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What is acupuncture

Acupuncture is a component of Chinese medicine, which is now used widely within the Western model too. It’s based on the understanding that our bodies have energetic pathways, known as meridians, where our life-force (Qi) flows. Qi can become blocked, disturbed or depleted by environmental or lifestyle factors such as stress, poor diet or changes in circumstance. When this happens, the body may show symptoms of pain or illness.

Acupuncture aims to trigger the body’s own healing response and rebalance vitality, by working along these meridians. During your treatment, ultra-fine and sterile acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin at points that relate to specific body systems, such as organs or glands. It’s a safe, gentle and relaxing form of treatment, which can benefit people of all ages, and can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.

Acupuncture can be used to treat specific conditions and their symptoms, such as acupuncture for arthritis of the knee or for lower back pain. It can also be used to treat general feelings of unwellness, for relaxation or to enhance energy, vitality, and zest for life.

Acupuncture in York

Trigger your body's healing response and restore vitality. Ultra-fine needles are used to stimulate your energetic pathways.

About your treatment

Acupuncturists take your whole life into account, from your physical and emotional state through to your lifestyle, to draw a more complete picture of your condition. As a result, it’s possible to treat the deeper pattern of disharmony that underlies your presenting symptoms. As well as a full case history, your acupuncturist may read your pulse and ask to look at your tongue.

Your practitioner will talk you through any possible side effects from your acupuncture treatment, but it’s worth noting that negative side effects are rare. You are most likely to feel relaxed in the body, and clear and tranquil in the mind. Some people experience a rush of energy, while others may feel pleasantly sleepy.

Acupuncture practitioners

Acupuncture and massage therapy
Acupuncture and herbal medicine
Acupuncture and massage therapy
Acupuncture and massage therapy

All of our practitioners are registered with The British Acupuncuture Council (BAcC). The BAcC website offers a wide range of fact sheets about different conditions along with any evidence to support the efficacy of acupuncture as a treatment option:

British Acupuncture Council – Fact sheets


Regarding the recent news articles covering the story of retired England International Footballer, Ellen White:

Please visit this page to read the BAcC statement


Hugh MacPherson

York Clinic for Integrated Healthcare has been involved with many clinical trials into acupuncture, and has been a beacon for acupuncture research over the years, thanks to the clinic’s founder Professor Hugh MacPherson.

Please find links to our resources below, which include videos, articles and research papers:

Hugh MacPherson – YouTube

NICE guidelines for Chronic pain (primary and secondary) in over 16s.

Cochrane evidence reviews

Start your journey

Acupuncture practitioners


While acupressure mats can be an effective aid for relaxation and pain management at home, we don’t use them at the clinic. Your treatment will be tailored to you, so your practitioner will work with specific acupuncture points that relate to your presenting needs.

Do you use acupressure mats?

No, acupuncture needles are never reused. During your treatment, your practitioner will use brand new sterile acupuncture needles, fresh from individually sealed paper packets.

Are acupuncture needles reused?

Acupuncture is not a painful treatment, but in some areas, you may experience the sensation of the needle point on the skin, or a light ache if the area is exceptionally tense, disturbed or blocked. Your practitioner will constantly check in with you throughout the application of the needles, and will make sure you are relaxed and comfortable.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The acupuncture needles will be placed on the acupuncture points that relate to the systems in the body that your acupuncturist wants to affect. Common acupuncture points are found on the arms, legs, back, torso and even the head.

Where are acupuncture needles placed?

It’s important to feel at ease, so we recommend loose, easy clothing instead of jeans or business wear. Your practitioner may need to access your back or legs – you may want to bring a pair of shorts and we always ask you to bring a towel or small blanket to keep you warm and comfortable.

What should I wear for acupuncture?

Ulcerative colitis is seen as an auto-immune disease, which causes severe inflammation of the intestines and bowels. Symptoms include pain, inability to eat and increased or disturbed bowel movements. There's been a growing amount of research into acupuncture for inflammatory bowl diseases over the last decade. Some studies have shown that acupuncture and moxibustion can help with the pain and diarrhea, as well as delayed bowel movement (gastrointestinal dysmotility), associated with the increased intestinal sensitivity of IBD.

Does acupuncture work for ulcerative colitis?

Acupuncture has been shown to help with depression, and especially when combined with talking therapies. The clinic’s founder, Hugh MacPherson, led a groundbreaking trial into the effects of acupuncture on depression, which you can learn more about here.

Can acupuncture help with depression and anxiety?

We have acupuncture point charts at the clinic. If you’d like, your practitioner can talk you through the system and show you the acupuncture points that relate to you.

Can I see an acupuncture points chart?