About Acupuncture

People use acupuncture for many different purposes, and research into the field is creating a growing evidence base in favour of acupuncture for many conditions. Some people come for treatment of a specific issue or symptom, whereas others come to improve general wellbeing.

Chinese tradition states that acupuncture addresses imbalances within the body by stimulating specific points on channels of energy called meridians. If you find this difficult to get your head around, you might be interested to know that ongoing research is collecting evidence on how acupuncture affects stress hormones, pain relieving hormones, female sex hormones and hypothalamus function (1, 2, 3). Furthermore, neuro-imaging technology has enabled us to see that areas of the brain are activated when acupuncture points are used, and these areas differ depending on the point used (4).

These advances have meant acupuncture has become more accepted in recent years with 83% of GPs thinking that acupuncture can be clinically useful, and 72% seeing that it can be cost effective (5)

(1) Bo-Ying Chen M.D. Acupuncture Normalizes Dysfunction of Hypothalamic-Pituitary- Ovarian Axis

(2) Ji-Sheng Han. Acupuncture and endorphins

(3) Liao YY, Seto K, Saito H, Fujita M, Kawakami M. Effects of acupuncture on adrenocortical hormone production. (II) Effect of acupuncture on the response of adrenocortical hormone production to stress.

(4) Dhond RP, Kettner N, Napadow V. Neuroimaging acupuncture effects in the human brain.

(5) Lipman L, Dale J, MacPherson H. Attitudes of GPs towards the provision of acupuncture on the NHS.