Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practiced in China and other eastern countries for thousands of years. Although often described as a means of pain relief, it is in fact used to treat people with a wide range of illnesses. According to traditional Chinese philosophy, our health is dependant on the body’s motivating energy – known as ‘qi’ – moving in a smooth and balanced way through a network of channels. As well as treating the specific symptoms it aims to improve the overall well being of the patient. It is common for a patient to comment, for instance, that as well as experiencing a reduction in symptoms, they feel more relaxed, sleep improves and their energy levels increase. When fine acupuncture needles are inserted they stimulate the body’s healing response and help to restore its natural balance.