Bamboo Massage

Bamboo Massage

Bamboo Massage

Originally from Asia this new therapy is wonderful to have if you like deep tissue work. Available in a 30 minute or 60 minute option, it will leave you feeling relaxed, energised and with a sense that your muscles have been stretched, warmed and elongated.

The treatment uses solid bamboo sticks of different lengths and diameters to massage arms, legs, and back, neck and shoulders. The sticks are gently warmed and applied to give deep and long massage strokes to break down tension and stretch tight muscles. A warm bamboo massage is a unique way to relax tight muscles and release stress and tension.

Booking Time: Available in a 45 minute back massage or 1 hour full body massage

Price: £46.00

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Hypnotherapy is a scientific process causing the release of alpha brain waves, relaxing the body and calming the mind.

It is a safe and natural state that anyone can experience and it enables you to work with your unconscious in achieving your goals.

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic process facilitated in a hypnotic or relaxed state.

Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of mind, similar to the relaxed day-dreamy state you enter during a long meeting, or as a child staring out of the classroom window.

In reality, forget Paul McKenna, hypnosis is simply a deep state of relaxation. The mind and body are inextricably linked, so that when your body is relaxed, your mind becomes calm, and your unconscious (also known as subconscious) becomes more receptive and suggestible. Meanwhile your conscious mind moves into the background and remains aware, sometimes giving you a running commentary of the whole process in your mind, and sometimes going off on a wander.

However, at all times you are totally safe. You could, if necessary, open your eyes and walk out of the room at any time. You feel perfectly normal afterwards and are fit to drive. Moreover, during the session, your conscious “critical factor” is in operation to ensure that any suggestions that go against your values are blocked from entering your unconscious mind. Hence, no unexpected behaviour after the session, such as clucking like a chicken!

Working with the unconscious in this way can help in gaining access to the roots of a presenting problem. Your unconscious mind is a remarkable piece of kit! It is an operating system looking after and preserving the integrity of your health – running your heart, breathing, supervising each of the trillions of cells that make up your body. It is also a vast database, faithfully storing every single moment of your life, including the ones you don’t remember consciously, e.g. even those prior to your birth. Your unconscious is also the best Sat Nav you could ever wish for: if you know where you are in your life, and where you want to be, then by tuning into your unconscious you can plot a path to get you to your destination.

No matter how strong a mind you may believe you have, it is actually your unconscious that is in charge. At times you may feel you are at odds with yourself, or that there’s a particular habit or behaviour you would like to control, or perhaps a new skill you would like to develop. Hypnotherapy enables you to work with your unconscious in achieving your goals, so that life needn’t feel like such a struggle, or that you don’t have to feel deprived in order to progress.

A hypnotherapist can also teach you self-hypnosis, simple relaxation techniques, and everyday methods for tuning in to your unconscious, and harnessing its amazing potential.

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Indian Head Massage

Indian Head Massage

Indian Head Massage

A very relaxing 45 minute treatment working on the upper back, neck, scalp and facial area to help relieve tension and stress. This therapy has been practiced in India for over a thousand years.

It incorporates deep massage to the neck, shoulders, face and scalp. Indian Head Massage is deeply relaxing, soothing and calming for the mind.

Booking Time: 45 Minutes

Price: £46.00

Indian head massage

Indian head massage originated in India where it has been a part of daily grooming for over a thousand years, originally being used only on the head and scalp to improve hair condition by increasing circulation.  It was introduced to the western world in the 1970s and this modern version also includes the shoulders, upper back and neck and is performed in a seated position.

Benefits of Indian head massage

Indian head massage works on emotional and physical tension and stress; the massaging of the scalp increases circulation in the head while the back and shoulders benefit from the release of tension and knotting. Many physical benefits have been associated with this type of massage; muscle tone is increased as is the flexibility of the joints treated.  Conditions such as migraines, asthma and sinusitis have been successfully treated with Indian head massage, and it can also provide relief from stress-related illnesses and insomnia.

Indian head massage can also provide mental and spiritual benefits; depression is often relieved, and a sense of peace and calm as well as an increase in energy levels, better concentration and improved memory are common results. Those suffering from nightmares or interrupted sleep can also see a reduction of these problems with Indian head massage.  Tensions melt away, replaced by a warm glow, and a general sense of well-being and relaxation is felt by most people after this kind of therapy.

What to expect from an Indian head massage

The therapist will usually begin by massaging your shoulders and neck, in a similar way to a standard back and shoulder massage, relieving tension and tight muscles in order to help with relaxation.  Pressure points in the neck can be used to increase the flow of blood and fluids to the brain which can reduce headaches caused by tight muscles or sluggish blood flow.  Your scalp is then massaged; the gentle pressure increases circulation which can help promote healthy hair and relaxes the whole body.  Indian head massage also includes a facial massage which involves gentle stimulation of pressure points on the face and is particularly useful for relieving sinusitis and help with skin tone.

Indian head massage can be performed with or without oils; the oil free version at the Belmore Centre is ideal for a lunch break treat as there is no need to wash your hair afterwards. Most people feel greatly relaxed and more energised directly afterwards, but occasionally there may be some dizziness or a feeling of tiredness or aching muscles.  These rare side effects will disappear after a few hours when the positive results begin to be felt. Indian head massage is generally suitable for most people, but anyone with a recent head or neck injury should avoid this therapy; it is important to avoid alcohol for a few hours in advance of a massage of any kind, and consult a doctor if there is any concern about existing medical conditions.  Indian head massage is a therapy with a whole host of benefits, and can quickly ease tension and fatigue while providing a real sense of contentment and relaxation.

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Thai Foot Massage

Thai Foot Massage Aylesbury

One of the most popular treatments we offer is the Thai Foot Massage. Feet can get tired and stressed out over time and many people can neglect them. This is a real mistake though as we think feet deserve lots of love! One superb way to keep feet in great shape is with a sublime Thai Foot Massage. We would certainly recommend this to anyone who has never tried one before as it is an extremely relaxing treatment, with the choice of having 30 minutes or 1 hour – Heaven!

Booking Time: 30 Minutes

Price: £35.00

Foot treatments don’t get any better than a Thai Foot Massage

For anyone wanting all the benefits of pure indulgence, a relaxing and rejuvenating Thai Foot Massage is the answer. The Belmore Centre gives the best Thai Foot Massage in the Buckinghamshire region and will leave all feet feeling fabulous.

With this treatment, the feet are gently massaged by trained staff, using a special massage technique as well as a Thai foot massage stick to help release tension in the body. Thai foot massage is well-known for being able to promote a sense of well-being as the many points on the feet are connected with various points on the body, which promotes pure relaxation and a sense of calmness.

