Judy Bowen-Jones

About Acupuncture – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

One of the oldest systems of medicine, acupuncture originated in China around three thousand years ago. It is now widely accepted and used around the world both as a stand-alone therapy and alongside conventional medicine. Research suggests that approximately 1 in 10 UK adults have had acupuncture at some time in their lives.

The benefits of this gentle but powerful therapy are now recognised by the NHS National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Today acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of acute and chronic health conditions and to improve physical, mental and emotional health. For details of conditions treated please click here.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine hair-like needles into specific points (acupuncture points) on the body to stimulate your body’s own natural healing processes.

Further Information

“If you have any questions about acupuncture or want to find out more about how acupuncture could help you, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Judy Bowen-Jones Lic Ac BSc Hons Ac MBAcC

Research shows that acupuncture can help restore and promote good health in a number of ways including:

  • Providing pain relief
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving sleep
  • Aiding digestion
  • Stimulating circulation
  • Enhancing immunity
  • Balancing hormones
  • Improving energy levels
  • Reducing the side-effects of medication (eg chemotherapy or IVF medication)

How acupuncture can benefit you depends on your individual constitution and health needs. Traditional acupuncture treats you as a whole person not just your symptoms. Your treatment aims to address the underlying cause(s) of your condition as well as your symptoms. So every patient’s treatment plan is different. Many acupuncture also patients report:

  • Other minor niggling complaints resolve as their main complaint improves
  • Experiencing a sense of wellbeing and elation from their acupuncture treatments

Some people choose acupuncture to help with a specific condition or symptom. Others have acupuncture preventatively to help them maintain good health and wellbeing.

To find out how acupuncture can help you call Judy on 07593 341439.

According to Chinese Medical Theory, in good health our vital energy or qi flows smoothly around our body. This flow of qi can be disturbed by a number of factors, including emotional stress, physical injury, poor lifestyle or diet, hereditary factors, infections and even weather conditions. When our qi becomes disturbed, depleted or blocked, pain, illness or dis-ease may result. For example, grief from a bereavement or prolonged stress can lead to exhaustion; some arthritis sufferers report that their symptoms are worse in damp or cold weather.

The aim of acupuncture is to restore the harmonious flow of qi and blood in our bodies and our natural balance. In so doing, acupuncture addresses the cause (root) of our condition, as well as the symptoms, leading to longer term resolution of problems. Acupuncture works at all levels of our being, harmonising body, mind and spirit. It works to restore our overall wellbeing. Many patients treated for physical problems, such as shoulder pain, report feeling energised and more relaxed following acupuncture treatment. Patients treated for emotional difficulties often report an improvement in their physical symptoms.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own natural healing abilities through the insertion of very fine needles into specific points of the body.

Science and Research

The mechanisms for the effects of acupuncture have been the subject of considerable scientific and clinical research since the 1970’s. Whilst the complete picture is not fully understood, there is a wealth of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating a wide range of conditions. Clinical studies of the physiological mechanisms and therapeutic effects of acupuncture report that acupuncture:

  • Calms the sympathetic nervous system (reduces our stress response)
  • Activates parasympathetic nervous system (promotes relaxation)
  • Influences the body’s homeostatic (regulatory) mechanisms
  • Regulates hormone levels
  • Alters the brain’s mood chemistry, heightens senses
  • Changes pain processing in the brain and spinal cord (pain relief)
  • Releases endorphins (natural pain killers)
  • Increases local microcirculation, thereby reducing swelling, inflammation and pain
  • Reduces muscle stiffness and aids joint mobility

Further information and Research, please see the British Acupuncture Council Research Fact Sheets on the specific Conditions pages of this website for how acupuncture works in treating particular conditions.

Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions.


Acupuncture is suitable for all ages, including babies and children. Acupressure (use of gentle pressure on acupuncture points without needles) is used for children under age 7.

Acupuncture can also be used in pregnancy.

Acupuncture can be safely used alongside conventional medicine. Acupuncture may help reduce the side-effects of conventional medicines, such as IVF medications or chemotherapy. In some instances acupuncture may help reduce the need for some medications, such as analgesics for back pain. It has also been reported that acupuncture may enhance the effects of other treatments and medications.

Some people turn to acupuncture because they are unhappy with their medication. If your doctor has prescribed medication it is a good idea to tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. DO NOT stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor first.

Acupuncture works very well alongside other manual therapies such as massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy.

Judy Says …

“I usually include some therapeutic massage in my acupuncture treatments as a pre-treatment ‘tonic’ to stimulate circulation of blood and energy before giving acupuncture. The combination works really well and my patient’s love it!”

