The Acupuncture Clinic


Rachel Pattison MBAcC Lic. Ac


01892 516 207

07414 025 925


Tunbridge Wells


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From a western perspective it can be difficult to understand how acupuncture works, and this is understandable because we are accustomed to thinking of the body in terms of western medicine. Western medicine currently has no definitive answer as to how acupuncture works, largely because acupuncture is rooted in a different medical explanatory model. Acupuncture is based upon chinese medicine and philosophy, and therefore an understanding of chinese medicine is required in order to fully appreciate what acupuncture does.


Despite these fundamental differences in the way that we view the body and mind, many researchers have attempted to construct studies that include acupuncture within a western medical framework. However it is fair to say that relatively speaking, research in this area is still in its infancy, and there is a great deal more work to be done.


Within western medicine, the gold standard for research is considered to be evidence based medicine (EBM), randomised controlled trials (RCT) so it makes sense that this is the framework used for research into acupuncture. However, Hugh MacPherson suggests that most research into acupuncture is conducted by experts in other disciplines who often underestimate the complexity of acupuncture, and fail to grasp the subtle nuances within it. It is for this reason that MacPherson welcomes the collaboration between acupuncturists and EBM researchers to conduct research that will bridge the gap between the two modalities. MacPherson is featured in the documentary below, but you can also look at the research that he has been involved in on his website,


If you have a bit of time to spare watch this interesting, no biased documentary about the science behind acupuncture by the BBC. The documentary introduces you to acupuncture through a western lense, and then looks at some of the difficulties that are faced when it comes to researching acupuncture within an EBM framework. It finds some astonishing results of the impact that acupuncture has on the brain. However this documentary leaves you wanting to learn more about acupuncture and how it works.

If you want to find out more about how acupuncture works and about chinese medicine, please feel free to call me, or come and try it for yourself.

This documentary is only touching the surface of this subject, but it provides an introduction to the topic of research into acupuncture. It's focus seems to be in large part around acupuncture and the affects it has on pain. However acupuncture treats the whole body, therefore the conditions that can be treated with acupuncture are not limited to pain relief.

The Science Behind Acupuncture

Conditions commonly helped:



•Migraines and Headaches

•Menstrual disorders/ menopausal symptoms

•Infertility/ Subfertility-Male and female

•Pregnancy/ Labour/ Post-natal problems

•Respiratory and cardio vascular conditions- Asthma/ Bronchitis/shortness of breath/ palpitations/poor circulation

•Arthritis – Osteo and rheumatoid

•Fatigue/ low energy

•Low immunity- colds/flu etc

•Digestive disorders- IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chrons disease, constipation/diarrhoea

•Hay fever/ Sinus problems/ allergies

•Other immune related disorders


•High blood pressure/ low blood pressure/ fainting/ dizziness/ tinnitus/ vertigo

•Anxiety and/or Depression

•Musculo-skeletal pain conditions (sciatica, back pain, joint pain, muscle spasm, trapped nerves, fibromyalgia etc)

•Urinary conditions- cystitis, enuresis etc

•Skin problems- acne, eczema, psoriasis etc


This list is not exhaustive; it is used to show the broad range of conditions that acupuncture could help. If you are not sure if acupuncture could help you, feel free to call on 01892 516 207 and we will be happy to talk to you.


NICE 2009 guidelines recommend acupuncture for lower back pain, .

Acupuncture treats the whole person rather than an illness, therefore we aim to identify how diagnosed conditions manifest themselves with the patient in order to manage the individual symptoms that are experienced. The list below is simply used as an aid to show some of conditions that are commonly seen in clinic.