Archive for the ‘In the media’ Category

March 15, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media

acupuncture berkhamsted, acupuncture milton keynesOn the subject of acupuncture for headaches, Mark Bovey the research manager for The British  Acupuncture Council has written an interesting piece for the publication Advances in Neuroscience and Clinical rehabilitation.

In his article Mark highlights that the only treatment NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) could recommend in the prevention of tension type headache was acupuncture, and in addition how favorably acupuncture fares in comparison to topiramate –  the medication currently recommended as front line migraine prophylaxis. In the trial referenced in the article, acupuncture not only outperformed the drug but was also found to be associated with significantly less side effects which is potentially interesting information for anybody that suffers with headache and is curious about what results they may be able to achieve with acupuncture.

In the rest of the article Mark draws attention to the complex nature of assessing a highly individualized intervention like acupuncture, and the potential pitfalls of misinterpreting the conclusions of clinical trials without due care to the nuances of the treatment. It’s a good article by one of the most informed practitioners about the current state of research.

If you’re seeking further research into either acupuncture for headache or acupuncture for migraine relief, The British Acupuncture Councils fact sheets provide a range of information from a collection of research and evidence on the subject, to brief explanations of acupuncture’s mechanism and mode of action.

You can find that their fact sheets here: acupuncture for headache and acupuncture for migraine

In 2012 The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence extended their endorsement of acupuncture to now include it as a recommended treatment for tension headaches and migraine. If you suffere from either of these conditions and have any questions about what acupuncture treatment involves, please feel free to contact me on 07717 515 013.





March 7, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media

As a mark of recognition of the standard of training and development The British Acupuncture Council requires of it’s members, the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care have accredited members of the council under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body accountable to Parliament.

For members of the public this acts as an additional assurance of a high standard of governance, education, standard setting and training.

At the moment in the UK it is still worryingly the case that anybody can practice as an acupuncturist without evidencing any formal training so it’s essential if you’re thinking about having acupuncture or are choosing an acupuncturist that you select a practitioner who is a member of The British Acupuncture Council. To be a member each practitioner must have trained at an approved institution to degree level standard. This important mark of recognition by The Professional Standards authority reflects the hard work put in over many years by The BAcC to set the standard high in traditional acupuncture training and governance.

You can read more about the news at The British Acupuncture Council’s website here:

March 4, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media, Research

Sean Heneghan - acupuncturist in berkhamsted and milton keynesIn recent research into acupuncture for gout, Arthritis UK report that researchers have identified that acupuncture is an effective treatment for the condition.

Researchers analysed the results of ten different randomized controlled trials including 852 patients.  The research team found that six studies containing 512 patients made a strong case for reduction in the levels of uric acid in those patients who received acupuncture, and four studies comprising 380 patients also suggested a decline in the visual symptoms of the condition. Two of the studies reviewed showed no significant difference of treatment, but on the whole the review favored acupuncture with the lead researcher Won Bok Lee noting “The results of the studies included here suggest that acupuncture is efficacious as complementary therapy for gouty arthritis patients”. 

Gout is a condition of acute inflammatory arthritis in which uric acid levels rise in the blood and crystallize. Very often the condition affects the big toe in the foot but the condition can also manifest as kidney stones or urate nephropathy. The condition is marked by acute, intense pain and affects around 1.4% of the UK population, the prevalence of which increases with age to around 3% in women and 7% in men aged over 75 years.

As well as The Arthritis UK page on acupuncture for gout which you can find here, patients curious about how acupuncture can help may also be interested in The British Acupuncture Council’s fact sheet detailing previous evidence of acupuncture in the treatment of the condition. You can find The British Acupuncture Council’s page here:

This systematic review is an additional piece of research which has been published in recent months suggesting acupuncture offers benefit for a number of arthritic conditions. Arthritis UK’s new report on complementary therapies showed recently acupuncture’s effect on low back pain, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, all of which indicate acupuncture is a safe, effective treatment that may help patients with common chronic pain conditions better manage their health.

