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Helen Barnett


You are here: Women + Health | Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments Available | CAM Practitioner Information | Helen Barnett

Acupuncture

Thursdays 5.00 - 8.00pm


Helen Barnett LicAc MBAcC BPharm MSc

I have been practising traditional Chinese acupuncture for about 20 years, and have worked at Women and Health for about 12 of these. I am registered with the British Acupuncture Council and fully insured.

Acupuncture works to maintain your body's equilibrium. The treatment involves insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of 'qi', your body's vital energy. It aims to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, so can be effective for a range of conditions.

In China, acupuncture has been practise for over 2,000 years, and is widely used there today, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with conventional medicine. Here in the UK, many people have acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains like osteoarthritis of the knee or tension-type headache. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence (NICE) has recommended acupuncture as a cost-effective, short-term treatment for the management of early, persistent non-specific low back pain since 2009. Some people use acupuncture because they generally feel 'out of sorts', and others simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing.

Acupuncture is suitable for all ages including children, and can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine or other complementary therapies. Unwanted effects can sometime include transient tiredness, or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. Two large independent surveys concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction with acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. The needles used are sterile and disposable (i.e. single-use only).

Originally, I trained as a pharmacist, and have since worked as a medical journalist and editor, and a prescribing advisor in the NHS, so am up-to-date with conventional treatments too (for example, possible unwanted effects and interactions of drugs).

For more information about traditional Chinese acupuncture, please see the British Acupuncture Council website: http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/

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