-thumb5

A recent randomised controlled study was undertaken to determine whether or not acupuncture can help to reduce nausea, vomiting, dry retching and overall help with general health in pregnant women. The trial consisted of 593 women who were all less than 14 weeks pregnant and were suffering with either nausea or vomiting. They were randomly placed into 4 groups, consisting of: traditional acupuncture, pericardium 6 acupuncture, sham acupuncture and no acupuncture. These treatments were then administered to the woman every week for 4 weeks.

The results of each group were monitored and compared showing that the women who receive traditional acupuncture treatments experienced less nausea throughout the trial and from the second week less dry retching in comparison to the no acupuncture group of women. The women who then received the pericardium acupuncture experienced less nausea from the second week on the trial and from the third week, less dry retching when compared with the no acupuncture group.  And finally the women in the sham acupuncture group from the third week were reporting less nausea and dry retching when compared to the women in the no acupuncture group.


This solitary trail is just one in the many studies that are being carried out showing the beneficial effect acupuncture can have. And, in this instance it is evident that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

Acupuncture for migraines

Modern day life is becoming increasingly stressful for the average person and with this stress comes an increase in health problems, with one of the most prevalent ailments being migraines. Often headaches and migraines are grouped together but where headaches are mild in pain and don’t typically last for prolonged amounts of time, migraines are typically much more severe and can last from 4 to 72 hours. This condition can have a severe effect on individuals but recent studies are showing that acupuncture may provide lasting relief from migraines.

Acupuncture Could HelpThe study was published in the British Medical Journal in early 2015 and detailed how 401 individuals who regularly suffered with chronic headaches/migraines were split into two treatment groups. One group was able to receive up to 12 acupuncture sessions over a 3 month period whilst also receiving standard medical care. The second group however just received standard medical care.

The results showed that those who received acupuncture experienced on average, 22 fewer days with headaches, were using 15% less standard medication, took 15% less days off work and went to the doctor 25% less than the group who received only standard medication. Overall the research showed evidence to suggest to in comparison to standard medical care, acupuncture is able to provide a much more beneficial effect in preventing migraines and headaches and improving general quality of life.

This study has been the first large scale assessment to examine how effective acupuncture is for real life ailments and illnesses. Researchers have suggested that the results of this study are indicators that health insurance should now begin to expand their coverage of acupuncture to treat chronic migraines and headaches. An accompanying study also recently published has also provided evidence to suggest to acupuncture is a cost effective method of treating migraines and headaches in comparison to other treatments which are currently covered on the NHS.

If you are struggling with persistent headaches or migraine why not see if we can help? Call us now on 0800 051 76 88 and arrange an appointment with one of our professional team.