Thai Foot Massage is simply sublime

The Thai Foot Massage we offer is the best available in Aylesbury and the surrounding areas. The treatment itself makes uses of a small wooden stick to massage the feet and open up energy lines that may be blocked. The points that are massaged connect to the bodies internal organs and stimulating them is fantastic for general well-being.

The unique benefits of Thai Foot Massage are -

  • Helps to reduce stress
  • Helps improve sleep
  • Calms the mind
  • Improve your immune system and overall health

During the Thai Foot Massage, we will use the very best aromatherapy foot balms to help refresh and perk up feet. Once finished we are sure that the results will be visible and satisfying. Many people who have a this massage love the added zest it gives to everyday life too.

Thai Foot Massage to delight

A Thai Foot Massage is a refreshing way to improve overall health and look after tired feet. For anyone based in the Buckinghamshire region, we are the best place to enjoy this fantastic treatment. For anyone feeling a bit under the weather, then it is worth trying this treatment out. It can really give the whole system a kick-start that will astound anyone who tries it.

Of course, it is also superb for anyone needing to rescue their tired feet. This innovative treatment is very relaxing and we are sure anyone who tries it will love lying back and totally unwinding. Offering either a 30 minute treatment or 1 hour treatment, Be sure to check out our pricing page to see how much this fantastic pedicure costs!

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Hopi Ear Candles

Hopi Ear Candles

A gentle massaging of the ears using natural Hopi Ear Candles to relieve tension from sinuses as well as helping with many other symptoms.

Booking time: 30 Minutes

Price: £26.00

A gentle massaging of the ears using natural Hopi Ear Candles helps to relieve tension from sinuses as well as helping with many other symptoms.

Hopi Ear Candles have been used for many years to help induce balance of pressure in the ears, forehead and sinuses. It is soothing and helpful for earache, headache and sinusitis, ear noise and stress.

Ear Candles have a purely physical function. The candle is placed into the ear and lit at the end, as it burns down it creates a light suction (chimney effect) generating a massage like effect on the ear drum. The pleasant feeling of warmth from the candle is wonderfully relaxing and great before going on an aeroplane to help relieve pressure from flying.

Ear Candles are also available for purchase so that the treatment can be repeated at home.

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Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote healing and a feeling of well-being and relaxation in the recipient. The essential oils are extracted from the parts of herbs and plants and contain all the properties of the plants themselves.

Booking time: 90 Minutes

Price: £71.00

Aromatherapy massage is a popular treatment. In this type of treatment, fragrant therapeutic essential oils are used to activate healing properties in your body. Whether you need to relax, ease muscle tension, or clear out the remnants of a cold, essential oil added to a carrier oil can help alleviate most symptoms.

In an aromatherapy massage, essential oils are mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond, jojoba, or grapeseed. Therapists will then add a couple drops of popular essential oils—like lavender, peppermint, bergamot, rose, or geranium—to the mixture they use in your massage.

At the beginning of your treatment, the therapist will invite you to smell various blends, describing the essential oils each one contains and their effects.

After you choose the oil, your therapist will leave the room, allowing you to disrobe and lay (usually face down) on the couch. An aromatherapy massage usually starts with three deep inhalations of the oil you chose, because that's the quickest way to get it into the body. These three breaths also help you relax and become present in the moment. Your therapist will start with a head massage so that you continue to smell the scent as it's being worked into your body.

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A form of gentle exercise to harmonise body and mind.

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing. You do not have to be supple or fit to practise yoga and the benefits to mind and body are well documented. Yoga classes are designed to suit all abilities and levels with emphasis on helping each person develop, explore and feel comfortable moving their own body.

There are many different styles of Yoga – contact the teacher of the class to find out what type they teach and if it would be suitable for you.

Before joining a group class, clients are asked to inform their teacher of any injuries, aches and pains or health issues which may affect them before commencing a session so that classes can be tailored to suit the needs of those attending. If you have an injury or have doubts about your physical fitness, please consult your doctor or physiotherapist and speak to us before enrolling. An initial one-to-one session may be appropriate.

For more information on Yoga classes, Mindfulness & Meditation and Health & Well-being workshops available at our studio, please contact Julie Pedrick at Bodyworks Pilates.

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Main Uses for Yoga

  • Problems with mobility
  • Stress
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Asthma, Bronchitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Digestive disorders
  • Back pain
  • Menstrual problems


Yoga (the word is Sanskrit for ‘union’) originated more than 5,000 years ago in India, where it was traditionally practised by Hindu ascetics, or yogis, as preparation for spiritual development. It was introduced into the West in the 19th century, when scholars translated ancient Hindu religious texts. Yoga has grown rapidly in popularity since the 1960s. In the West it is valued more for its physical than spiritual benefits, such as its ability to increase suppleness and vitality, and relieve stress.

Key Principles

In the purest form, yoga is a complete system of physical and mental training – a series of spiritual stages on the path to enlightenment. These begin with ethical guidelines including healthy eating habits, and progress through the practice of as, (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) to meditation and eventually to the supreme level of pure consciousness.

Asanas are performed slowly and deliberately and are co-ordinated with breathing. Practitioners say they improve mobility and stimulate tone and circulation. It is claimed that various postures can also stimulate the nerve centres that govern internal functions, including heart digestion and hormone production. Breath is seen as the outward form of prana, or life energy. Controlled breathing regulates prana in the body, bringing spiritual benefits.

Today there are many types of yoga, please speak to your teacher for more information on the style of the class you are attending.

Does it work?

Reputable studies have confirmed that yoga can benefit a wide range of conditions. Yoga meditation has been found to affect the heart and circulation, while yoga breathing has been shown to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks and restore energy. A 1994 study indicated the therapy could help with rheumatoid arthritis.


Don’t eat just before a class – allow two hours after a meal before exercising. Take care if you are practicing yoga during pregnancy or menstruation: some asanas should be avoided. Headstands and some inverted postures should be avoided if you have a neck or back injury, high blood pressure or circulatory problems, disorders of the heart, brain, ears or eyes.

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Scenar Pain Relief Therapy

First developed in Russia by scientists and doctors for the cosmonauts to keep themselves healthy on their space missions, Scenar (an acronym for Self Controlled Energo Neuro Adaptive Regulation) is the most technically advanced pain relief device in existence.

How it works

The device works by sending gentle electrical impulses along the nerve fibres of the central nervous system, which the brain recognises as a nerve signal or its own making, allowing the release of the body’s own internal pharmacy of bio-active compounds, including neuro peptides and endorphins. These not only provide pain relief, but also jump-start your body’s natural defence mechanisms and accelerate the healing process. So not only will you relieve the immediate pain, you will also spend less time getting back to full fitness. Unlike TENS and other electrical impulse devices, Scenar does not block the pain, but enters into a ‘biofeedback’ conversation with the brain, enabling the completion of a healing cycle which has previously been interrupted.

