Welcome Tom!

Tom Hirons

We are very excited that Tom Hirons will be joining us as an acupuncturist from today. Tom will be taking over from Charlotte who has gone on maternity leave.

Tom used to work with us back when we started in 2012, and he went on to set up Source Point Community Acupuncture in Morton Hampstead.

We are very much looking forward to working with Tom over the next few months. Please join us in welcoming him, and you can read more about him here.



People’s Acupuncture Project, Exeter

Welcome to Pippa, our new acupuncturist!

You may have noticed that we have become a little busy recently. It is therefore with great delight that we announce that Pippa Brown is joining us as a new acupuncturist.

Pippa is starting with us tomorrow 10 June. She is fantastically experienced, having working in community multibed clinics in Hove, Lewis, and Morton Hampstead.  She finds it incredibly rewarding to be part of a low-cost community acupuncture team, helping to create a group healing space and making acupuncture affordable and accessible to all.

Pippa studied at the Integrated College of Chinese Medicine in Reading and practices a combination of Five Element acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Her specialist interest is emotional health and she enjoys creating a healing space for patients to connect deeply with their energetic state.

She is a member of The Association of Community and Multibed Acupuncture Clinics (ACMAC) and is a member of the British Acupuncture Council

We are so excited to have Pippa join us, it means we are able to provide affordable acupuncture to even more people in Exeter, and people will no longer need to wait so long for a first appointment. If you have been on the waiting list we should have already been in touch to book you in to see Pippa.

Welcome Pippa! we are super excited about working with you.

The Peoples Acupuncture Project, Exeter

Now is the time to start Hayfever treatment

Spring is here! But while many people are looking forward to enjoying the summer ahead, for 20% of our population it not such an enjoyable season. For those that suffer with hay fever, or seasonal rhinitis,  it 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 most effective as a preventative treatment. It is advised to seek treatment before the hay fever season starts, in early spring, to support the immune system for the coming spring and summer.

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 during the hay fever season will address the immediate symptoms, the itchy eyes, the stuffy nose etc, but most importantly preventative treatment will focus on treating the cause of your hay fever. The diagnosis will look at how your body responds to triggers, and why your immune system has such an extreme response to something as seemingly harmless as pollen.

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‘s fact sheet

To fund out more about how acupuncture can help you, please get in touch with us for a chat

People’s Acupuncture Project, Exeter

Reflections on a trip to Burma

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough I have been back from Burma for over a month now, it seemed to take a while to properly land. I am happy to say that I no longer feel suspended somewhere between different time zones, climates and cultures. Now that I am settled once again back home I feel I can begin to process the rich experience of traveling and practising acupuncture in Burma.

So here is a little summary of what I was up to:

I was in a team of 4 western acupuncturists invited to take part in a 3 week acupuncture programme which takes place twice a year at a hospital established by a monastery, near Mandalay. The idea of the programme is to enable local traditional Myanmar medicine practitioners who have studied at Mandalay university to gain experience of practicing acupuncture in a supportive environment and learn from more experienced western acupuncturists. In the west we are fortunate to have a very high standard of acupuncture training whilst our colleagues in Burma learn acupuncture as adjunct to their traditional medicine training which focuses on herbs and massage techniques.
The programme is centred around an acupuncture clinic which opens its doors 6 days a week for the period of our stay. At the end of the programme the clinic operates a reduced service 3 times a week and the local practitioners maintain it by volunteering their time but gain lots of experience, a sense of fulfilment and lots of friendship.

Every morning we would walk over the road to the acupuncture hospital where already there would be a long line of people queuing up for treatment and the local team would have just arrived off the bus from Mandalay, a half hour ride away. We would then get together in small teams, a western practitioner with 2 or 3 local practitioners, and work our way around the room.

