Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

January 16, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, General News, In the media

All sorts of people have acupuncture for a great many problems, and yet there are many misgivings about what acupuncture involves.  In a recent survey The British Acupuncture Council discovered that 21 per cent of the British public thinks an acupuncturist’s needle is as large as the needle used for an injection – something which is fortunately not the case.  Acupuncture needles are almost hair thin and bear little resemblance to the needles used for injections. And yet despite the common misconceptions about what acupuncture involves, each year members of The British Acupuncture Council carry out 2.3 million treatments of a medical modality that is now endorsed by The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence for the treatment of non-specific chronic lower back pain, tension headache and migraine. At my acupuncture clinics in Milton Keynes and Berkhamsted I see many patients for those complaints and many others.

While acupuncture may seem like an alternative, it is perhaps more than ever moving into the mainstream, as well as the 3000 or so traditional acupuncturists that are members of The British Acupuncture Council there are also 2700 doctors and allied health professionals that make up The British Medical Acupuncture Society who utilise a more minimal, reduced form of acupuncture according to western medical principles.  All in all, that’s a lot of acupuncturists working in different ways to help a lot of patients, but if you’ve never had acupuncture before, what should you expect?

One of the best ways of discovering what acupuncture is about is to hear from patients that have it. You can hear from some of my patients on my treatment testimonials page, and in addition you can hear from some of the patients who’ve been interviewed as part of acupuncture awareness week - a new initiative started by The British Acupuncture Council to raise awareness of acupuncture for the British public.

Here’s Toyah Wilcox talking about her experience of having acupuncture:


I see patients at my acupuncture clinics in Berkhamsted and Milton Keynes. If you’re seeking acupuncture in Berkhamsted, appointments can be booked on 07717 515 013, for acupuncture in Milton Keynes please ring  01908 307 075.


February 10, 2012 · by Sean Heneghan · General News, Hypnotherapy

No longer the centrepiece of embarrassing entertainment shows, hypnosis, or more accurately clinical hypnosis is emerging as a particularly potent form of medical treatment for a wide variety of problems and conditions. Supported by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and widely acknowledged in the medical community as a particularly powerful form of pain relief, hypnotherapy can be a valuable method of inducing deep states of relaxation and rapidly shifting the way we think about problems. In common practice, it’s normal for a hypnotherapist to treat clients for a wide variety of issues ranging from depression and anxiety, to phobias, weight control, exam nerves and much more.

Perhaps more than any other kind of therapy, hypnotherapy is one in which the relationship between the client and the practitioner is of prime importance. It takes trust and a sense of comfort and confidence on the part of the client in the qualities and potentials of the hypnotherapist for the experience to be as fruitful as possible, so good therapists in this modality are like gold dust and best sought out on the back of trusted recommendation.

One such therapist is my friend and colleague Hazel Gale. Hazel’s a hypnotherapist in north east London as well as the two times world kickboxing champion and the current ABA (amateur boxing association) champion. When it comes to sports hypnosis her work is second to none and built on her skills not only as a top athlete herself, but also in her capacity to develop similar skills in her clients. She also however works brilliantly with a wide range of other issues aside from sports performance, and is my recommendation for anybody looking for hypnotherapy in east london.


Hazel Gale - Clinical Hypnotherapist

You can read about the results Hazel achieves with her clients here, or for the main page of her website visit:

You can also reach her by telephone on 07870 180 548, or via her clinic’s facebook page here

November 1, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · General News, Research

An article in today’s Guardian reports the conclusions of recent research showing that patients with lower back pain who had a 12 week course of yoga experienced greater mobility and pain relief than patients on current standard care. Benefits were also maintained even 9 months after the yoga was stopped, which could see yoga being recommended for patients with lower back pain and integrated into conventional care.

