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1 Queen Street, Morley, Leeds LS27 8EG, UK

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Founder & Director

John P. Heptonstall, MD (MA.), DSc (MA.), BSc (Hons.) Applied Science, M.I.Ac.S., M.B.Ac.C

Traditional Chinese Medicine - Acupuncture & Moxibustion Specialist

and Associates    

Preeti - Physiotherapist with Physiobeats






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   What is Acupuncture & Moxibustion ?


 Acupuncture & Moxibustion is a system of medicine where fine needles are inserted just under the skin in order to treat a problem or disease and moxa, the herb Artemesia Vulgaris, is applied to the body according to requirements specified by a treatment prescription. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) refers to JAM GAAU (Cantonese for "needles & moxa") as a complete whole, analogous to needle & thread and, in accordance with TCM medical principles, a practitioner should never consider the application of acupuncture OR moxibustion in isolation, but either alone OR in combination to ensure the fundamental principle of balancing YIN and YANG is applied in both consultation and treatment. Additional modalities may be applied as necessary, these might include eg. Cupping (where vacuum suction cups are applied to acupoints, usually reserved for conditions of cold and damp), electro-acupuncture (where wires from a battery-operated machine are connected to needles to create an often more effective stimulation of a point, often most effective in inflammatory conditions), and laser-therapy (where soft laser light may be used to stimulate acupoints instead of, or in addition to, moxibustion). This is a relatively painless and gentle form of medicine and is carried out by sterile procedure. No drugs are used and nothing is injected into the skin. 


  The needles are very fine, the thickness of a few strands of hair. It is usual to have about 4 to 10 points treated, but this can be more or less depending on the patient. The needles are left in position for about 20 to 30 minutes. Moxa may be applied by attaching it to needles, may be used to warm the skin thro' the use of a 'moxa cigar', or a small piece of moxa may be set alight on the skin to be removed without burning, to create a comfortable warming effect at the acupoint. Suction cups may be used if the condition requires, as may electroacupuncture.


  What can Acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture and moxibustion is used globally to treat a wide range of conditions including headaches & migraine, anxiety & depression, arthritis, backache & sciatica, musculo-skeletal disorders, allergies & sensitivities, insomnia, pain-related disorders, bowel & digestive problems, sinus problems, infertility, MS, CFS/PVS/ME and many more with varying degrees of success.

How does Acupuncture work?

There are many theories which attempt to explain how acupuncture works. The millennia old Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Theory uses the framework of the philosophy of that time when man and nature seem to have been more in tune. More information in treatment of disorders section.

What response will I have to treatment?

Treatment usually lasts about half an hour, may be given once or twice per week initially and gradually reduced in frequency as the condition improves. The response varies from patient to patient as some feel immediate improvement whilst others improve more slowly, much depends on the type of condition, its severity and length of time suffered, and what medication is being used, so some patients need just a few treatments whilst others need an extensive course of treatment. We strive to effect best results with as few treatments as possible.

 For very recent evidence on the variety of conditions acupuncture & moxibustion treats see

Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2010 Oct;35(5):394-401. "Graded-disease-spectrum of the nervous system of acu-moxibustion therapy was determined based on its clinical efficacy and by fuzzy comprehensive estimation technique". Du YH, Xiong J, Xu YL, Li B, Sun P, Gao X, Chen YW. The First Hospital Attached to Tianjin University of Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China. jpjs_cn@sina.comwhere the eminent scientific academic team states that
"A total of 58 medical conditions involving 4 grades and 126 subtypes were included and analyzed. The Grade I contains 14 subtypes such as Bell's palsy (in the acute stage and convalescence stage), primary sciatic neuralgia, migraine (mild type and moderate type), etc. which can be relieved by using acu-moxibustion therapy only. The Grade II contains 53 subtypes, such as transient cerebral ischemic attack, acute cerebrovascular disease (in the convalescence stage and sequelae stage), chronic Bell's palsy (sequelae), Hunt's facial palsy, etc. which can be relieved by using acu-moxibustion as the main therapy. The Grade III contains 22 subtypes, such as acute stage of ischemic cerebrovascular disease (with coma and without coma), acute stage of hemorrhagic ischemic cerebrovascular disease (with coma and without coma), etc. which may be relieved to a certain degree by using acu-moxibustion as the supplementary or main therapy. The Grade IV contains 37 subtypes, such as Wohlfart-Kugelberg-Welander disease, myasthenia gravis (type III and type IV), myasthenia gravis of medicinal herbs resource, chorea major, etc. whose clinical effects are not known if treated with acu-moxibustion. Acu-moxibustion therapy has apparent advantages in the treatment of different clinical conditions of the nervous system."

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