Canterbury Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing which has been practised in the East for thousands of years. (The earliest surviving texts date from the 3rd Century BC.) It is founded on the principle that our health is dependent on the state of our vital energy or 'Qi' (pronounces ‘chee’).

When our Qi is strong and balanced, our body functions smoothly, we are less prone to physical, mental and emotional disturbance and our Spirit is calm and settled. If the Qi becomes weak, imbalanced or blocked, sickness, pain and malaise arise. By inserting very fine needles into specific points on the body – known as acupuncture points – or by applying warmth to these points, one’s Qi can be strengthened and rebalanced and its natural flow restored.

Acupuncture is very effective in treating a wide variety of conditions and disorders, both acute and chronic. It can be used alongside conventional medicine and other complementary therapies.

Because is it a holistic therapy, diagnosis and treatment are focused on the person and their constitution as well as their symptoms. Hence the benefits of acupuncture frequently include more than just relief from a particular condition. Many people find that acupuncture can also lead to increased energy and vitality, greater self-confidence, a healthier appetite and better sleep as well as a sense of enhanced overall well being.

For this reason, acupuncture can often help when there is no specific complaint but the person is aware that they are not quite ‘right’ in themselves.

The needles we use are made of high-grade stainless steel. They are all pre-sterilised and disposable, thus posing no risk of infection. Needling is practised in accordance with a rigorous set of procedures that have been approved by the Department of Health and provide protection against any transmission of disease.

Acupuncture is recommended by the World Health Organisation for over 60 conditions, some of which are listed below.

  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tennis elbow
  • Infertility / Impotence
  • Pre-menstrual tension
  • Irregular / Painful periods
  • I.B.S. / Digestive disorders
  • Arthritis / Rheumatism
  • Exhaustion / Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Hayfever
  • Bronchitis / Sinusitis



The basic premise behind cosmetic acupuncture – also known as aesthetic acupuncture, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture or Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture [1] – is that the insertion of fine acupuncture needles into points on the face stimulate the circulation of qi (vital energy), blood and lymph in the local area.

This improves skin quality, colouring, elasticity, moisture content, muscle tone, and collagen production and vitalises the appearance generally.

Cosmetic acupuncture is not about beauty but about health.” [2]

The effects can be quite noticeable even among clients who have come not for cosmetic purposes but for other conditions which require facial needling, such as sinusitis, orbital headaches, or Bell’s palsy.

Dominic trained in Cosmetic Acupuncture with Radha Thambirajah MD (China), a graduate of the Shanghai Medical College who has been in practice since the 1970. He then went on to do further training in Facial Acupuncture and Facial Massage with John Tindall at the Yuan Traditional Medicine College in London.

The benefits of Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture include:
• Fine wrinkles may be eliminated completely;
• Even deep wrinkles can be considerably reduced;
• Double chins and ‘turkey necks’ can be lifted and minimised;
• Generalised puffiness and bags under the eyes can be alleviated.

It is important to highlight that these effects can be achieved:
• for a fraction of the price and
• without the risk of disfigurement or toxic side effects associated with some cosmetic procedures such as botox and surgery. (There is, of course, a slight risk of bruising, but this is usually mild and occurs only rarely.)

The more out of balance, emotionally distressed or aged a person looks, the increased likeliness for more dramatic results.” [3]

All cosmetic acupuncture sessions are accompanied by treatment and lifestyle advice (plus herbal supplements where these will clearly be beneficial) which aim to benefit the whole person, rebalancing and supporting overall health so that the ageing process is slowed and the causes of disharmony (which may be digestive, hormonal, mental-emotional, circulatory etc.) addressed.

£75 per session (1.5 hours)

For the first 6 treatments the payment scheme is as follows:
1) an initial payment of £200 is made at the first session, followed by
2) a payment of £50 made at each of the next 5 sessions.

A course of treatment typically consists of 10 sessions, with treatments given twice a week for the first 3 weeks followed by 4 sessions at weekly intervals.

Cosmetic acupuncture is contraindicated in some cases. For obvious reasons, it is not an appropriate treatment for haemophiliacs or those who are extraordinarily prone to bruising. It is contraindicated for people with high blood pressure or diabetes even if these conditions are controlled through medication. It should also be avoided by pregnant women, migraine sufferers and those with HIV/AIDS.

[1] This is the term preferred by the British Acupuncture Council to comply with the guidelines of the Advertising Standards Agency. In the US and elsewhere, the term Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is more commonly used. Conveniently, they share the same acronym (FRA).
[2] Thambirajah, R. (2009) Cosmetic Acupuncture: A Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach to Cosmetic and Dermatological Problems Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh.
[3] Doran, V (2007) “An Introduction to Facial Revitalisation Acupuncture” in European Journal of Oriental Medicine Vol. 5 No. 5. (Read the article here.)

Acupuncture may help increase IVF success ratesAcupuncture can increase the chances of getting pregnant for women undergoing fertility treatment by 65%, a review of the evidence concludes today.

Acupuncture, which involves inserting fine needles under the skin at particular points in the body depending on the condition being treated, has long been used in China to help with a range of diagnoses, including regulating female reproduction. To establish how effective the treatment is, doctors in the US collated evidence from all relevant, well-conducted studies and published their conclusions in today's British Medical Journal.

One in three adults in Britain suffer some from lower back pain every year and an estimated 2.5m seek help from their GP. While most patients get better on their own, following advice to stay active, take painkillers and not to rest in bed, back pain is estimated to cost the NHS £1.5bn a year [1]. Recent research has shown that acupuncture treatment can be effective in treating back pain [2] and introducing acupuncture treatment on the NHS can be very beneficial for patients who are suffering from the one of the nation’s main reasons for work-related sickness absence [3].

We both have many years' experience of successfully treating patients for this condition in private practice and within the NHS. In effect, these new guidelines are a rubber stamp of the positive work already being undertaken by acupuncturists around the country as well as an endorsement of the wealth of research evidence now available in this area. If you, or someone you know, suffers from low back pain and would like to arrange an initial consultation, give us a call on 01227 788 868.

NICE has recommended that acupuncture be made available on the NHS for people who have suffered from non-specific low back pain for more than six weeks but less than a year. This sort of back pain is often muscular and features aches, pain, stiffness and a limited ability to move the lower back. The term 'non-specific' means it does not have a known, definite cause such as slipped disc causing nerve root compression (for example, sciatica), inflammatory medical conditions (such as ankylosing spondylitis), infection, fracture, malignancy (cancer) or another condition that affects the spine [4].

It is calculated that the costs to the NHS of the new recommendations, which apply to England and Wales, will be minimal because they are offset by the savings in terms of reducing future disability and healthcare needs and moving away from current treatments for non-spcific back pain which have little supportive evidence. These include spinal x-rays and MRI scans, laser therapy, lumbar supports, injections in the back and use of a TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical nerve simulation) [5].

[1] Daily Telegraph May 27th, 2009
[2] Statistics provided from HTA Spotlight: Acupuncture for back pain. Research by the University of Regensburg has shown that acupuncture is one of the most effective therapies for back pain. The research published by Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that acupuncture can provide significantly more relief from lower back pain than conventional therapies. The Chinese needle treatment was 74% more likely to lead to a sustained reduction in pain or improved ability to function normally than physiotherapy, medication and advice on exercise.
. Only those who continue to have problems after six weeks will be offered the complementary therapies in England and Wales.
[3] NHS statistics from BAcC Website
[4] NHS
[5] BBC News

Where we practice

We practice in Canterbury and Whitstable

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