Acupuncture for corrective & preventative health

As I mentioned in the introduction to last week’s blog on the Chinese approach to ageing well, I recently experienced acupuncture for the first time ever. This was performed by Marianne Killick from MK Acupuncture.

I never imagined this would be on the cards as I’m not a big fan of needles. But when the opportunity arose, I surprised myself by jumping at the chance.


What exactly is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world, dating back to several hundred years BC in China.

Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to affect the flow of your body’s qi, or vital energy.

Acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for thousands of years. The focus is on you as an individual, not your illness, and all symptoms are seen in relation to each other.


Why do people have acupuncture?

Many people turn to acupuncture when they have an issue to resolve. Common ailments include headache and migraines as well as different types of pain, such as neck pain, joint pain, dental painand post-operative pain.

People often discover acupuncture through recommendation, or while working through a list of other possible treatments for their particular issue. You may even be referred by your NHS GP for some conditions.

In my case, I didn’t have a specific problem to resolve but I was encouraged to try a general relaxation taster session.


Health check

Normally, for a longer-term relationship, the acupuncturist would start with a thorough health check, but this wasn’t deemed necessary for a taster session. Before we got started however, Marianne asked me a number of questions for safety reasons. Many of these were health and medical history related to ensure that that she was aware of anything that could put me (and potentially her too) in danger. I’d just add that I asked you about any medications you were on.

One thing she asked was to show her my tongue. Anything mouth related fills me with horror – what if there was something stuck in my teeth? What if my breath smelled? – I hadn’t expected this after all and hadn’t prepared. But I played the game. This was to enable her to get a quick snapshot of my current state of health. She quickly deduced that I probably needed to consume a bit more iron and maybe sleep more and/or drink less caffeine after lunch. I accepted these suggestions.

She also took my pulse as this tells us about imbalances in different areas of the body and how deep rooted any problems are.

Then we were ready to get on with the session properly…


The actual acupuncture

I lay down on a couch, familiar to those from my massageexperiences. Marianne then proceeded to insert a number of needles at various points – starting with my forehead, then working her way around my hands, shins, feet and finally one in the crown of my head. While not exactly painful, I was aware of some slight discomfort as she inserted them. I neither watched her do this, nor looked at the needles once in place.

We chatted as she went about her work which helped to put me at ease, but then she left me to ‘doze’ for a while to get the full relaxation benefit.

There I lay for the next 20 mins or so, conscious of what was going on and where I was, yet totally relaxed. I was vaguely aware of the needles, but they didn’t really bother me.

Marianne then returned her attention to me, deftly removed the needles and cleaned up any traces of blood.

Afterwards I felt eerily relaxed for around an hour. Not exactly spaced out, but maybe not 100% there either.

My experience was a very positive one. While it’s not something I’d really contemplated before, it’s definitely something I would look to try in case of any future health issues. I may even consider a periodic session to keep me in prime health.


Great reasons to try acupuncture

Back in ancient times, acupuncture was originally intended to promote well-being by attending to the Defensive Qi (roughly translates as immune system). Some ancient leaders are renowned to have had their acupuncturists killed if they weren’t in perfect health. It’s only over time that the focus has shifted to resolving issues.

What many people don’t realise is that acupuncture can benefit everyone, as it treats virtually every medical condition.  It’s also excellent for helping to maintain a high level of health when used preventatively.

This article looks at 10 reasons why everyone should be having acupuncture as part of self-care:

  1. Acupuncture promotes relaxation
  2. Acupuncture can help improve sleep
  3. Acupuncture can boost your energy
  4. Acupuncture can decrease musculoskeletal pain
  5. Acupuncture can treat headaches
  6. Acupuncture can improve your mood
  7. Acupuncture can boost your immune system
  8. Acupuncture can help improve digestion
  9. Acupuncture can help with disorders related to menstruation and menopause
  10. Acupuncture can help keep you healthy – the recommend frequency is 4 times a year with the change of seasons.

I never knew there were so many good reasons to have some acupuncture. Acupuncture is also cumulative in effect which is why many people start by having a course of treatments fairly close together.


Looking for an acupuncturist

As with any healthcare professionals, it’s important to work with someone competent and trustworthy. If you’re based anywhere near me, I’d certainly recommend Marianne.If you’re based elsewhere in the UK, please use the British Acupuncture Council to identify someone suitable.



Last week I experienced acupuncture for the first time and it was very positive. While not something I’d contemplated before, it’s definitely something I would look to try in case of any future health issues. I may even consider a periodic session to keep me in prime health. Four times a year, with the change in seasons is the recommended amount. Even better news is that the effect is cumulative.


Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at to learn more.