If you’re interested in either acupuncture in milton keynes or Berkhamsted please feel free to contact me on 07717 515 013 with any questions you might have.





February 21, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media

Hypnotherapy and acupuncture milton keynes and berkhamstedThe charity Anxiety UK have not only featured Acupuncture in their recent short publication on managing anxiety but also have a short feature on acupuncture for anxiety in conjunction with the upcoming Acupuncture Awareness Week.

For anybody that’s more curious about acupuncture and this condition you can find a research sheet produced by The British Acupuncture Council on anxiety here which details some collected research on the subject and a short explanation of what’s involved.

I see people for a number of problems at my acupuncture clinics at Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic and The ISIS Clinic in Milton Keynes so if you’re curious about treatment or have any questions please feel free to contact me.

To hear from some of my existing clients about their experiences of acupuncture with me click here for my client testimonials


February 15, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media

Acupuncture in Berkhamsted and acupuncture in Milton KeynesAcupuncture for back pain is perhaps one of the conditions for which acupuncture gets the most exposure; this is in part due to the increased attention that acupuncture received after being endorsed by NICE (The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) in 2009. At that point, NICE recommended that acupuncture should be considered for the early management of nonspecific lower back pain, and that referring physicians should consider offering patients with low back pain a course of acupuncture comprising up to 10 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks.

As a result of these guidelines I spent a few years treating patients on the NHS for this problem through the Milton Keynes primary care trust. What was often surprising is what patients expected before they came for treatment. Many patients expected the needles to be thick and long like syringes, when in fact they are often nearly hair thin and only an inch long (of which only a small proportion is actually inserted into the body). Patients also often expected to have hundreds of needles inserted in them, when often the number was only around 10 -12. Almost always, patients found that being treated with acupuncture was significantly easier than they’d expected, but if you don’t know much about acupuncture it’s quite reasonable to have all sorts of ideas about it. The good news is it’s likely much easier than you think!

As a result of the many misconceptions, The British Acupuncture Council are running Acupuncture Awareness Week from February 25th – 3rd March 2013. Acupuncture awareness week attempts to dispel many of the myths of acupuncture and educate the public about one of the world’s oldest medical treatments and how it could help them. The focus this year is acupuncture for insomnia and Toyah Wilcox has offered lots of feedback on her experience of acupuncture and sleep crediting the treatment with ending her 40 years of severe sleeping problems.

However if you’re curious about acupuncture for back pain and you’re wondering what’s involved, perhaps one of the best ways of learning more is to hear from patients who’ve had it. In the video below you can hear the experience of one acupuncture patient and his back pain and all about his experience with a fellow British Acupuncture Council Member. The British Acupuncture Council, of which I am a member, are the main governing body for the practice of Acupuncture in the UK and all members have had an extensive training in Traditional Acupuncture to degree level. If you are thinking about having acupuncture for back pain or any other condition make sure you choose a British Acupuncture Council member so you can be assured of a high level of training and competency.

If you have any questions about acupuncture or would like to discuss what treatment could do for you, please feel free to contact me on 07717 515 013.

February 6, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media, Research

Acupuncture clinics in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire

In some interesting research news on the subject of acupuncture and sleep, researchers from Tianjin  University in China have been assessing the effect of acupuncture stimulation on brain wave patterns using EEG (electroencephalograph) signals

According to the researchers, earlier experimental studies on animal models have illustrated that acupuncture reduced gamma waves and increased alpha and theta waves in a pattern that corresponds to those observed in sleep; this particular study looked at the impact of acupuncture stimulation on the brain wave patterns of healthy volunteers and ended up concluding that acupuncture increased the relative power of EEG slow wave (delta band) and decreased the relative power of fast wave (alpha and beta bands) brain wave patterns.

