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Acupuncture at thepractice

The Chinese medical model considers your body to be regulated by a healthy circulation of blood & body fluids and good communication between organ systems. By extension of this concept illness results from circulation becoming compromised in some way, leading to pathology and then signs and symptoms of illness.

Appointment Details

For most of us strain and compromised health can exist long before signs and symptoms show themselves – for example serious illness may be sudden in its appearance (e.g. stroke or heart attack) but changes in the body process like this do not occur overnight.


Causes of illness can be external: diet, lifestyle, climatic factors, viral/bacterial influences or physical trauma for example. Alternatively they may stem from what Chinese medicine classifies as “internal causes” – this is essentially how we react emotionally to circumstances or events, in the light of our individual personality, some tend to anxiety, some to frustration, and some to worry. We all have our inclination when we feel below par.

This may be something that on the surface does not appear to be overly significant like neglect as a child, or something clearly damaging, like violence, which may have both a physical & an emotional impact on the body. Whatever the source our emotions can cause intense feelings that may affect us physically. Historically Chinese physicians were unique in their understanding and consideration of emotional and physical causes in disease giving Chinese Medicine one of its great strengths.

Considered in combination Chinese Medicine uses Acupuncture to treat the whole person rather than specific symptoms in isolation, so it can be effective for a range of conditions. Working in this way allows recovery in the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.

Your first session will be longer (between 1½ and 2 hours) and will allow your acupuncturist to get a complete picture of your physical, emotional and spiritual background.

Your acupuncturist will use pre-sterilised, single use, disposable surgical steel needles.

Generally two sensations occur during a treatment. During the initial insertion of the needle most people feel little or no sensation. The second sensation after the needle is in is usually a feeling of tingling numbness, heaviness, a dull ache or warmth. Sometimes there are sensations felt in other parts of the body when the needles are in place.

Everyone is different. Depending on your individual situation you might notice improvement starting after the first treatment, or it may take longer. A course of treatment is commonly five to ten sessions – although this may vary depending on individual circumstances and the condition being treated. This will be discussed with your practitioner during your first visit.

Loose fitting clothing is best; this will allow the acupuncturist to have easy access to your limbs. Most points used tend to be located somewhere from the elbow to the fingertips and/or from the knee to the ends of the toes. Any points in other areas will be discussed as treatment progresses.

James trained at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, with post graduate studies at The University of Westminster and in more recent times to study palpation and clinical skills with one of his teachers – Dr Wang Ju-Yi in Beijing.

He has been teaching students in the Reading College for over 10 years and has worked as an acupuncturist in a number of roles, from within the NHS treating substance misuse, numerous homeless projects as well as private practice work.

He is passionate about acupuncture and its part in helping people to regain quality of life, be that out of pain, sleeping better or feeling well in themselves.

He has been involved in clinical work abroad since 2003, running several clinics for Tibetans living in South India and in Sri Lanka post Tsunami. As co-founder and Chair of World Medicine (2009-2011) he worked as part of a team sending groups of practitioners to Gaza, India and Sri Lanka.

More recently this passion has taken him to Burma where he lectured at the University of Traditional Medicine in Myanmar and helped in teaching clinics and outreach projects for Myanmar acupuncturists working within their community.

His work is based in the UK where he sees private clients at thepractice, Totnes.

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Elaine Leach LicAc MBAcC trained at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading.

She has also trained in Chinese Patent Herbal Remedies, which in certain situations she may recommend alongside a course of acupuncture.

Elaine is also a Zeta West trained practitioner helping people with fertility issues.

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How much

does treatment cost?

Most people visit thepractice as a private patient and pay for their treatment.

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