Evidence for Acupuncture

There are around four million acupuncture treatments per year in the UK, of which around half are delivered by members of the British Acupuncture Council. Musculoskeletal pain is the most common condition that patients present with, but traditional acupuncturists see people with a wide range of conditions; mental ill health and infertility are the next most prevalent (Hopton 2012): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22240649

The best place to look at the evidence for acupuncture is at Evidence Based Acupuncture. I cannot rate this work highly enough.

You can also find out  more via the British Acupuncture Council, who provide a series of fact sheets on a wide range of conditions and include summaries of research and how acupuncture may be beneficial.

But remember…

Measuring the efficacy of acupuncture from a Western point of view isn’t without its complications.

Chinese medicine is practised and understood in its own terms. Whilst Western science is based on facts and measurements, the classical Chinese worldview looks more at patterns and qualities; it is more about human sensory experience (Kaz Wegmuller 2015).


Acupuncture trials are usually carried out comparing real acupuncture vs sham (needles placed into non-points), but this shows little understanding of how acupuncture actually works and more often than not leads to less accurate outcomes. More work needs to be done on comparing acupuncture outcomes with other modalities of treatment.

Contact me for more information.


Katy Bradshaw Acupuncture Treatment

Before we get started on any acupuncture treatment, I get you booked in for a free 30-minute telephone consultation. This enables you to see if we’re a good fit and for you to ask any questions you might have about how acupuncture can help you.

If you decide you’d like to work together then the next step is to book an initial assessment and first treatment.

When we meet in person I will ask lots of questions to make a complete diagnosis of your main complaint and to get an overall picture of your health. We’ll also talk a little about any emotional experiences that may have contributed to your physical symptoms. This extended appointment is a great opportunity for us to take an in-depth look at your health and join up the dots with everything that’s going on for you.

I am a trauma-informed acupuncturist. This means that I understand that our emotions, traumas (big and little), past illnesses and current and past life experiences all contribute to our physical health and well-being.

After our chat I will look at your tongue and feel your pulses before starting your acupuncture treatment.

The needles are left in for about 25 minutes, during which time you can fully relax. Many people find acupuncture treatments to be deeply calming and may even fall asleep during the session.

Discover a bit more about what this feels like…

After we’ve done some acupuncture, we’ll go through which treatment plan I think you need to be on. I will also recommend lifestyle changes that you will need to make to ensure a quick and successful recovery. We work together on this so that you feel fully supported.

How many sessions of acupuncture are recommended?

The frequency and number of treatments will depend on the severity and complexity of your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them for. A shorter course of 4-6 sessions is common for acute conditions. A long course of 10 or more weekly sessions is ideal for more chronic or complex conditions.

How many acupuncture sessions before results?

This depends on what you’ve got going on. You should feel a difference after your first treatment, particularly a reduction in any pain and lower stress levels. People often report sleeping very well the night after their first treatment.

In fact, you should see results after every treatment, but to see a permanent shift in your health you will need to complete a course of treatment.

If you aren’t able to follow your prescribed treatment plan you may find that treatment is not effective or that your symptoms take a lot longer to improve.

After you have completed your treatment plan you should come back once a month for a tune-up to prevent your symptoms from returning. This will also help you to stay in optimum health.

Many of my patients tell me that they stay in much better overall health since making a monthly acupuncture treatment part of their self-care routine.


30-minute telephone consultation – FREE

Full consultation and treatment (80 minutes) – £85

Follow-up treatments (50 minutes) – £60

Save with treatment packages

6 x acupuncture sessions – £336

10 x acupuncture sessions – £540

Did you know you may be able to pay for your acupuncture treatments with your health insurance? Find out how.