Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine.   Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes. It is used in many NHS general practices, as well as the majority of pain clinics and hospices in the UK.

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the 'analytical' brain which is responsible for anxiety and worry.


A two-month study carried out by researchers at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, saw participants' body mass index (BMI) drop by up to six percent. Reported in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, the volunteers also lost body fat and slimmed down their waistline.

There is some encouraging evidence which suggests that acupuncture has a role to play in helping people to deal with longstanding sleep problems.

The successes demonstrated by various research projects have led to acupuncture treatment being recommended by NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) for cluster/severe headaches.

Many studies and clinical trials evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture at promoting labour and helping with pain management during labour, treating breech presentation, pelvic girdle pain and back pain in pregnancy as well as emotional complaints.

Stress is such a wide-ranging and inclusive term that it is very difficult to give a blanket answer about the effectiveness of acupuncture, however as one of the senior medical acupuncturists in the UK said, if both acupuncture and the 'sham' acupuncture used in a major trial outperform conventional treatment, that has got to be worth investigating.

Although the result of acupuncture treatment cannot be 100% guaranteed, it's still worth to do it since there are almost no side effects for doing acupuncture



  Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.

  Cupping therapy might be trendy now, but it’s not new. It dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

Scientists are increasingly conceding that in the hands of expert practitioners, it might help many patients suffering from a number of ailments.

Cupping therapy offers several advantages including aiding in promoting blood flow and increase blood circulation to muscles and tissue, supplies oxygen to cells, loosens knots, and can release and drain excess fluids and toxins.

Cupping therapy is based on the belief that using suction or vacuum on specific points on a patient’s body can help remove obstructions in the natural energy pathways inside the body and thus cure ailments

(The picture above: Michael Phelps had his cupping treatment before his game, Michael Phelps the 'flying fish', the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals.