Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

True Health Clinics is the longest-established clinic in Godmanchester, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire managed by practitioners with world-renowned reputations.

Top-rated clinic in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

4.9 out of 5 stars based on 956 reviews received between 2012 and 2020

What is Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a treatment where thin sterile acupuncture needles are inserted into specific acupuncture body points to treat a wide variety of physical or psychological conditions.

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


Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is widely accepted by the medical community as one of the most evidence-based medical modalities

Past 20 years

Over 13,000 acupuncture trials

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. (Source Evidence Based Acupuncture)


World Health Organisation report

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


The Acupuncture Evidence Project

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”.


2,189 positive recommendations of acupuncture

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

On average, it takes 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. 


Acupuncture is widely accepted

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

Do the Effects of Acupuncture Last?

Two meta-analysis studies (considered highest level of scientific proof) found that following a course of treatment 85-90% of the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture lasted for over 12 months. 

Acupuncture research studies utilising MRI scans show that a course of acupuncture literally re-wires the brain not to feel pain and this has a lasting effect.

Is Acupuncture 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'). This is despite the World Health Organization recommending 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. At True Health Clinics, all acupuncturists hold UK Master of Science or Bachelor's degree level qualifications after undertaking three to four years formal training. They are registered with The British Acupuncture Council and are accredited by The Professional Standards Authority. True Health Clinics have been inspected and are licensed by Huntingdonshire District Council for carrying out acupuncture treatments. 

Your Safety Comes First

We only use sterile single-use acupuncture needles that are disposed of immediately after each use. We never use reusable needles. This significantly reduces the risk of infections.

Meet Our Expert Acupuncturists

Irina Szmelskyj

Dip.Ac, MSc, MBAcC

Registered Principal Acupuncturist

National Award Winner

17 years' clinical experience

International speaker

MSc lecturer and examiner

Co-author of the international best-selling textbook 'Acupuncture for IVF and Assisted Reproduction'

Philip Rose-Neil

BA(Hons), Lic.Ac, MBAcC

Registered Associate Acupuncturist

9 years' clinical experience

International speaker

Former Chairman of The British Acupuncture Council

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Unlike injections, acupuncture does not hurt. Acupuncture needles are so thin you will barely feel them penetrating the skin. 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 it's this sensation that induces physiological changes in the body.

It shouldn't be uncomfortable and should settle within 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 one of our acupuncturists and ask to try one needle so that you know how it will feel. 

"It is really important to me that my patients are comfortable during acupuncture treatment. There are a number of ways how I achieve this:

1. I only use the best quality acupuncture needles, the needles that I would want to be used on me and my children. Cheap needles can be more uncomfortable due to poor manufacturing quality control leading to blunt needle tips. I never use them!

2. I choose the thinnest effective needle size. Some practitioners don't like using thin needles as they can be harder to work with due to being very flexible. But, I love them and so do my patients. 

3. If a patient is really sensitive, we can use breathing techniques that help to distract the mind and make the needle insertion barely perceptible. I can also choose acupuncture points that are less sensitive or reduce how many points are treated.

If after taking these steps my patient is still uncomfortable, acupuncture treatment can be discontinued immediately. But, I'm very happy to say that in my 17 years experience, I haven't had a single patient find that needles are so uncomfortable that we had to discontinue their treatment." 

Irina Szmelskyj

Principal Acupuncturist

Medical History

You will be asked about the history of your current complaint:

• how long you have had the problem
• how it may have started
• what factors may be stopping it getting better
• what aggravates and relieves the symptoms
• the impact on your daily activities
• medical tests and investigations

You will also be asked about your:

• past history of similar problems 
• past injuries
• other illnesses
• hospitalisations or operations
• any illnesses that have affected your blood relatives
• the impact of your lifestyle on your health, for example your diet and exercise

Examination and Diagnosis

The examination undertaken with depend on your presenting condition, for example we may assess your posture, muscles or joints.

We may also feel your pulse on both wrists to check quality, rhythm and strength.

The structure, colour and coating of your tongue may also be examined to assess your physical health. These are very valuable techniques used by acupuncturists to confirm a diagnosis.

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


You may be asked to remove some of your clothes. To preserve your modesty, only the areas of the body being treated are exposed during the treatment and a sheet or a towel 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.

