Acupuncture Christmas Gift Vouchers: A gift of revitalisation and well-being

Christmas gift voucherStuck thinking about what present to get your friends and loved ones at Christmas? Bored of what the shops have to offer?

How about a gift that will help someone feel relaxed and revitalised after all the busyness of Christmas? Or helping someone you know start the New Year on the road to better health?

We are offering beautifully designed Christmas acupuncture treatment vouchers for just £15.

You can either pick them up at our clinic on Wednesday afternoons or send us a cheque to People’s Acupuncture Project, Exeter Community Centre, St David’s Hill, Exeter, EX4 3RG and we will post them back to you.

The People’s Acupuncture Project, Exeter

Inspiration for Autumn

This morning the presence of autumn was palpable, the mist in the air, the damp smell, and the slight feeling of heartbreak that brings me.  For many including me, autumn brings a sense of melancholy, a feeling of loss; having to say goodbye to the warmth and joy of summer.

Autumn is a time of change. Chinese medicine describes it as a time for letting go, and for many of us this can be quite difficult. We may become mired in nostalgia or grieve for what has passed from our lives, focusing on regrets or lost opportunities.

By not letting go of the past we close ourselves off the potential of change and the amazing opportunities this brings. It closes us off from seeing the beauty of the present

In Chinese Medicine autumn is associated with the Lungs. The sadness and grief of autumn can be felt in your chest, often as a sense of emptiness, but breathing is also known as inspiration, and autumn is as much about taking in as letting go. Go out in the beauty of autumn and breathe in deeply and you can fill yourself with a sense of potential and inspiration, allowing you to accept that all things are cyclical and everything changes.

Knocking Migraines on the Head


Knocking Migraines on the Head

Migraine awareness week was marked this month and we were reminded of how widespread and debilitating this condition is. Migraines affect 1 in 7 people, that’s over eight million people in the United Kingdom alone, making it more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.

Research has shown that acupuncture can be very beneficial in the treatment of migraines and headaches as it tends to lessen the frequency and severity of attacks. Migraines can manifest in very different ways from person to person, so at the Peoples Acupuncture Project the practitioner will want to know, among other things exactly where the pain is located, what the nature of the pain is and whether the patient has any accompanying symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, or aversion to light.

An individual diagnosis and treatment plan is then tailored to the patient based on this information and on their general health history. With migraine sufferers, we often see an underlying deficiency with symptoms typically being triggered by overwork, stimulants (coffee, alcohol, sugar) and stress, and so we target the treatment at the root cause and support this with dietary and lifestyle advice.

Patients tell us that they find acupuncture to be a really effective treatment for their migraines and headaches. For example, Julie had been struggling with migraines for over 10 years before she tried acupuncture and she describes how treatment helped her:
‘The sessions helped reduce the frequency and intensity of my migraines. The practitioner looked at my migraines from a holistic perspective. In addition to the needle treatment we had in-depth conversations about the causes that may trigger my migraines. This was very helpful because it made me more aware of how my migraines happen and how I should deal with them.’

If you would like to ask us about acupuncture treatment for your migraines or for someone you know with this condition, please email us at or call Charlotte on 07910 453 794 or Eleanor on 07834 160 906

Inspiration for summer

In Chinese medicine our energy changes with the seasons. The ‘Fire’ energy of summer is associated with joy and our extrovert qualities are at their peak. Here’s how to let your Fire energy thrive while looking after yourself:

  1. Be Active: This is our most energetic time so get outside, play with the kids, swim in the sea. Just don’t overdo it in the heat.
  2. Eat raw foods: In China foods are seen as warming or cooling. in hot weather, cooling raw foods like salad, juices and fruit will keep you balanced
  3. Spend time with people: Express your Fire energy by connecting with others.  Friends and laughter are important. Say yes to that BBQ. Talk to a stranger. enjoy time with your partner
  4. Spend time near water: Fire can rage out of control sometimes, we get overexcited and overheated. Water can cool and calm our minds and bodies.
  5. Get enough sleep: it’s natural to sleep less in summer but rest is still important. Make sure you recharge that energy you’re using.

Acupuncture Outperforms Migraine Drug

A recent study has found that acupuncture performs better than valproic acid in the prevention of migraine pain. Valproic acid is often prescribed as a migraine preventative.

The study, by the Department of Neuroscience at The University of Padova, Italy, showed that patients given acupuncture experienced lower pain intensity and needed to use less painkillers (Rizatriptan) at six-months follow-up compared to those that were given the drug. They also experienced no side effects.

The study can be seen here:

If you suffer from migraines or headaches and would like to know more about how acupuncture could help you, please get in touch for a chat

How does acupuncture help fertility?

It is not commonly know that acupuncture is an effective treatment for increasing fertility and regulating menstruation.

Women often ask us about how acupuncture could help them to get pregnant.
So here is a brief overview of how acupuncture benefits fertility in women. Acupuncture:
• regulates fertility hormones
• increases blood flow to the ovaries and  to the uterus, improves the thickness of the endometrial lining and increases the chances of embryo implantation.
•counteracts the effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. By reducing sympathetic nerve activity and balancing hormone levels, acupuncture has been shown to reduce the number of ovarian cysts, stimulate ovulation, enhance blastocyst implantation and regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS.
Acupuncture also works on an emotional/spirit level, so when stressful lifestyles are impacting general well-being, acupuncture helps women feel more relaxed and better able to organise their lives for good health which in turn will lead to increased chances of successful pregnancies.
At the People’s Acupuncture Project we also give dietary advice as this can often be a factor in fertility. We can suggest foods which build blood or reduce blocks such as Cold or Damp, based on our diagnosis of the individual.
Acupuncture is also a useful adjunct to IVF treatment and is recommended by many private IVF clinics as it improves success rates.
And finally don’t forget male health is a vital role in fertility – so its important that both partners are in good health.
Do get in touch if you would like to know more.