Pleasant to receive and suitable for all ages, the only people for whom treatment would not be possible are those who have a pacemaker or other electrical implant, who are severely epileptic or under the influence of drink or drugs.

ALL pain can be addressed, even long standing pain and that associated with conditions such as IBS, arthritis, migraine, RSI, sciatica, whiplash and sports injuries and many neurological and long term illnesses.

Normally, for acute pain such as a recent injury, relief is almost immediate and only one or two sessions may be needed, with results taking a little longer for chronic or long standing complaints. In these cases a course of 6-10 treatments may be necessary.

The first three sessions should be taken close together for best results. Thereafter, appointments can be at weekly intervals.

Symptoms from conditions such as MS and Parkinson’s disease (fatigue, muscle pain, ‘fuzzy’ head etc.) can be greatly relieved, but ongoing sessions would be necessary on a sporadic basis to keep these improvements evident.

For more information or to make a booking please contact the reception team on 01296 612361.

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For Reiki treatment, there are wonderful facilities on offer at the Belmore Centre in Aylesbury. Reiki is a popular form of healing and is used to encourage overall well-being for mind, body and spirit. It is a very gentle therapy, dating back many thousands of years, known to have been practised in ancient Tibet and Egypt, but only becoming known to the west during the 19th century.

A Reiki session takes around 45 minutes. The sense of relaxation gained from a session of Reiki is amazing and can be used to help with the symptoms of a wide range of conditions.

Booking Time: 45 Minutes

Price: £53.00

Ancient knowledge and ultimate relaxation with Reiki Aylesbury

For those interested in Reiki in Aylesbury, our therapists can explain a little more about it. The word is pronounced ‘raykey’ and comes from the Japanese for universal life energy. It is not a therapy that is connected to any type of religion or belief, and it is a therapy that can be enjoyed by anybody, at any time.

There is no need to undress for a Reiki treatment. Clients lie on the treatment couch fully clothed and with relaxing music playing in the background. The therapist will either put their hands on or above them. Treatments can also be given to those who are in a seated position – the main concern is that clients are as relaxed as possible. During a Reiki session, Aylesbury’s Belmore Centre therapists will want to ensure comfort before the treatment begins. The treatment is non-intrusive and is something that is used to heal and relax the whole body, rather than a specific area or specific symptoms. For this reason, everyone can feel the benefit of a Reiki treatment.

Your health in mind with Reiki Aylesbury

When arriving for a treatment, clients can discuss any health issues or concerns that they have with the therapists, who will then be able to offer advice on the number of sessions that might be required and explain more to you about how the treatment works. For Reiki in Aylesbury, our therapists will be able to advise if a single treatment is all that is needed or if multiple sessions will be of benefit.

One of the advantages of having Reiki at The Belmore Centre in Aylesbury is that there is also a wide range of other complementary therapies and beauty treatments available. The therapist can advise on which other treatments can be used to work with the Reiki and which will be of most benefit for particular health concerns.

Complementary therapies have grown in popularity a great deal over the last few years as they are often very gentle therapies that can be used alongside conventional medicine. The Belmore Centre has therapists who are trained in a number of different therapies and this wide range of treatments makes this the Belmore Centre the ideal place to be to achieve a calmer state of mind and overall well-being. To enjoy Reiki in Aylesbury the Belmore Centre should be the first port of call for anyone who wants to improve mind, body and spirit.

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Reflexology Aylesbury

Reflexology is a holistic therapy that uses the application of pressure to the various zones of the foot to encourage better overall health. The origins of this therapy go back thousands of years. It is said that each area of the body is represented by an area on the foot; by carefully massaging and manipulating these smaller areas, health can be improved elsewhere in the body.

When carrying out a treatment, the therapist only uses their hands. Just the foot that is being worked on is exposed and clients will find that they are completely rested and relaxed, both during and after the treatment. Through reflexology treatments, therapists are able to help relieve the symptoms of stress, in much the same way that a full body massage does. Stress can have a devastating effect on both the mind and the body in the long-term and treatments such as reflexology can do much to help.

Booking Time: 60 Minutes

Price: £45.00

Relax with reflexology Aylesbury

While Reflexology is ideal for those who have particular health concerns, it is also beneficial for those who have no specific symptoms to deal with. Those who are healthy will find Reflexology relaxing and may have very little or even no reaction to the treatment, while those who have health concerns may notice that they experience a tingling sensation in the foot or feel ‘bruised’ in the area concerned. When undergoing Reflexology, Aylesbury therapists advise that there should be no pain experienced during the treatment and they will be able to adjust the pressure to suit each individual client.

It should be noted that reflexology therapists at the centre are not qualified to make a medical diagnosis, although the information that they gather may be passed to a doctor and help in their diagnosis. There is a wide range of conditions that are known to benefit from a reflexology treatment and these include PMS, sciatica and even constipation.

When clients come for reflexology in Aylesbury, therapists will need to know if they are suffering from any conditions, as there are some circumstances in which they may not be able to provide the treatment. Those who have a fever, for example, or thrombosis, may be advised to reconsider. Those who are in the early stages of pregnancy or about to undergo surgery will not be able to have the treatment either. Ensure that the therapist knows as much as possible about your health before the treatment begins, so that a proper assessment can be carried out.

Enjoy luxury with reflexology Aylesbury

Reflexology is one of the most relaxing therapies available and it is growing in popularity. Spending time in the luxurious surroundings of the Belmore Centre will ensure that clients come away feeling refreshed and relaxed and can also indulge in one of the many other beauty treatments or holistic therapies available. When opting for reflexology, the Belmore Centre Aylesbury boasts an amazing setting in which to enjoy the treatment.


Reflex Zone Therapy is therapeutic foot massage to promote physical health and emotional well being.

Reflexology or Reflex Zone Therapy has developed in the western world over the past 50 years with its origins dating back to the folk knowledge of India and China some 5000 years ago.

Reflexology is now a precisely defined form of treatment based on the principle that the anatomy of the body is reflected in miniature on reflex zones on the feet and also on the hands (although a little less defined), by using specific techniques of holds and pressures on these regions healing is both initiated and accelerated in the corresponding area of the body.

Reflexology is the practice of pushing on certain parts of the feet to help re-align the energies of the body. It is a therapeutic foot massage to promote physical health and emotional wellbeing.

Reflexology has developed in the western world over the past 50 years with its origins dating back to the folk knowledge of India and China some 5000 years ago.
Reflexology is now a precisely defined form of treatment based on the principle that the anatomy of the body is reflected in miniature on reflex zones on the feet and also on the hands (although a little less defined), by using specific techniques of holds and pressures on these regions healing is both initiated and accelerated in the corresponding area of the body.

