Award-winning, highest-rated clinic in Huntingdon

Acupuncture in Huntingdon

Irina Szmelskyj and Phil Rose-Neil are award-winning Acupuncturists highly experienced in all aspects of acupuncture.


4.9 based on 1,500 reviews

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment where thin, sterile acupuncture needles are inserted into specific acupuncture body points on the body to treat a wide variety of physical and emotional health conditions.

Acupuncture originated in China over 2,000 years ago. Over the last 50 years, much scientific research has been done to explain how acupuncture works. With the help of brain scans and blood tests, scientists discovered that acupuncture has a powerful effect on the brain.

It has been shown to rewire brain pathways and have a permanent healing effect.

Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is one of the most evidence-based medical modalities. 

  • Past 20 years

    Unprecedented in allied medicine, over 13,000 acupuncture trials published

    Over 13,000 studies conducted in 60 countries. Conditions studied include pain, cancer, insomnia, inflammatory conditions, infertility and many others. The quantity and quality of acupuncture research is rising exponentially. (Evidence Based Acupuncture)

  • 2003

    World Health Organisation publishes report on acupuncture effectiveness

    World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report on the evidence of acupuncture effectiveness. They identified 91 conditions that had preliminary moderate to strong evidence of acupuncture effectiveness.

  • 2017

    The Acupuncture Evidence Project finds evidence that acupuncture can help 117 conditions

    Publication of a major review of acupuncture effectiveness in which the authors reviewed over 1,000 trials. They found moderate to high evidence of acupuncture effectiveness for 117 conditions out of 122 conditions studied. Only five conditions were found to have little or no evidence of acupuncture effectiveness.

    Stephen Janz, one of the authors, concluded "It is no longer possible to say that the effectiveness of acupuncture can be attributed to the placebo effect or that it is useful only for musculoskeletal pain”.

  • 2018

    2,189 international guidelines recommend acupuncture

    A review of 1,311 clinical guidelines from government health institutions, national guidelines, and medical speciality groups from around the world found 2,189 positive recommendations for acupuncture for 107 pain and 97 non-pain conditions.

    It takes around 17 years for new clinical research to be incorporated into clinical practice. Therefore, with the increase in the evidence of acupuncture effectiveness, it is likely that acupuncture will be recommended in more future guidelines. 

  • 2021

    Acupuncture is now more accepted than many other forms of medicine


    After 13,000 trials, thousands of reviews and an unmatched safety record, acupuncture is one of the most widely recommended treatments in contemporary medicine.

Registered Acupuncturists

Irina Szmelskyj Principal Acupuncturist

Irina Szmelskyj


Principal Acupuncturist

  • 20 years experience

  • National award-winning acupuncturist

  • Registered with The British Acupuncture Council

  • Speaker, lecturer, author and researcher

  • Specialising in fertility, IVF and miscarriage prevention

  • Co-author of international best-selling textbook on acupuncture and fertility and IVF

Philip-Rose-Neil Registered Acupuncturist

Philip Rose-Neil 

BA(Hons), Lic.Ac, MBAcC

Associate Acupuncturist

  • Over 10 years of experience

  • Registered with The British Acupuncture Council

  • International speaker and presenter

  • Former Chairman of The British Acupuncture Council

  • The British Acupuncture Council’s Regional Group Co-ordinator in the Northampton area

Health conditions

What can acupuncture treat?


Acupuncture can help musculoskeletal pain, including back pain, neck pain, joint pain, and muscle pain.

Headaches and migraines

Acupuncture has been proven to help with the prophylaxis of tension headaches and migraines.

Mental health

Acupuncture can be used to reduce anxiety, mild depression and stress.


Fertility acupuncture support for patients undergoing IVF treatment or trying to conceive naturally.

Pregnancy support

Acupuncture for pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea, headaches, pelvic pain, sleeping difficulties, stress and anxiety. Find out more

Sleeping problems

Acupuncture can help manage insomnia and sleeping difficulties.

Menopausal symptoms

Acupuncture can help reduce the frequency and the severity of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, nightsweats, mood swings, etc.


Acupuncture can help manage the side effects of cancer medication, such as fatigue, pain, insomnia, and anxiety.

What our acupuncture patients say

St Neots
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"Today was my first experience of Acupuncture and I have to say I was very skeptical, however feeling the muscle in my thigh contract and release at each insertion of a needle (which incidentally was totally pain free) proved my skepticism unfounded. I can't wait for my next appointment with Irena."
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"Thank you . Once again you have got me mobile. To think for years I would not consider having acupuncture, because I was scared of needles. I am so pleased I tried it 7 years ago."
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"Having never had acupuncture before I was a bit nervous, but irina has been fantastic. Supportive, understanding and successfully! I cannot thank you enough for all your help."
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"I’ve been having acupuncture done for last couple of weeks and the level of professionalism and attention to details exceeded my expectation. Superb clinic!"
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"Great service. Everything thoroughly explained before treatment commenced. Advice extra to the acupuncture to help recovery. Even fitted me in on an already busy day. Very pleased and will certainly recommend."
St Neots
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"I absolutely LOVE every single session with Irina, she has so much passion and care for each of her patients, it really shines through! I have had numerous of chiropractors and physiotherapist treatments over the past 2.5/3 years and my body was in a really bad place. I needed urgent help and it was only by chance someone that in a YouTube vlogg mentioned acupuncture and after a lot of research I fell upon Irina. After a few sessions with Irina, it has been absolutely phenomenal how I am not in any pain anymore... 1000% recommend to anyone I come into contact with and the money is an investment in my eyes!!!"
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"Seeing Philip is an absolute pleasure from start to finish. We converse non-stop and I learn a lot from him whilst being 100% confident he will address my health issue. I have recommended him a number of times as I have the ultimate faith in his ability. Can’t wait to see him again!"
St Ives
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"Philip has taken away my knee pain after years of suffering amazing"

