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What to expect, when you are expecting acupuncture: acupuncture needles

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

I remember my first acupuncture appointment. Imagining the needles to be like those you get injections with.

I was thrilled, and surprised, to find that this is the size of an acupuncture needle. These small, but mighty, needles can create amazing change in your body.

Acupuncture needles.


The body is an incredible machine. It has mechanisms that constantly thrive for balance (homeostasis) and we are barely aware of it happening. However sometimes through trauma, diet, emotions, environment etc our bodies are unable to find that balance.

Step in the tiny needles.

Evidence Based Acupuncture has investigated the mechanism behind the role of needle insertion in to the body and the message that it sends to the body using purinergic signalling.

Don't worry, it will become slightly clearer. But only slightly. The body is amazing. But it isn't simple.

"perhaps the most central pathway that acupuncture uses, one that helps explain how it is effective in such a diverse array of clinical areas, is that acupuncture has been demonstrated to directly initiate a process called purinergic signaling"

Purinergic signaling has been demonstrated to play a central role in such diverse clinical areas as migraines and headaches, immune dysfunction and inflammation, cancer, autism, Alzheimer’s.

cardiovascular disease, endocrine function, embryological development

Acupuncture stimulates muscle relaxation and changes in visceral organs.

In the brain, acupuncture has been shown to change functional connectivity, decreasing activity in limbic structures associated with stress and illness while improving the regulation of the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis, the primary system that the body uses for regulating hormones and the physiological stress response.

Additionally, acupuncture modulates parasympathetic activity, the branch of the nervous system associated with rest, relaxation, digestion and tissue healing.

So, yes it does something.

But what can it help with? Evidence Based Acupuncture found that acupuncture can have a positive effect on

  • allergic rhinitis

  • knee osteoarthritis

  • chemo-induced nausea and vomiting

  • migraine prevention

  • headaches

  • chronic low back pain

  • post-operative pain

They also found that it might have a potentially positive effect on:

  • acute low back pain

  • anxiety

  • asthma

  • constipation

  • menopausal hot flushes

  • and the list continues below

There is so much that these needles can do. So, if you have ever considered acupuncture and have any questions, feel free to get in touch.


In Chinese Medicine, we work on twelve channels on the body. They flow up and down the body and correlate to different organs, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory. The energy (Qi) at the end of the body of your fingers and toes is at its strongest here. The most abundant. Has the largest action on the channel.

So we might use a point on your toe or foot and it will have a strong action to the head. It activates the channel.

However, I would also like to pose an alternative suggestion. One, which I think also makes perfect sense.

How does an acupuncture point on my toe, help my face

So, when we are conceived we begin as one cell. Our whole being, organs, muscles, bones etc stem from that one cell.

I have mapped out how that one cell develops.

And so, we are all connected. From that one cell.

And so does it seem really strange that a point on your toe works on your head?

If you have any other questions about acupuncture, acupuncture treatments or this specific post then please get in touch.

Love your fave acupuncturist


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