The professional therapist does not rely on external aids when treating a client and only the human hand is used. In fact it only requires the client’s feet to be exposed and even then the resting foot is covered whilst its fellow is treated.

One of the wonders of Reflexology is that it can bring about the same sensations of restfulness and relaxation that a full body massage can produce, therefore it can be most beneficial in the treatment of stress.

As the therapist traces his/her way through the reflexes of the feet the client with no particular problem or disorder will relax and show little or no reaction. Those people with a disorder will react by experiencing sensitivity in forms ranging from a pricking sensation which can feel as though the therapists’ nail is too long to one of pressure being applied to a bruise. Reflexology though should never really hurt. The therapist should adjust the pressure to suit each individual foot.

The Reflexologist does not claim to make a medical diagnosis but rather the therapist can make an assessment from which a medical doctor may be able to extract information – information which may assist him/her in a medical diagnosis.

Most people can benefit from Reflexology and the conditions known to react favourably are numerous and varied from sinusitis to sciatica, constipation and P.M.S.

Few contra-indications exist with Reflexology although treatment would not be given in some instances for example in cases of fever, thrombosis, gangrene or acute infection or disease. Other circumstances might include when surgery is indicated, pregnancy in first Trimester and at no stage of an unstable pregnancy.

No scientific evidence exists as to how Reflexology works or how it can produce such excellent results and yet a considerable amount of evidence exists to prove that it does work.

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Psychological Counselling

Sometimes having someone to talk to about personal problems such as crises in relationships, stress, fears and panic, family problems and depression is all that it tales to cope.

Counselling will help you find strategies to deal with the immediate problem concerning you and help you to discover how your situation in life keeps the problem going.

Psychological Counselling

Psychological Counselling will help you find strategies to deal with the immediate problem concerning you and then help you discover how your situation in life keeps the problem going.

Personal problems have a way of taking over. Why suffer?

Sometimes having someone to talk to is all that it takes to cope. Psychological Counselling will help you find strategies to deal with the immediate problem concerning you and then help you discover how your situation in life keeps the problem going. It is especially suitable for crisis in relationships, stress, fears and panics, family problems and depression.

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Pilates is a body conditioning method that works by building strength from the inside out. Targeting the deep postural muscles that support and protect the spine at the same time as creating strong abdominal muscles. By helping to correct muscle imbalances the body is realigned and can move more efficiently and effectively.

Pilates benefits everyone. Men and women, old and young, those unaccustomed to exercise and those participating in other forms of exercise or sport. Pilates has gained increasing support and recognition from the medical profession, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors.

Group Pilates Classes

Group classes are deliberately kept small ensuring clients are given individual advice and hands on attention throughout the session. We teach the person, not the exercise, allowing you to progress at the right pace for you. Modifications are given for those with specific back or joint problems. The combination of strengthening and stretching leaves participants feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

We are passionate about Pilates and whether you are looking to alleviate back pain, improve your sporting performance, need help following an injury or just want to improve your body awareness and feel better in yourself then Pilates is for you.

All clients are asked to fill out a screening form before commencing a session so that classes can be tailored to suit the needs of those attending. If you have an injury or have doubts about your physical fitness, please consult your doctor or physiotherapist and speak to us before enrolling. An initial one-to-one private session may be appropriate.

Private Pilates

For those with specific goals or recovering from serious injury and in need of rehabilitative Pilates it is advised to try one-to-one private sessions at least initially.

Private sessions are a great way of learning Pilates faster and very accurately, enabling the instructor to tailor the exercises to your needs.

Private sessions are also useful if you attend a mat class but feel you would like individual help with exercises you find difficult; if you would like to build a home programme of exercise, for those who can’t make regular mat classes.

The benefits of Pilates are numerous

  • Improve strength, flexibility and balance
  • Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk
  • Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core
  • Engage the mind and enhance body awareness
  • Develop efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury
  • Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy
  • Restore postural alignment
  • Create a stronger, more flexible spine
  • Promote recovery from strain or injury
  • Increase joint range of motion
  • Improve circulation
  • Heighten neuromuscular coordination
  • Offer relief from back pain and joint stress
  • Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury
  • Enhance mobility, agility and stamina
  • Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity
  • Improve the way your body looks and feels

More information

For more information on Group and Private Pilates Classes and Health & Well-being workshops at our Studio please contact Julie Pedrick at Bodyworks Pilates.

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This is a unique medical process restoring movement and symmetry to the entire body’s structure, encouraging freedom from pain and a feeling of being centred within the body.

The basic principal of Osteopathy/Osteomyology is to restore the normal healthy function of a traumatised area.

Massage, articulation and stretch to restore mobility, re-align posture and enhance well-being. Treatment sometimes involves manipulation, recommendation of exercises, ergonomics and lifestyle advice.

Main Uses of Osteopathy

Osteopaths provide over 7 million consultations a year for musculo-skeletal problems. Osteopathy offers treatments for the whole body including arthritic conditions, minor strains and sprains, postural and chronic problems. Some people come with aches and pains while others come with more severe and acutely painful conditions.

Frequently treated conditions include:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Joint ache such as arthritis
  • Sciatica, minor sports injuries and repetitive strain injuries
  • Headaches arising from the neck (cervicogenic)
  • Pain
  • Digestion problems


Osteopathy was developed by Dr Andrew Taylor Still, an army doctor in the American Civil War, who devised a system to stimulate the body’s self-healing powers. It is one of the most respected and most widely used complimentary therapies. In the US, osteopaths have been licensed as doctors since 1972; in the UK, the Osteopathy Act of 1993 granted the official recognition.

Key Principles

Osteopaths believe that the musculo-skeletal system – bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue – plays a vital part in maintaining health. Any disturbance of this system not only causes pain locally but can adversely affect the vital organs, and the respiratory, circulatory, nervous and digestive systems. Stress, injury or poor posture can all damage the musculo-skeletal system.

Does Osteopathy work?

There has been considerable research into Osteopathy, and a research body called NICOR is providing further research on an annual basis. Some GP’s are quite willing to recommend osteopathic treatment as it provides a similar service to physiotherapy, the main difference is that osteopaths use palpation (the sense of touch) as a major technique for both treatment and diagnosis. Physiotherapy often involves more exercise routines and use of devices such as ultrasound and tens machines.

Consulting a Practitioner

An osteopath will ask about symptoms, medical history, past injuries, lifestyle, work, and emotional health. Osteopaths examine the body framework (be prepared to undress to your underwear) and standard medical tests may be carried out, to assess breathing, heart rate etc. On each consultation patients have a thorough structural assessment. Treatment may then include soft tissue massage, joint stretches and articulation and in some cases joint manipulation. These techniques help to correctly align the body, release tight muscles, improve blood flow, maintain flexibility and improve posture and strength. Occasionally more vigorous manipulation is called for (but only with patient consent), including an abrupt high-velocity thrust that, although painless, can cause the joint to ‘click’. Manipulation is not usually painful, although some soreness or stiffness is common for a day or two following treatment. Sessions are from half hour to 1 hour.