In the study, a group of 156 patients with chronic lower back pain were assigned to have the 75-minute yoga classes over 12 weeks, while a control group of 157 just saw their GPs. Participants filled in a 24-point questionnaire on whether their condition prevented them from doing everyday tasks. Those who did the yoga scored on average 2.17 points lower than those who did not. Three and nine months later, their scores were still 1.48 and 1.57 points lower respectively.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the body in the UK which sets the guidelines on the recommendations for best treatment. Acupuncture for lower back pain is already recommended by NICE, and as a result I’m one of the acupuncturists working in conjunction with the NHS to deliver acupuncture in milton keynes to patients with chronic lower back pain through the Milton Keynes primary care trust pain clinic. I have helped many patients with acupuncture for back pain, if this is something you or somebody you know suffers from, I’m available in milton keynes at the ISIS Chiropractic Clinic on 01908 307 075.  If you are suffering from lower back pain and are closer to my Berkhamsted acupuncture clinic, appointments can be booked there on 07717 515 013.

Yoga is something I frequently recommend to patients as an excellent practice for health, mental and physical well being, and physical flexibility, so it’s a great thing to see its benefits being more readily recognised through research.

The full story in The Guardian is here:


October 27, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · General News, Research

A systematic review and meta analysis of the effect of Tai Chi on Osteoarthritis has concluded the results as “encouraging, and suggest that t’ai chi may be effective in controlling pain and improving physical function in patients with OA in the knee”.

The caveat is as always that due to the low level of RCT’s and risk of bias the evidence is limited, but it seems that since Tai Chi may confer significant other health benefits it could be a worthwhile exploration for patients seeking relief from this painful condition.

The researchers searched eleven databases from their inception to July 2010. Randomised controlled trials testing t’ai chi against any type of controls with OA localised in any joints were considered in the review. The meta-analysis suggested that t’ai chi has favourable effects on pain, physical function and joint stiffness.


Full details:


September 19, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · General News

In an interesting article published online in the New Scientist, writer Jo Marchant explores the evidence for looking at how our mental and emotional activity affects our physical health. While in Chinese medicine the mind body connection has been long established for thousands of years, it’s only relatively recently that western biomedicine has begun to escape the shackles of Descartes’ mistaken assertion that the two are separate, non interacting entities. Modern disciplines such as psychoneuroimmunology are showing us how our emotional life has distinct physiological correlates that  impact not only the quality of our lives, but also their length.

In this brief video, and as the associated article illustrates, evidence shows that optimism and positivity reduces circulating levels of stress hormones like cortisol, and that optimists not only recover better from medical procedures such as coronary bypass surgery but also live longer when suffering from conditions such as cancer, heart disease and kidney failure. In general they are noted to have significantly healthier immune systems.

You’ll also find some interesting facts that people who see themselves in a positive light have lower cardiovascular responses to stress and recover faster as well as having lower baseline cortisol levels. There are also references to some fascinating research that showed that students suffering from exam anxiety showed lower levels of adrenaline in their urine on exam day when they were given creative writing tasks before hand that focussed on their own positive qualities…All fascinating stuff, so read, watch, and perhaps consider for yourself what one thing could you do, that would  positively impact how you view yourself and your life. Your organs will thank you for it.


September 15, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · General News, Research

As the saying in Chinese medicine goes, treating disease when it’s already begun is like rooting for water in a well when one is already thirsty, so where possible prevention of disease is always preferable to treating it when it’s arrived. In a similar vein, an interesting report in todays guardian shows that the conclusions from a 2 year study show that supplementation of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid in medicinal quantities reduced the overall shrinkage of a persons brain by 30%, or at least in elderly patients with already existing cognitive impairment.

In the study 270 men and 70 women with mild cognitive impairment (a diagnosis of which leads 50% of patients to go on to develop Alzheimer’s) were studied. They were given higher than the recommended dosage of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid which are thought to control levels of the amino acid homocysteine which is known to damage blood vessels and contribute to brain atrophy. A 30% reduction in brain shrinkage was observed but in patients who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the beginning of the study, a 50% reduction in shrinkage of the brain was observed.

It’s thought as we age we are less able to absorb B vitamins, and levels of homocysteine levels are also thought to rise with excessive alcohol consumption and poor dietary habits.