The researchers’ note that their study provides a plausible interpretation of how acupuncture could improve the quality of our sleep and is another interesting research piece in a line of modern research that attempts to understand how acupuncture stimulation affects the brain. On the subject of sleep and acupuncture, one patient who has gone public with the benefits she’s received is Toyah Wilcox who’s featured heavily in the media of late crediting acupuncture with resolving her 40 years of insomnia. A few blog posts ago I linked to a British Acupuncture Council video she recorded talking about her experiences of having acupuncture which you can find again here. One of the useful things for prospective patients thinking about having acupuncture is to hear from patients that already have it and Toyah’s brief video can be useful if you’re considering having treatment yourself.  As an advocate of acupuncture, Toyah has volunteered to participate in Acupuncture awareness week will be running from 25 February – 3 March 2013 and is focused on giving the public greater access to information about the treatment. In line with this The British Acupuncture Council produce an archive of fact sheets and review papers on acupuncture for specific conditions and while on the subject of sleep I thought I’d mention their resource which you can find here on the evidence of acupuncture for insomnia

I help patients with a number of health problems from my acupuncture clinics in Milton Keynes and Berkhamsted, if you have any questions, please feel free to phone me on 07717 515 013.


January 27, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, Hypnotherapy, In the media

Does hypnotherapy for pain relief produce measurable change in the brain?

One of the more slippery aspects of investigating hypnosis has been teasing out what’s actually going on when people are hypnotised (being ‘hypnotised’ can be understood as simply participating in a process of suggestion using focus, attention and imagination).

In recent years though this problem has become easier to resolve with the development of neuroimaging techniques that give an objective picture of what’s occurring in the brains of hypnotic subjects, and the results of these experiments are intriguing.

A Guardian article on hypnosis and neuroscience back in 2010 reported on research of a woman with synaesthesia whose condition was ‘disrupted’ while undergoing hypnotic suggestion. Not only was her subjective experience of the symptoms improved but the electro physiological correlates of her brain changed too, suggesting her brain was experiencing less of the dissonance that characterises the condition. Synaesthesia is a condition whereby stimulation of one cognitive pathway creates an involuntary stimulation in another so that sufferers may for example see sounds or hears colours, so the fact that such a condition was apparently amenable to psychological suggestion was surprising.

This excerpt from a BBC programme below looks in a similar vein at what happens to one journalist’s experience of a painful stimulus when undergoing a hypnotic suggestion for anaesthesia. What he experiences, and what his brain demonstrates surprised him, and it might surprise you too….


N.B If you’re considering hypnotherapy for pain relief you must see your GP first to rule out any underlying cause for the problem

January 19, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Cognitive Hypnotherapy, In the media

A couple of blog posts ago I linked to Trevor Silvester’s short video explaining what Cognitive Hypnotherapy is all about. Here you can read a little more of Cognitive Hypnotherapy’s coverage in the media in this article which featured in The Guardian’s health and well-being section of Life & Style.

At my hypnotherapy clinic in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, I help people overcome a number of physical and emotional problems with the broad range of techniques and approaches that comprise this form of hypnotherapy. Cognitive hypnotherapy can help people with a number of problems from feelings of stress and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, help with stopping smoking and changing eating patterns and many other problems where our thinking patterns can get in the way of our experience of life.

It’s the beginning of the year and a time of potential, more than ever it’s important to manage our minds so they work for us in creating what we want instead of putting familiar obstacles along the path. Cognitive Hypnotherapy could be the way to facilitate that for yourself if there’s something you’d like to change. If you’re seeking hypnotherapy in berkhamsted and are curious about how this approach could help, please feel free to get in touch.

Here’s the guardian’ article:




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.


January 9, 2013 · by Sean Heneghan · Acupuncture, In the media, Research

In today’s BBC Health news section, the health editor comments on recent research looking at complementary approaches for musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis. According to the researchers, many complementary approaches showed little evidence in support of their use for this condition except acupuncture, and in addition, massage, tai chi and yoga. The report notes that for back pain there was in addition some evidence to support the use of osteopathy, relaxation therapy and the alexander technique.

You can read the full report on the BBC website here

Acupuncture milton keynes is available with myself or alternatively at my berkhamsted acupuncture clinic, I can be reached on 07717 515 013.

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