Do not have osteopathy if you have bone cancer or any other bone or joint infection. Osteopaths are well trained to spot contra-indications to treatment and will advise you to consult a medical specialist if necessary. For badly prolapsed discs or if pregnant only gentle osteopathic techniques should be used.

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is a branch of osteopathy. It is most commonly associated with treatment of babies and children, although it is in fact used for people of all ages. Practitioners are specifically trained to use cranial techniques.

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Nutritional Therapy

The use of a professional practitioner to carry out a comprehensive assessment of your individual dietary needs.

The kind of diet that keeps one person healthy may not work for another.

How it works

How well we feel depends on the efficiency with which our body produces hormones, enzymes and many other substances.
All these are made from food. But many people do not assimilate their food properly, perhaps because of poor digestion or chronic irritation of the digestive system.

Another common problem is toxin build up in the body – unwanted waste substances which get in the way of efficient functioning. Food allergies or intolerances can also cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms, which may be delayed or chronic, and difficult to relate to a specific food.

People who have used lots of antibiotics can also be prone to dysbiosis. This is the excessive growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts, including Candida albicans in the intestine. Dysbiosis irritates the digestive tract and this irritation may impair the digestion. Many undesirable bacteria and yeasts also produce toxic waste products which get absorbed into our bloodstream and can make us feel unwell.

A Nutritional Therapist will aim to improve your body’s efficiency by identifying and then dealing with these problems using different types of diets, herbs and dietary supplements, according to an individual’s needs. An efficiently functioning body finds it easier to repair and heal itself.

Beginning with a detailed questionnaire, the Nutritional Therapist aims to find out whether any of the above problems are present. If so they will be contributing factors to a variety of illnesses because they undermine the healthy functioning of the body. Correcting these problems often enables the body to recover its ability to fight illness and restore good health.

Nutritional Therapy is not just healthy eating, it is a professional practitioner carrying out a comprehensive assessment on what your individual dietary needs may be.

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Naturopathy is a holistic approach based on the idea that the human body seeks balance and can heal itself.

Naturopathic Medicine is a system is care that focuses on the individual, taking into account their own unique history and constitution. It employs treatment methods that recognise the inter-dependence of the physical processes of the body, biochemical elements and psychological effects.

The basis principals include:

  • Nature can heal if given the correct conditions to do so
  • Treat the cause, not the symptom
  • Treat the whole person as in the naturopathic triad where physical, chemical and psychological are all inter-connected
  • The treatment process involves teamwork and consultation between the patient and practitioner
  • Prevention is the cure
  • Commonly used tools in Naturopathy include the use of clinical dietetics, hydrotherapy, herbal teas, poultices, osteopathic treatment to improve nervous innovation to organs, breathing techniques and improving the work and home environment.

Examples of conditions that may be helped by naturopathy include:

  • Migraines
  • Sinusitis
  • Breathing complaints
  • Cystitis
  • ME or Chronic Fatigue
  • Digestive complaints
  • PMT

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The precision and accuracy of meditation allows us to rest in our natural state of being. Out of chaos comes order and a stress free mind, one that is clear, pure and natural, where fears and emotions of all kinds need be regarded as obstacles no longer.

**Meditation classes are currently unavailable at The Belmore Centre. Please watch this space for further updates**

Meditation. What is it? Why do we all need it?

Everyone without exception benefits from a little peace and quiet, if only for one hour, once a week. It gives our brain a chance to rest completely, allowing us to remember for a little while just who we really are and to dissolve our own self limitation!When this happens, it affects every area of our lives in a very positive way. No longer do we feel at the mercy of outside influences in the world around us, but we awaken within us, a sense of real well-being, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.

The object of meditation is acknowledgement of the self we truly are, our super self. When we acknowledge this, our lives are transformed and life becomes a joy again.

‘World Peace comes by way of the inner peace of the individual’
(Dalai Lama)


A quiet mind is a clear mind. A quiet clear mind is a decisive mind. A quiet, clear decisive mind will always see the whole picture and in that moment of clarity will recognise and know all things are possible.
(Tse –Wang Dronma)

What is Meditation?

Meditation is an excellent tool for dissolving self limitation. It enables us to work directly on the energetic form that is the substance of that limitation. Most of us, especially in the present climate live in a permanent state of stress at some level. This leads to an imbalance within us which in turn leads to all the deadly forms of that stress i.e. Panic attacks, the ‘short fuse’ anger etc. The list is endless. Eventually the manifestation of a very real disease appears in the body and a constant state of suffering is truly felt. The object of real meditation is to remember who we really are, there by bringing the words of the Dalai Lama into being. ‘World peace comes by way of the inner peace of the individual.’ Nadine teaches both privately and in small groups. Please ring for details of all her classes and workshops.

Simple 10 minute meditation

  1. Sit quietly & comfortably. Breathe in to the count of 3. Gently and easily give your breath your whole attention. Breathe in fresh energy. Let it flow through you nourishing and rejuvenating you.
  2. Breathe out, as you do, breathe all that stale energy away from you. Far away into the universe. To the count of 3 breathing deeply and easily. Repeat 3 times.
  3. Sit quietly watching the breath. Listen to the body falling into its own natural rhythm of breathing. Feel your feet on the ground, your body on the chair. Take a long deep breath in through the nose then a long breath out. Now feel all that fresh energy flowing through into your feet where you need it. Open your eyes and stretch and smile!!

Nadine has been meditating for 35 years and has taught at the Belmore since it first opened in the 1990s. Many many people have attended these classes from all walks of life, from the wife to the big shot city leaguer. Everyone needs a little peace and quiet and if only 1 hour a week gives time for the mind, brain and body to come together quietly and rest completely.

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Medical Herbalism

This combines traditional herbal wisdom with up to date scientific research on the beneficial properties of plants.

Herbal remedies are 100% natural and are effective and safe for a wide range of health problems, especially those conditions which are proving resistant to other forms of treatment.

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Natural Intelligence Kinesiology uses muscle testing to find out what you and your body need to thrive. Giving your body a chance to speak significantly reduces stress and when it receives the support it actually needs it will support you. These non-invasive and insightful sessions honour your natural path to health and healing.

Who does it benefit?

