Common Conditions

Acupuncture is one of the world’s most widely practiced medicines. In the UK more and more people are finding what it can do for them.

Sometimes it's useful to know what the latest research is saying so here's a brief selection of some of the latest findings on some of the more common health issues seen in clinic.


Acne, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting hair follicles,and sebaceous glands and ducts. Research has demonstrated that acupuncture plus moxibustion (a warming herb) is safe and effective for the treatment of acne, and possibly better than routine western medicine.


Anxiety can be chronic and cause considerable distress and disability. It is associated with a wide range of health issues and symptoms both emotional and physical.

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders such as post traumatic stress and eating disorders.

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Sufferers may experience severe, disabling fatigue, alongside other symptoms. There is evidence to support acupuncture’s effectiveness for some of the common symptoms – chronic pain, insomnia, depression. Often unsatisfactory outcomes from conventional treatments make acupuncture a worthwhile option to consider.


Acupuncture may help in the treatment of cystitis by reducing inflammation;reducing pain and swelling and improving bladder irritation.

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Reviews have found acupuncture is at least as effective, and sometimes superior to, hormonal drug treatment. Acupuncture may help reduce symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause by regulating hormones, increasing relaxation and stimulating nerves.

Periods and PMS

Acupuncture is widely used in the treatment of menstrual problems including irregular periods and heavy or painful menstruation.

Most women of reproductive age experience at least mild premenstrual symptoms (PMS) for some they can severely disrupt daily living. Research suggests there is some evidence that acupuncture reduces PMS symptoms.


Symptoms differ from one person to the next and may manifest in the form of conditions such as IBS, anxiety, migraines, insomnia or depression, back pain and fatigue.

Many people findmtraditional acupuncture effective in not only helping relieve symptoms but to also identify and treat the root cause of stress.

Urinary Incontinence

Acupuncture research trials for a variety of types of urinary incontinence (urge, stress, diabetic, post-hysterectomy, post-stroke) have largely positive outcomes for acupuncture. It may be most useful when given in addition to appropriate exercise regimes.

Skin Problems

Acupuncture may help to relieve symptoms in people with atopic eczema and psoriasis by reducing inflammation, regulating allergic reactions and increasing microcirculation.

Source: British Acupuncture Council July 2011. If you would like to read the full transcript of this material visit
Dental pain

Trials have shown that acupuncture can be effective in the prevention of post-operative dental pain and in reducing the gagging reflex. It is believed to stimulate the nervous system promoting physical and emotional well being.


Two recent reviews, found that acupuncture was similar in effectiveness to anti-depressant medication.

Given that acupuncture appears to be at least as effective as existing conventional drugs, without their level of side effects, it should be considered as one of the therapeutic options, alongside the existing repertoire.

Two specific situations, during pregnancy (Manber 2010) and post-stroke (Zhang 2010; Smith 2010), seem to be particularly favourable for incorporating acupuncture treatment.


The cause of endometriosis is not known and management of pain in women with endometriosis is often inadequate. There is preliminary evidence to support acupuncture as an effective treatment for endometriosis.


The condition can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Research (Xiao 2009) suggests that acupuncture and moxibustion (a warming herb) may be a safe and effective treatment for allergic rhinitis with benefits over conventional medicine.


Acupuncture appears to be at least as effective as existing conventional drugs, without their level of side effects, based on this evidence it should be considered as one of the therapeutic options for insomnia.

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