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Research on the safety of acupuncture is so conclusive, even critics concede that acupuncture is safe

Several studies on the safety of acupuncture involving over 10.5 million treatments demonstrated that acupuncture is one of the safest forms of medical treatment. The most common side effects reported included minor bleeding or bruising, tiredness and temporary aggravation of symptoms. 

The rate of more serious adverse events was 0.00011%. In contrast, a recent meta-analysis study found that taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen even for a short duration increased the risk of a heart attack. 

Acupuncture is only safe if administered by a fully qualified acupuncturist. In the UK, anyone can work as an ‘acupuncturist’ with virtually no training. It is possible to do short courses over one to two days (sometimes referred to as ‘dry needling’ or ‘medical acupuncture’).

World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2,500 hours of formal training to qualify as an acupuncturist. Therefore, the onus is on patients to verify how well trained their acupuncturist is. 

Our acupuncturists, Irina Szmelskyj and Philip Rose-Neil have degree-level acupuncture qualifications after undertaking four years of formal training. They are registered with The British Acupuncture Council and are accredited by The Professional Standards Authority.

True Health Clinics premises have been inspected and are licensed by Huntingdonshire District Council for carrying out acupuncture treatments. 

What happens during acupuncture consultation?

The initial acupuncture appointment will include detailed medical history, examination (if appropriate), diagnosis and treatment.

Medical history

Before your acupuncture consultation, you will be asked to fill out our detailed medical questionnaires. You will be asked about:

  • how long you have had the problem
  • how it may have started
  • what factors may be stopping it from getting better
  • what aggravates and relieves the symptoms
  • the impact on your daily activities
  • medical tests and investigations
  • history of similar problems
  • past injuries and illnesses
  • hospitalisations or operations
  • any diseases that have affected your blood relatives
  • the effects of your lifestyle on your health, for example, your diet and exercise

We will ask you more questions about any aspects of your medical history that require more detail during your initial acupuncture consultation.


Acupuncture examination will depend on your presenting condition; for example, we may assess your posture, muscles or joints.

The acupuncturist may also check your pulse and examine your tongue. These are valuable techniques used by acupuncturists to confirm a diagnosis.

Once all the relevant information has been obtained, your acupuncturist will formulate the diagnosis and the most appropriate acupuncture treatment. 

acupuncture pulse taking

Acupuncture treatment

You may need to remove some of your outer clothing. Only the areas of the body treated will be exposed during the treatment, and a sheet may be offered for your comfort if required.

You will usually be asked to lie down on a treatment couch, but acupuncture can be administered with you sitting up if required.

Acupuncture needles will be inserted into acupuncture points based on your diagnosis. This may be away from the site of the problem. The needles will usually be left in place for 10-15 minutes, although this may be shorter or longer depending on the condition treated. During this time, most patients feel very relaxed; some even fall asleep. At the end of the acupuncture treatment, the needles will be painlessly removed and disposed of.

We may recommend exercise, rest, and dietary alterations as part of your acupuncture treatment. This lifestyle counselling will help you recover faster and prevent future health problems.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture needles are only slightly thicker than human hair. So, you will barely feel them. 

Acupuncture needle size chart

Acupuncture needles are so thin you will barely feel them. Once inserted, we may adjust the needle until you feel a slight ache or tingling sensation. This sensation is a sign that we’ve activated the acupuncture point. Research shows that this sensation induces physiological changes in the body. 

That sensation shouldn’t be uncomfortable and should settle within a few seconds. If you feel any discomfort during your treatment, please tell your acupuncturist, who will adjust the needle to make it more comfortable. 

If you are still concerned about having needles inserted, why not book a 15 minutes free consultation with our acupuncturists and ask to try one needle so that you know how it will feel. 

Acupuncture Techniques

Acupuncture treatment may involve the use of supplementary techniques.

Electroacupuncture treatment


Electro-acupuncture enhances the effects of manual acupuncture and is particularly effective in the treating pain.

Ear (auricular) acupuncture treatment

Ear acupuncture

Auricular (ear) acupuncture is where acupuncture points on the ear are treated to help relieve symptoms.

Cupping treatment


Cupping is where the air is removed from a cup and it is then placed on the patient’s skin.

Acupressure treatment


Acupressure is where acupuncture points are stimulated by finger pressure or by a small pen-like probe.

Book an appointment

Acupuncture in Huntingdon

Our easy-to-use online appointment system is available 24/7.