Understanding Acupuncture

Medical acupuncture is a modern treatment approach founded in concepts of neurology, anatomy and physiology. Similar to traditional Chinese acupuncture, medical acupuncture involves the strategic placement of sterile needles into various locations in the body.


Acupuncture points are situated in all areas of the body. Sometimes the appropriate points are far removed from the area of your pain. Your acupuncture practitioner will tell you the general site of the planned treatment and if you need to remove any clothing.

If appropriate, a gown, towel or sheet will be provided to preserve your modesty. You lie on a padded table for the treatment, which involves:


Needle insertion

Acupuncture needles are very thin, so insertion usually causes little discomfort. Between five and 20 needles are used in a typical treatment. You may feel a mild aching sensation when a needle reaches the correct depth.

Needle manipulation

Your practitioner may gently move or twirl the needles after placement or apply heat or mild electrical pulses to the needles.

Needle removal

In most cases, the needles remain in place for 10 to 20 minutes while you lie still and relax. There is usually no discomfort when the needles are removed.

After acupuncture

Some people feel relaxed and others feel energized after an acupuncture treatment. But not everyone responds to acupuncture. If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within a few weeks, acupuncture may not be right for you.

The following information comes directly form the British Medical Acupuncture Society and covers everything you would like to know about acupuncture:


Below are some useful links to other Internet sites.

Please note, we can accept no responsibility for the contents of these sites.

Acupuncture Research

Track down acupuncture research articles:

Search “Acupuncture in Medicine”: the BMAS Journal.
Acubriefs: reference database and search engine.
Phil Rogers search engine: searches several databases simultaneously.
PubMed: database of the National Library of Medicine, USA.
Health on the Net: provides free Medline access.
Acupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Publications and Journals

Acupuncture in Medicine
Journal of Chinese Medicine
FACT – Focus on alternative and complementary therapies
British Medical Association’s report: Acupuncture: efficacy, safety and practice 
House of Lords: Science and Technology 6th report: on the regulation of complementary and alternative medicine.

Acupuncture points

Locate acupuncture points with this helpful site, Qi Journal
Meridian and point location diagrams well presented on acuxo.com
Diagrams of Meridians
Descriptions of point locations: on Phil Rogers Website

Medical Acupuncture is regulated by the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS).

Susie Murphy of The Birkenshaw Clinic is fully regulated by the BMAS.


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