Any condition can potentially benefit from the insight that Kinesiology brings. Typical scenarios are:

  • I am finding things difficult and need some clarity.
  • I want to reduce stress in my life.
  • I want my energy back.
  • I want to feel well and don’t know why I don’t.
  • I want to understand what’s going on for me and how to support myself.
  • The world makes me stressed and anxious and I don’t know how to change.
  • I’m stuck in a rut and need motivation.
  • I want a better relationship with myself.
  • I want a healthy digestion.
  • I want to move through the menopause smoothly.

What is a session like?

Muscle testing is very gentle and provides biofeedback from the body, a bit like trouble shooting for a computer. After establishing what the client wants to achieve the main part of the session is listening to the body and inner self through the muscle testing, unraveling the blocks as we go. All the balancing techniques are gentle and non-invasive.

About Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson is a therapist of over 15 years experience in kinesiology and energy healing. For more information please call her for a chat or visit her website

‘I really felt empowered by all the wonderful healing and knowledge you passed on.’

‘What you do is amazing, but I can’t put into words why – it was just so profound.’

‘It was such a relief to find someone who can help me get to the bottom of my problems.’

Read more about Rebecca Johnson here

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Foot Health

Foot Health

This involves the treatment of conditions such as corns, callus, various nail and skin problems (including athletes’ foot) and verrucae and also the provision of advice on all aspects of foot care.

Custom-made insoles can also be made at the Belmore Centre to correct over pronation, reduce pain and correct posture

Foot Health

Today’s Foot Health Practitioners are all highly trained professionals and are duty bound to provide you with the highest standard of foot care. With today’s hectic lifestyle many people neglect their feet until it is impossible to ignore the discomfort any longer and this will often lead to the treatment being longer and more expensive.

Regular foot health checkups by a qualified Foot Health Practitioner can often help prevent these problems before they cause any problems therefore ensuring comfortable, happy feet. From corns to verrucae, from problem nails to skin conditions, these are all covered by your Foot Health Practitioner as well as advice on all aspects of foot care including muscle strengthening exercises.

Whatever the problem your Foot Health Practitioner can provide treatment to alleviate your suffering and bring relief to your feet.

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Feng Shui

Feng Shui

Feng Shui (pronounced Fung-Shway) the pattern of wind and water, is the art and science of ‘Living in harmony with the environment’.

For centuries people have relied on Feng Shui to design cities, build homes and bury their dead. Certain businessmen consult Feng Shui Masters when choosing offices and business locations, as do home-owners when building, moving or re-arranging their home, to bring health and prosperity.

No longer is this a practise valued by the Chinese alone. Recently the Western world has become more familiar with arts and sciences of China and Feng Shui is being used extensively by those of us interested in working in harmony with both our own environment and the larger environment.

We can do this by looking at each area of the home, office, business etc., and wherever imbalances, blockages of the energy in this area occurs, we can use very simple remedies, e.g., mirrors, candles, crystals, lights, plants, etc. This works in all areas of our life – finances, relationships, health, etc.

Consultations may be done from a simple floor plan or by visiting the premises for a more in depth consultation.

**Feng Shui is currently unavailable at The Belmore Centre. Please watch this space for further updates**

The ancient wisdom of harmonious living for modern times

Feng Shui, far from being a product of a superstitious mind or a system of explanation that fail the test of scientific scrutiny, Feng Shui reveals the hidden mysteries of the universe and provides us with a way of living harmoniously with them.

Through this ancient art and science we make ourselves and others aware of the vast immensity of the world around us and the real interdependency of all things.
Feng Sui enables you to improve the quality of your own life very simply, to put your own house in order. It gives a greater understanding of the Universal energy within all things, thus creating a sense of harmony and balance in both our work, business and also our personal lives. It allows us to recognise where blocks of energy occur in the environment and how this affects us all, on a daily basis.

It gives us a deeper knowledge of how everything interrelates and how to use this knowledge on a very practical level. It uses remedies i.e. colour, sound, the art of placement, mirrors, furniture etc, both in the office and at home. The process is always the same, whether it is a simple small bedsit or an international company. When the balance of energy is restored, harmony prevails making a very real difference in all aspects of life. Whatever your occupation, whether it be the retired businessman/woman or the young man or woman starting out on any venture. Everyone, without exemption benefits from Feng Sui especially in our present climate.

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Homoeopathy is an effective and scientific system of healing which assists the natural tendency of the body to heal itself.

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine, developed by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, that is entirely natural. It is complete because it can be applied to any condition or disease, and natural because it works by stimulating the body to heal itself. Homeopathy works on the basis that, given the right stimulus, the body can overcome virtually any disease. This is provided in the form of an immensely diluted and potentised remedy.

Who uses homeopathy?

The answer is quite simple – anyone! People are attracted to it because of its gentleness, power and ability to treat everyone as an individual. Many are first drawn to homeopathy as an alternative to potentially harmful drugs. It is safe and effective in treating adults, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and weak or fragile patients.

What is homeopathic treatment like?

When you attend for a consultation the homeopath will spend the necessary time getting to know all about you. You will be asked many questions about yourself, your lifestyle, the past health of yourself and your family, and about your illness. After your case has been carefully considered you will be prescribed a remedy (a homeopathic medicine), usually in the form of pills, powders or tablets which are easy to take and have a pleasant taste. They are non toxic, and not habit forming.

What can I expect?

Patients often feel a sense of well-being and optimism after taking a remedy. It occasionally happens that your symptoms may appear a little worse for a short time. This is a positive sign and shows that the remedy is taking effect, soon after which you will begin to feel that recovery is indeed taking place.

What can homeopathy treat?

Homeopathy can be used by anyone of any age for most physical and emotional complaints. It can also help where other forms of medicine find the symptoms too vague to treat but YOU know something is not right. Its gentle and non-invasive nature means many are first attracted to it, as an alternative in pregnancy or children’s health issues such as aches, asthma, eczema, sleep or emotional problems. It can help arthritis, hypertension, hay fever, allergies, menstrual and digestive disorders, to name but a few. Emotional states such as grief, trauma, depressions or anxiety can manifest themselves in physical symptoms which can prevent people from moving on. Homeopathic treatment can help overcome problems like these.

What are the advantages of homeopathy?

  • Homeopathic remedies encourage your own body to cure itself naturally.
  • Homeopathy treats the person not just the disease.
  • Homeopathic medicines are easy to take and pleasant to taste.
  • Homeopathic remedies are non toxic and not habit forming.
  • Safe, natural and not tested on animals with no known side effects.
  • Plants and minerals are the main sources.
  • Can be used alongside conventional treatment or on its own.

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This non-invasive treatment is exceptionally gentle, yet extremely powerful; problems are evaluated and treated through CarnioSacral Therapy which involves a very gentle touch of the practitioner’s hands.

The CarnioSacral system provides the environment in which your brain and spinal chord develop and function.