While the evidence is encouraging, the researchers warn the elderly against over consumption of supplements since folic acid has some potential to re-activate cancer cells, and to use vitamin supplementation after consultation with a doctor.

Full story here:

September 10, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, General News
” Over the years I have experienced a lot of discomfort and pain. I visit an Osteopath regularly and take classes in Pilates which keeps me functioning well. However, after a particularly stressful eighteen months with a family illness and other of life’s drama’s, I was feeling that I was getting worse and feeling continually uncomfortable. Often thinking about, but never having experienced it before, I decided to try acupuncture on the recommendation of a friend.
I found Sean’s website very informative and the testimonials heartening, I felt confident to make contact and book an appointment.
I have just completed a set of treatments and I feel so different, so full of energy and happy. From my first meeting with Sean and the initial medical history chat and treatment, I felt comfortable and at ease. Through that talk I was able to see that I had been carrying a great deal of emotional and physical pain on my poor old shoulders, that I was not quite me, that I had lost some zing.
Throughout, the treatments have been calm and relaxed and well explained. I leave each time feeling happy, and from that very first session I feel that I have got my missing bit of zing back again. I wake each day more comfortable, with a feeling of well being, calmer inside and no longer anxious or too quick to react.
I would like to thank Sean for his expertise, for treating me kindly and with great success, I recommend him highly.”
Andrea Roberts, Berkhamsted, September 2011

To hear from other patients who’ve had treatment with Sean, please click here:
Sean offers acupuncture in berkhamsted, to book appointments please ring 07717 515 013
September 10, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, General News, Research


An interesting study has just been published through the Department of Economics at Tilburg University in The Netherlands about the cost effectiveness of complementary approaches to healthcare and the impact of their use on mortality rates.

Data was collected from the years 2006–2009 and 1913 conventional GP’s were compared with data from 79 GP’s using complementary approaches in addition to conventional healthcare. According to the researchers, patients whose GP had additional CAM training have 0-30% lower healthcare costs and mortality rates, depending on age groups and type of complementary medicine used. The lower costs resulted from fewer hospital stays and fewer prescription drugs.

As my previous blog entries have stated, I highlight complementary approaches as being just that – complementary and secondary rather than a primary means of dealing with healthcare, and so studies like this provide interesting reading in highlighting the potential inherent in using a number of different ideological approaches to dealing with patient care.

Full details here:


For appointments for acupuncture in berkhamsted please ring 07717 515 013

For appointments for acupuncture at my milton keynes clinic please ring 01908 307 075


July 6, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, General News

Heiner Fruehauf is the Founding Professor of the School of Classical Chinese Medicine at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Having delved deeply into Traditional Chinese Medicine and completed post doctoral training in China, he’s a great source of information, particularly about Chinese Medicine as it was practised outside of the institutionalised settings of Chinese hospitals and universities.  In this video he gives a fascinating insight into the weird and wonderful techniques of a traditional doctor in rural China (the interesting footage is about 2 minutes into the video). This video gives a brief glimpse of the doctor using emotional exercises for healing serious illness. It’s a fantastic insight into what traditional medical encounters might have looked like, and it’s interesting to contrast this level of engagement between doctor and patient in comparison to our own medical encounters in the west now. Although strange and intense, it’s a good example of how, in Chinese Medicine, our emotions are seen not only as key components of our illness, but also as key components of our recoveries.

Prospective patients should be relieved my own methods are a little more orthodox, don’t involve vomiting or wailing, and are considerably less draining.

Here’s to interesting viewing…




July 2, 2011 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, General News

On Tuesday 28th June Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic celebrated it’s 80th year in practice. This makes it the longest running Chiropractic clinic in it’s original premises in the UK.

Myself and the other practitioners had an open evening offering free consultations, in which we collectively saw over 50 patients. So Happy Birthday to the clinic, and well done Lauren and all the staff for all their hard work.

Full details of the clinic, and all the treatments on offer can be found here:

For acupuncture treatment in Berkhamsted with myself at the clinic please call 07717 515 013