Acupuncture for hay fever: Enjoy your summer!

So summer is truly here, but while many people are enjoying themselves in the outdoors, for 20% of our population it not such an enjoyable season. For those that suffer with hay fever this can be a miserable time of year.

But sufferers should know that this need not be the case. Acupuncture can both relieve the symptoms of hayfever and prevent your immune system over reacting to the pollen in the first place. It can be used successfully during the hay fever season but is effective as a preventative treatment pre-hay fever season. Aisling (34) describes her experience of acupuncture:

“I’ve suffered from chronic hayfever since I was 11 years old with some years being so bad that I’m pretty much house bound for days at a time. I’ve tried EVERYTHING…from local honey to steroids with varying degrees of success (and side effects!). I tried acupuncture as a last resort two years ago and it’s genuinely the only thing that has worked. I don’t have to remember to take antihistamines every day, there are no side effects and it’s the most effective treatment that I’ve come across yet.”

Acupuncture focuses on treating “the Root and the Branch.” This means that treatment will address the immediate symptoms, the itchy eyes, the stuffy nose etc, but most importantly treatment will be focussed on treating the cause of your hay fever. The diagnosis will focus on how your body responds to triggers, and why your immune system has such an extreme response to something as seemingly harmless as pollen.

Some improvements in the hay fever may be seen in the first season of acupuncture treatment, but major improvements will be seen in the second season of treatment. It is often advised to seek treatment before the hay fever season starts, in early Spring, to support the immune system for the coming season

Acupuncture treatment focuses on treating fundamental imbalances within a person, so regulation of the immune system will be a natural part of most treatment. Because of this, people who come for acupuncture for other reasons can often report an improvement in their hay fever symptoms. Tom (34) found that this was the case:

“After 5 summer of suffering from Hay fever quite badly I had been having acupuncture throughout winter and spring for other reasons but got to the time of year it would usually start and no symptoms at all – for the last 4/5yrs now!”

For more information and details of scientific research into the use of acupuncture for Hay fever visit the British Acupuncture Council on

For further information on how acupuncture can help you, please contact us


The People’s Acupuncture Project, Exeter


Acupuncture is a relatively uncommon treatment approach for diabetic patients here in the UK, however in modern China it is very much part of the mainstream. Acupuncture puts the emphasis on treating diabetes with an integrated care of body, the removal of symptoms and prevention of complications. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises that acupuncture can help resolve both specific symptoms and conditions.


From a biomedical viewpoint, acupuncture stimulates the nervous system, influencing the production of the body’s communication substances – hormones and neurotransmitters. These biochemical changes activate the body’s self-regulating systems, encouraging the homeostasis, and thus stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities.


Acupuncture promotes emotional and physical well-being helping people manage better with stress. Stress is a significant risk factor for diabetes sufferers as stress hormones cause blood glucose to rise and promote insulin resistance.


There have been a number of clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of acupuncture in treating diabetes and reducing the risk of developing complications. 


These indicate that acupuncture helps diabetes sufferers by:

  • regulating insulin production (Lin et al, 2004)
  • regulating blood sugar levels (Lin 2004; Chang 2006; Cabioğlu 2006; Jiang 2006)
  • improving the blood lipid profile (Cabioğlu 2005; Jiang 2006)
  • improving blood circulation (Tsuchiya 2007), thus helping to slow the onset and progression of diabetic circulatory complications


Acupuncture can be safely and effectively combined with Western medicine and most people who come to acupuncture for the treatment of diabetes do so as part of an integrated treatment plan combined with Western medication.


CabioğluMT, Ergene N. Changes in levels of serum insulin, C-Peptide and glucose after electroacupuncture and diet therapy in obese women. Am J Chin Med. 2006; 34(3):367-76.

Lin JG et al. Multiple sources of endogenous opioid peptide involved in the hypoglycemic response to 15 Hz electroacupuncture at the Zhongwan acupoint in rats. Neurosci Lett. 2004 Aug 5;366(1):39-42.

Chang SL et al. Enhanced insulin sensitivity using electroacupuncture on bilateral Zusanli acupoints (ST 36) in rats. Life Sci. 2006 Aug 1;79(10):967-71.

CabioğluMT, Ergene N. Electroacupuncture therapy for weight loss reduces serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in obese women. Am J Chin Med. 2005; 33(4):525-33.

Jiang H et al. Clinical study on the wrist-ankle acupuncture treatment for 30 cases of diabetic peripheral neuritis. J Tradit Chin Med. 2006 Mar;26(1):8-12.

Acupressure workshop for natural and effective labour pain relief

Acupressure pregnancy

Date: Weds 15th May, 6.30pm – 8pm

Venue: Exeter Community Centre, 17 St David’s Hill, Exeter, EX4 3RG

Cost: £20 per couple

A small group workshop for expectant mothers and their birthing partners to learn a selection of acupressure points useful in labour. The birthing partner will discover how they can be of great use and support during the birthing process.

These techniques can help promote the start of labour, offer pain relief, reduce nausea, help the baby descend, and be calming for the mother. Acupressure can be used anywhere so is useful for home, birthing centre or hospital births and can be done in many positions even in birthing pools which makes it an essential tool for any mother-to-be. It can be used on its own or alongside other pain relief methods and it makes the birthing partner an active part of the process.

The workshop will last 1.5hrs, include tea and a comprehensive acupressure booklet.

You will learn really useful acupressure points, how to locate them, when to use them and you will leave feeling prepared and confident to incorporate acupressure into labour when the time comes.

Booking essential. Contact us to book and for more information