These organs are the core of your being. Without them, emotions, senses and motor functions would be inoperable. CarnioSacral Therapy is a gentle hands on method for evaluating and treating problems affecting the CarnioSacral system; and assists the body in its own healing and rehabilitation process safely and gently.

CarnioSacral Therapy is a gentle hands on method for evaluating and treating problems affecting the CarnioSacral system.

CarnioSacral Therapy is applied with less than 5 grams of pressure. Examination is done by testing for movements/ restrictions in various parts of the system. Once the restricting obstacle is removed, the system is able to return to its natural state.

CarnioSacral Therapy assists the body in its own healing / rehabilitation process safely and gently.

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Chiropractic is a natural and effective treatment for many joint, muscle, nerve and ligament conditions affecting all joints in the body.

The goal is to identify the cause of the pain and fix it so that you can get back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

For more info, visit:

Chiropractic is the third largest primary healthcare profession after medicine and dentistry. Chiropractic is more than just about treating bad backs and necks. Our treatments are designed to treat a wide range of joint, nerve and soft tissue conditions. These include:

  • Back Pain and Trapped Nerves
  • Disc Injuries
  • Shoulder, Hip
  • Knee, Ankle and Elbow Pain
  • Pain following a Car Accident
  • Migraines
  • Minor Sports Injuries and Arthritic Pain

Chiropractic treats the cause of pain rather than just the symptoms. The aim is to get you back to your everyday activities as quickly as possible. Our treatment approach includes manipulation, soft tissue techniques, massage, exercise and lifestyle advice. Correction and prevention is better than the short-term symptomatic relief of pain.

Can a Chiropractor help with pain?

Pain is a signal that something is wrong! When a joint becomes injured and stops working normally, you may start to feel pain. Pain is not the cause of pain but a message from your nerves telling your brain that there is a problem. Painkillers can stop these signals from reaching the brain and may mask the symptoms. However, the problem will still be there but you may not be aware of it. Ignoring the problem can cause more damage.

Low Back Pain

Up to 80% of the population will suffer from significant back pain at some point in their lives. The loss of normal joint movement and core muscle strength is a major cause of low back pain. This commonly occurs with sedentary (inactive) lifestyles. Over the years, the loss of normal movement in spinal joints weakens the spine and spinal ligaments become less flexible. The back is no longer able to handle or adapt to normal forces and movements causing injuries to occur. This build-up is why you can suddenly get severe low back pain after bending over to pick something up, stretching or sneezing.


The aim is to provide a friendly, professional treatment approach which provides you with confidence and trust. It is important to listen and understand your condition, goals and concerns. We do not believe in a conveyor belt approach to treatment. Treatments are scheduled for 30 minutes rather than rushed through in a few minutes. A high quality of care is our goal and it is important to have the time to listen, advise and treat during each visit.

Your initial consultation will consist of questions about your current problem and past medical history, a thorough examination of your posture, joint movement and nerve function followed up by an explanation of your condition and what treatment you will need. You will also be given advice on how to prevent aggravating your injury and how to stop it from coming back.

Maintenance and Prevention

Preventative care is designed to keep your spine and joints healthy. You brush your teeth every day and visit the dentist for check-ups. You service your car due to the daily wear and tear that causes damage to it. Repetitive stresses and strains associated with everyday life, places a toll on our spine and joints. However, most people do not book in for spinal check-ups. After all you only have one spine and it is worth keeping it functioning well.

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Chiropody is that part of medical science which is concerned with the health of the feet. This involves treatment of conditions such as corns, callus, various nail and skin problems (including athletes foot) and verrucae.

Today’s Chiropodists are all highly trained professionals and are duty bound to provide you with the highest standard of foot care.With today’s hectic lifestyle many people neglect their feet until it is impossible to ignore the discomfort any longer and this will often lead to the treatment being longer and more expensive.

Regular foot health checkups by a qualified Chiropodist can often help prevent these problems before they cause any problems therefore ensuring comfortable, happy feet.From corns to verrucae, from problem nails to skin conditions, these are all covered by your Chiropodist as well as advice on all aspects of foot care including muscle strengthening exercises.

Whatever the problem your Chiropodist can provide treatment to alleviate your suffering and bring relief to your feet.

*We do not currently have a registered Chiropodist at The Belmore Centre but do have a Foot Health Practitioner

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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine

100% natural, made from living plants which work in harmony with your bodies’ own healing system,this the oldest, professional, continually practiced, literate medicine in the world.

In China it is not an alternative form of therapy, but is used in the state hospitals along side modern western medicine.

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Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncture - like techniques have been used independently in different parts of the world for at least 3,000 years. As a systemised form of therapy, acupuncture developed within various forms of traditional East Asian medicine.

The origin and principles of Acupuncture

Traditional acupuncturists use the concept of a vital force called Qi that circulates through the organs along channels called meridians. Acupuncture points are located along the meridians and theoretically provide one means of altering the flow of Qi. Traditional acupuncture relies on diagnosis mainly by palpating peripheral pulses, the appearance of tongue.

Medical Acupuncture

Western Medical Acupuncture (WMA) is a therapeutic modality involving the insertion of fine needles; it is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine. Whilst WMA has evolved from Chinese acupuncture, its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of Qi, and regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete “alternative medical system”.

Conventional healthcare practitioners, mostly GPs, Pain Specialists, Rheumatologists and others trained in this, usually practise WMA.

It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain. The design and interpretation of clinical studies is constrained by the likelihood that any form of needling used, as a usual control procedure in “placebo controlled” studies may be active.

How does Acupuncture work?

The main therapeutic effects of acupuncture needling are achieved through stimulation of the nervous system (sensory stimulation) and its known modes of action include local antidromic axon reflexes, segmental and extra segmental neuromodulation, and other central nervous system effects.

Imaging studies with functional MRI and positron emission tomography have provided good evidence of effects on various brain centres involved in pain control, notably the limbic structures, including the insula.

Numerous studies have shown that acupuncture treatment releases endorphins and serotonin in the brain and spinal cord. These modify the pain signals in the pain pathways of the spinal cord and brain, which helps with pain relief and the ability of the body to heal.

Another clinical area in which acupuncture is widely used is myofascial pain, a condition that can cause chronic debilitating pain due to muscular trigger points.

Evidence shows that, for several conditions, acupuncture is as effective or more effective than standard conventional care. Systematic reviews combining all the studies show that acupuncture is significantly superior to sham for nausea, low back pain, postoperative pain, knee pain and tension-type headaches.

WMA is a form of treatment based on sound neurophysiological principles and for this reason justifies an unbiased evaluation of its place in a modern healthcare service.

Is acupuncture safe?

Any treatment modality carries risk and with acupuncture serious adverse events are rare (approximately 1 in 200,000 treatments, and 1 in 20,000 patients).