Then, acupuncture needles will be inserted into the most appropriate acupuncture points. This may be away from the site of the problem. The needles will usually be left in place for an average of 10-15 minutes, although this may be shorter or longer, depending on the problem being treated. During this time most patients feel quite relaxed, some even fall asleep. At the end of the treatment, the needles will be painlessly removed. We will then safely dispose of them.

As part of your acupuncture management, you may be advised on lifestyle and healthcare improvement. For example, modifications to the levels of exercise, rest and relaxation and dietary alterations may be recommended. This lifestyle counselling will help you to recover faster and to prevent future health problems.

What Happens During the Initial Acupuncture Consultation?

"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 Irina."

"First experience of acupuncture and very pleased with the amount of detail and holistic approach that was taken in treating me."

I can't believe I hate needles. It took me three years to pluck up the courage to go for acupuncture . I so wish I had tried it sooner. It works so well for me."

My first ever experience of acupuncture, and it was so good I nearly dozed off!! It might be my imagination, but I feel that it is easier to pick things up from the floor, whereas that has been difficult for me lately. Will see what tomorrow brings! Looking forward to meeting Philip for further treatment..."


Press Coverage

Irina's work has been covered by local and international press and she has been featured on several occasions on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Acupuncture Adjunctive Techniques

Acupuncture treatment may involve the use of supplementary techniques. The most commonly used techniques include:

> Electro-acupuncture

Electro-acupuncture enhances the effects of manual acupuncture and is particularly effective in the treating pain. It has also been shown to improve blood flow to the ovaries and the uterus, which is useful in fertility and IVF patients. During electro-acupuncture small electrical pulses are passed through the needles into acupuncture points. Patients usually experience a slight pulsating sensation. It is not painful, in fact most patients really enjoy electro-acupuncture.

> Heat

> Cupping

> Acupressure

> Auricular (ear) acupuncture

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World-Leading Expertise in Acupuncture Treatment of
Fertility and IVF Patients

Our principal acupuncturist Irina Szmelskyj is a co-author of a leading textbook on acupuncture treatment of fertility and IVF patients. The book 'Acupuncture for IVF and Assisted Reproduction' (ISBN 978-0702050107) co-authored by Irina Szmelskyj and Lianne Aquilina and edited by Alan Szmelskyj reached No1 best-seller ranking in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, India.

Why Patients Recommend our Acupuncturists

"Fantastic service and care. Irina at Godmanchester clinic was so accommodating for the planning of my pre and post embryo transfer accupuncture. I was having to travel 100 miles and would not even know until the last minute if if the procedure would go ahead. She went out of her way to fit me in her busy schedule. I felt in very good hands and had total confidence in her ability. She was calm and patient and I did not feel rushed although I know her time was stretched . Thankyou"

"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!"

"I can’t speak highly enough of Irina. She made me feel like I was her only patient. Her expertise in fertility made me completely confident that I was in good hands and she answered every question with detailed, evidence-based knowledge. Irina gave me hope and positivity when I felt I had none and she filled with me confidence that this pregnancy would be different. Irina is professional, sympathetic, and thoughtful. I just wished I had found her seven years ago."

"Thank you to Philip for his support throughout my treatments. He has been professional, but also supportive at each session. Each session has been personalised to my needs and has helped me a great deal."

"I came away feeling fully informed, very relaxed and positive following on from my first consultation /acupuncture treatment. Irina is very professional, friendly and makes you feel that you are in the very best hands. The acupuncture was completely pain free and the heat treatment very soothing. I am particularly grateful for all of the advice that Irina gives me, she takes into account the whole picture of your presenting complaint. I like her honest approach and realistic expectation to each individual case. I would not hesitate to recommend Irina (True Health Clinics)."

"My treatment is administered by Philip Rose-Neil and he is absolutely superb. I must say it is a real treat/tonic going to see him and I have already made two referrals to friends as he has changed my life."

Ready to book?

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Now sit back and relax- you are in safe hands! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Have a question?

Send us a message and we will get back to you, usually within a day.

Free consultation

Unsure if we can treat your condition? Unclear which therapy is right for you?
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We Are Fully Accredited


True Health Clinics
34 Cambridge Road
PE29 2BT
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© True Health Clinics 2020. All rights reserved.
We see patients from a wide geographical area, including Huntingdon, Cambridge, Peterborough and London

True Health Clinics Unlimited registered in England and Wales. Reg No: 6848657. Registered Office: 34 Cambridge Road, Godmanchester, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK PE29 2BT. 

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