Judy Bowen-Jones Lic Ac BSc Hons Ac MBAcC

The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, building with each treatment. So you will need a series of acupuncture treatments. The timing between your sessions is also important. For best results, it is essential not to leave too long between treatments, especially early on in your treatment plan. If you have your first treatment today, you will probably feel an improvement in your symptoms. But if you don’t have your follow up treatment fairly soon afterwards, by the time you come back for treatment, you will be back to square one. Our aim is to achieve continual improvement in your symptoms through following a treatment plan tailored to your health needs.

The number and frequency of treatments depends on the nature of your individual condition.

Typically chronic conditions you have had for a long time take longer to treat.

With acute, painful or distressing conditions I will typically see you twice a week for the first one to two weeks. As long as your symptoms continue to improve then we can reduce your treatments to weekly, then every other week, then every third week, and then once every 4-6 weeks to help keep you well.

For women’s fertility issues, I will usually ask to see you weekly for the first four weeks so I can see what’s happening in each stage of your menstrual cycle. What happens thereafter depends on your specific health issues. Typically, I would expect to see you every two weeks to help resolve any menstrual or ovulation issues, then monthly after that.

If you have any questions about how many acupuncture sessions you may need, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Some examples:

  • Acute, severe pain or anxiety. I would likely suggest that you come twice a week for two weeks, then weekly as symptoms improve etc (as above).
  • Chronic, moderate or intermittent pain, RSI. Twice a week for 1 week, then weekly as symptoms improve etc.
  • Digestive problems. Initially weekly, then two weekly etc as symptoms improve.
  • Period pain. Weekly for the first month, then every two weeks, then monthly.
  • PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome). Weekly for 4 weeks, then 2 weekly, then monthly, for 6 – 12 months.

Acupuncture needles are very much finer than medical needles used for injections and blood tests. Insertion of the acupuncture needles is almost painless. Sometimes you may feel a dull ache or tingling. The treatment is well tolerated, even by children. Some of my clients find their acupuncture treatment so relaxing that they fall asleep and stay asleep even while needles are being inserted!

Use of stimulants such as caffeine increases sensitivity to needling, so it’s best to avoid caffeinated tea or coffee on the day of treatment.

If you are very sensitive to pain, we can start the treatment with one or two needles which will help calm you.

I use very fine high quality Japanese stainless steel needles. They are single-use, sterile, disposable and come individually packaged. The needles used in your treatment will be unwrapped from the packaging in your presence. After your treatment your needles will be disposed of in a special clinical waste container which is collected by a specialist company for incineration.


Acupuncture is a safe, tried and tested system of medicine. It has been used by Eastern cultures to help restore health and promote wellbeing for thousands of years.

Two independent surveys published in the British Medical Journal (MacPherson et al, White et al. 2001) reported that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.

Occasionally clients report tiredness, slight dizziness or a headache after a treatment. Such reactions typically occur after the first session and are usually short lived. Make sure you are well hydrated and have eaten a light meal or snack 2-3 hours beforehand. Avoid having a large meal, coffee or alcohol just prior to your session. If you are suffering from severe fatigue or weakness it might be wise to avoid driving to/from your appointment.

If you are being treated for emotional issues, you may experience an emotional release after treatment. This is considered a positive sign that balance is being restored. Very occasionally you may get a short-term flare up of painful conditions as they start to resolve. Any reactions should resolve naturally within 24-48 hours. If you are concerned, get in touch.

Minor bruising due to needling and (very rarely) minor burns due to the use of moxa (to warm the needles) may sometimes occur.


“If you have any questions about acupuncture or want to find out more about how acupuncture could help you, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Judy Bowen-Jones Lic Ac BSc Hons Ac MBAcC

Be sure to complete the New Patient Questionnaire before your first appointment.

Make sure you are well hydrated, but avoid caffeine.

Have a light snack an hour or two beforehand. Try to avoid attending after a heavy meal.

Please do not drink alcohol prior to your appointment.

Ideally wear loose clothing. Some patients like to bring a pair of shorts or yoga pants. You can change in the cloakroom.

I frequently include some massage in my acupuncture treatments. So please also bring a large clean towel.

You can park on the driveway right outside the clinic door. 

There is no waiting room. If you come by car, I suggest you wait in your car, text me on arrival and I will come and find you. If someone is dropping you off/collecting you be mindful of timings.

If you have any viral symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, sneezing or a temperature, or if you or a close contact has Covid or a vomiting bug, please let me know in advance and we can rearrange your appointment.