Of the minor adverse events, the most common is bruising, which occurs in about 3 in 100 treatments. Sedation (helpful for some patients) following treatment is also described and can be marked in 1 in 100 patients; hence it is not advisable to drive after the first treatment. You may experience a temporary mild exacerbation of the pain being treated, which may last for around 24 hours.

Common conditions treated

(List is by no means exhaustive)

Pain relief for a wide range of painful conditions.

  • Musculoskeletal pain - back, shoulder, neck and leg pain
  • Successfully used to treat headaches and migraines.
  • Chronic muscle strains, sports injuries & trapped nerves
  • Arthritic and rheumatic pain
  • Functional bowel problems such as IBS
  • Overactive bladder syndrome
  • Period pains and hot flushes
  • Allergies such as hay fever, allergic rhinitis and rashes
  • Skin problems such as chronic ulcers, itching
  • Sinus problems and chronic catarrh
  • Anxiety and insomnia
  • Dry mouth and eyes

Acupuncture treatment – brief overview

The first session involves detailed assessment and tailored treatment using a few needles especially in acupuncture naïve patients. Subsequent sessions include acupuncture needling and addition of electro-acupuncture if indicated (mostly patients treated for pain).

The needles used are sterile and single use. A ‘no-touch’ technique is used which means that the acupuncturist’s hand will at no time come into direct contact with the needle because of the use of a sterile insertion tube.

The needles used for acupuncture are very fine, like a hair; hence almost no pain is felt as they pass through the skin. However, occasionally when treating extremely sensitive trigger points a slight pain may be associated with the needling, but this is usually very brief.

Treatment is usually once a week to begin with and then at longer intervals as the condition responds. Most patients need 5-8 sessions and may then need top ups as the condition dictates.


Electro-acupuncture is a specialised therapeutic method in which a small electrical charge is applied to needles using a battery- operated machine. The needles are connected to machine using clips (as shown below) and the stimulation is gradually increased to optimal levels. The current levels chosen are based on the amount the patient can handle and treatment lasts 15-20 minutes.

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Acupuncture is the process of re-establishing the energy balance in the body through inserting fine stainless steel needles into acupuncture points just below the skin’s surface in order to stimulate or sedate the energy of a specific pathway.

For further information on acupuncture please visit


Acupuncture is the process of re-establishing the energy balance. This is done in two ways:

One is the insertion of fine stainless steel needles into acupuncture points, either stimulating or sedating the energy of a specific pathway.
The other is the application of warmth to the acupuncture points. These methods are often used in combination; as the balance improves, the health improves.

The aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole person and to restore the balance of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.

What is Acupuncture

Acupuncture comes from an age-old system of medicine that originated in China and can also include herbal medicine and massage alongside exercised dietary advice. The earliest records of acupuncture date back over 2000 years, and today there are many thousands of acupuncturists worldwide. The majority of these practise in China, Japan, Korea, and other Eastern countries. Over the last 50 years, however, an increasing number of people in the West have trained to become acupuncturists. After undergoing training for 3 years some Physiotherapists and Osteopaths also do shorter training for a similar treatment called Dry Needling.

Fundamental to the practice of traditional acupuncture is the concept of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) which is not easily translated into Western language. Translators have offered words such as ‘energy’, ‘life force’, or ‘vital force’. It is the flow of Qi through channels connecting the whole organ system of the body, which the traditional acupuncturist aims to influence, and the study and observation of Qi, its flow, rhythms, cycles, changes, movement and balance which form the basis of diagnosis and treatment.

Concepts such as ‘Yin/Yang’, the ‘Five Elements’, and the ‘Eight Principles’ are all part of the understanding of this flow.

Enshrined in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the principle that the practitioner should always strive to see a person’s life as a whole. Each human being is a unique individual and has his or her own medical and personal history. No two patients are ever treated identically even if to the untrained observer their symptoms appear virtually identical. Acupunture treats the person not just the disease.

Traditional Chinese Medicine differs from Western medicine in offering a positive conception of health and balance as opposed to one of absence of disease, and the ancient Chinese saw the responsibility of the doctor as one of keeping the patient well rather than treating disease once it appeared. To do the latter was seen ‘as though someone has waited to dig a well until he is already weak from thirst’.

What Can Acupuncture Help?

Many people consult an acupuncturist with specific symptoms or conditions such as pain, anxiety, arthritis, eczema, sports injuries, hay fever  asthma, migraine, high blood pressure, menstrual disorders, intestinal problems, and so on. Acupuncture for back pain is a common reason someone would visit an acupuncturist. While extensive practice and Chinese research has shown that acupuncture is effective in helping these conditions and many others, it does more than simply relieve symptoms. The aim of acupuncture is to treat the whole person and to restore the balance of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.

In Chinese medicine, since all illness is considered the result of an imbalance of energy, acupuncture treatment can affect almost any illness as long as the disease process in the tissues of the body is not too advanced. Many people also have acupuncture for preventive treatment or because they feel unwell in themselves although they are not ‘ill’ in the Western sense.

Acupuncture Diagnosis and Treatment

Before the first acupuncture treatment the practitioner aims to determine the nature of the disharmony in the patient’s body/mind by careful questioning and observation. A detailed case history will typically involve the symptoms and record of treatment to date, medical and family history, the state of function of the various bodily systems such as digestion, sleep patterns and circulation. Chinese diagnosis also includes examination of the tongue for its structure, colour and coating and of the pulses at the wrists which are felt for their quality, rhythm and strength.

What the practitioner is looking for are not symptoms in isolation, but rather a pattern into which is woven a total picture of the patient. Having decided on the cause or causes of the problem, the points and appropriate method of treatment are selected according to various rules governing the movement of Qi in the body.

Treatment involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific acupuncture points just below the skin surface. These are either withdrawn immediately or left in place for up to 20 minutes during which time there may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation. There is no set number of treatments. Usually treatment is given once or twice a week, although occasionally a practitioner may treat an acute condition more frequently. Some conditions respond very quickly, but sometimes treatment may take several months.

Who Can Have Acupuncture?

Anyone can have acupuncture. Children and babies can be treated, although fewer needles and the use of pressure on points is often more appropriate. Women can be treated for any complication of pregnancy, although certain points are not used to avoid the risk of miscarriage.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Strict rules of hygienic procedures, based on Department of Health guidelines, are laid down in Codes of Practice. The practitioner uses pre-sterilised disposable needles which are taken from the packet, opened in front of the patient and placed in a secure disposal box immediately after use.

All acupuncturists have to be registered with the relevant local authority for every practice where they work. Environmental Health Officers check that the practice and the acupuncturist’s procedures comply with the local by-laws before they issue a registration certificate for every practitioner working there.

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