Acupuncture is used across the globe for a variety of reasons, from pain relief to weight management. At Pimlico Osteopathy, we use acupuncture primarily for its pain management benefits, with practitioners trained in both traditional Chinese acupuncture and Western medical acupuncture.

It involves the insertion of fine needles and is usually used to help relieve pain and relax tight muscles. It has also been shown to help with nausea and stress. This is a meta-analysis showing impact on post-operative nausea and vomiting, for example.

Acupuncture needles are much finer than the hypodermic needles used in injections and are solid rather than hollow. The feeling is often described as a slight tingling sensation or a slight ache. Needles can be left in place for up to 10 minutes, or removed very quickly.

Acupuncture with Jing

Jing has a wealth of experience with acupuncture in a wide ranges of situations. She first graduated as a TCM Acupuncturist from Shanghai University in 1992 and worked as a medical doctor in Shanghai Jinshan Hospital. She went on completed a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Middlesex University in 2011 . She has a special interest in women’s health and aesthetics and has completed a Post-graduate Diploma TCM Gynaecology and Obstetrics. She has also specialised in FSN – subcutaneous needling. This modern technique has all the benefits of traditional acupuncture with a fraction of the sensation! Jing also likes swimming and LOVES Chinese traditional classic dancing.

What is acupuncture doing?

Although it has existed for a huge amount of time, it is only recently that we have had good explanations for some of acupunctures effects.

Acupuncture helps to stimulate the nervous system and spinal cord, causing the release of serotonin and opioid peptides and inhibiting nociceptive pain pathways to the brain. It also stimulates descending inhibitory pain pathways leading to reduced pain levels. At a local level, it releases neuropeptides and increases local blood flow to the area, helping to reduce inflammation and to improve healing. It also helps to relieve pain from muscles and myofascial trigger points.

This is a very mechanical explanation of acupuncture – of course there are other models, involving meridians and energy, deriving from various schools of Chinese medicine (such as 5-element acupuncture). These models are used by different therapists, and best discussed with them!

Acupuncture clinic, Pimlico, London
woman with headache

What can acupuncture do for me?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for the NHS on the use of treatments and care of patients.

At present NICE recommends considering acupuncture as a treatment option for:


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is a very safe procedure when carried out by fully qualified professionals. Our osteopaths and acupuncturists are qualified to deliver this therapy in our clinic and follow strict hygiene guidelines.

Acupuncture needles are the same width as human hair, much smaller than a normal injection needle, so having acupuncture does not feel the same as having an injection. The needles are disposable, pre-sterilised and individually packaged. These are often supplied in guide-tubes for easy insertion which means that there is no risk of anything touching the needle during the process.

When needles are inserted, you may feel a temporary, sharp pricking sensation but it soon passes and side-effects from acupuncture are rare.

Dry needling

Dry needling, or Western medical acupuncture, evolved as a separate discovery from Chinese acupuncture and is based on neurological principles instead of meridians and energy.  It relies on anatomical knowledge, and we may use it to complement your osteopathic or sports massage treatment where appropriate, only with your full consent.

Currently both Tania Mattock and Duncan Webster are able to offer dry needling within their osteopathic treatments, so feel free to contact them to discuss further.

Meet the team

Duncan Webster
Tania Mattock - pregnancy massage therapist London
Tania Mattock
Jing Ye
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