Our practice is located in the beautiful and peaceful countryside of Renhold, which is 2 miles to the north of the County Town of Bedford. Ample off road parking is available at the clinic and is free of charge. Our practice holds professional insurance and we provide flexible appointments to suit our clientele.

01234 772929
Mon-Fri 9am-7pm
Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a treatment involving the insertion of fine needles into various parts of the body. This age old treatment can help to relieve symptoms of some physical and psychological conditions and may encourage the patient's body to heal and repair itself, if it is able to do so.

Currently, there are two main schools of thought: traditional Chinese acupuncture, which is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); and (Western) Medical Acupuncture.

Medical Acupuncture is similar to Chinese Acupuncture, but also applies our current scientific understanding of anatomy (the structure of the body), physiology (the healthy functioning of the body), and pathology (changes to the normal functioning of the body). Medical Acupuncture also applies the principles of evidence-based medicine (EBM). The practice of EBM involves integrating the best research evidence with clinical expertise and the values of the patient.

Studies using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners and other imaging techniques have shown good evidence that acupuncture affects various parts of the brain involved in pain. Acupuncture can be useful for many different types of symptoms. It does not have a simple or single mode of action. Instead, acupuncture has a range of effects on various functions. This makes it far more complex to understand and research.

Acupuncture stimulates the nerves in the skin and muscle, and can produce a variety of effects. It is known that it increases the body's release of natural painkillers (endorphin and serotonin) in the pain pathways of both the spinal cord and the brain. This modifies the way pain signals are received. But acupuncture does much more than reduce pain. It also has a beneficial effect on health and clients often notice an improved sense of wellbeing after treatment.

Modern research shows that acupuncture can affect most of the body's systems - the nervous system, muscle tone, hormone outputs, circulation, antibody production and allergic responses, as well as the respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.

The main therapeutic effects are:
1. Stimulation of the nervous system - sensory stimulation
2. Increasing local nutritive blood flow - acupuncture needling has local effects on the nerves and blood flow in the tissues surrounding the area of the needle
3. Acupuncture causes the release of opioid peptides and serotonin in the spinal cord and brain. These are feel-good chemicals - produced naturally by the body
4. Musculoskeletal pain is relieved by two effects on the nervous system:

  • Decreasing the nerve activity at the level where the nerve exits from the spine
  • Affecting portions of the body supplied by common nerve pathways

The needles used at our clinic are sterile and disposable and you will receive a separate sterile needle for each insertion point. The needles are very fine and have no internal bore like a needle required for injection purposes. The needles are inserted through the skin and can be advanced into muscles and bone. The needles can be stimulated by hand or electrotherapy modalities. Due to its unique ability acupuncture can be very sedative.

Acupuncture is normally pain free although a strong sensation of heaviness, heat, tingling and or aching may be experienced from the target structure needled. These sensations are known as De Qi in traditional acupuncture. Non-needle laser acupuncture stimulation can be used for needle phobic patients and children.

Ideally your acupuncturist will have received training, however, at the present moment in time anybody in the UK can call themselves an acupuncturist and can start to advertise and practice acupuncture immediately, regardless of qualifications or experience. Kevin Walsh has received formal training with The British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) and is an accredited member of BMAS. He has a MSc (Master of Science Degree) in Medical Acupuncture.

If you wish to receive Medical Acupuncture at this clinic, you will need to complete a Patient Consent Form. The form is available as a download from this website. Alternatively, you can complete the form at the clinic when attending for your assessment / appointment.

If you wish to receive further information about Medical Acupuncture then please visit the BMAS Web Site.

Do you have a question?

Please feel free to contact us.