There was a real variety of patients and we treated a wide range of conditions. There was always a large number of Buddhist monks and nuns, as the area is a hub for monasteries and temples. In order to treat them we would have to navigate the carefully arranged crimson (the monks) and pink (the nuns) robes.  Many of the patients were farmers and labourers with musculoskeletal conditions such as back  and knee pain. We saw a lot of people who had been in motorbike accidents with terrible scars. We were able to work on these scars with daily treatments and really saw the benefit of such regular treatments as scars became noticeably less raised, less purple and more supple. We also saw some impressive results with a lady who had recently suffered a stroke and was paralysed on one side. After 3 weeks of regular treatment her movement ability had significantly improved and she her whole being was much brighter and more able to engage. It makes you think what could be achieved if acupuncture was more widely accessible and part of the mainstream provision in our country. Some patients had travelled considerable distances for treatment with one lady coming from over 100miles. The state provision for health care is apparently very minimal in Myanmar and the population have few options when face with illness.
On some afternoons, after a good lunch of curries, soup, rice and pickles, we would take a short rest before offering a lesson to the students. We were invited to teach about whatever we were most inspired by. And so we offered lessons on acupuncture in pregnancy, qi gong, reading pulses, dental analgesia and safe practice.
A lovely addition to the experience of being in Myanmar was that we were invited to take part in a daily meditation sitting, at the nearby monastery. So we would start our mornings with an hour of meditation which really helped to ground me before a busy day in clinic. I also very much appreciated the special location we were in and the afternoon hikes into the hills behind the hospital to discover a myriad of little paths each leading to a monastery, temple or stupa. And once arriving at the top of a peak admiring the views of the mighty Irrawaddy in the soft, golden light of the late afternoon.
But I think what I was most inspired by was the warmth and generosity of our hosts, a truly humbling experience.

Charlotte is off to Myanmar

Last November at an acupuncture conference, I was invited be part of a team of volunteer acupuncturists going to Myanmar in January. An opportunity which was difficult to refuse, so I am off from 9th January 2015 for a month!
Our team of acupuncturists  will be providing treatments to local people and training to local acupuncturists who have much less continuing professional development opportunities than we do here in the west.
The clinic runs out of a hospital in a large village on the banks of the mighty Irrawaddy river, near Mandalay.
Whilst I am away I am very happy to have Tom Hirons looking after my patients in Exeter.
This promises to be a very rewarding experience. I hope to bring home with me lots of inspiration which will enrichen my practice back in the UK.
If you would like to know more about the project there is a video here: http://vimeo.com/46611296 and a website:http://www.myanmaracupunctureproject.org/2/Welcome.html
With blessings for 2015,


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

Christmas gift voucher

Stuck 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

UK multibed acupuncture and the wonderful ACMAC

Last month we were lucky to spend a weekend with other multi-bed acupuncturists like ourselves at the ACMAC conference. ACMAC (http://acmac.net/acu/) is a fantastic organisation that is both raising public awareness of this way of receiving acupuncture, as well as supporting all of us who are out there running affordable clinics.

Multibed acupuncture is still pretty new and unusual in the UK, but has really taken off in the last couple of years, with loads of practitioners wanting to make acupuncture more accessible and affordable for everyone. There are now 66 clinics registered with ACMAC. If you know someone in another part of the country who you feel would benefit, they can use the ACMAC map (http://acmac.net/acu/clinics) to find their nearest clinic.

ACMAC is a fantastic support for us. This is quite a different way of working than the one-to-one hour long sessions we are taught throughout our rigorous acupuncture training. To be able to provide treatments at the price we do we have to work with much tighter time constraints. ACMAC allows us to share knowledge and best-practice with others doing the same work, to learn new ways of ensuring we are giving you the best possible care and treatment within the multibed model. It was fabulous at the conference to meet like-minded people and learn from each other.

Here’s a photo of us at the conference learning great new auricular acupuncture techniques that we are already finding really useful in the clinic. 2014-11-02 15.03.55

Everyone involved in ACMAC is really excited about bringing acupuncture to everyone. We know what a fabulous treatment acupuncture is and we want everyone to be able to benefit. So have a look on the website( http://acmac.net/acu/) and see if theres a multibed out there for your friends and family too…

Peoples Acupuncture Project, Exeter