Acupuncture encourages both physical and non-physical (mental / emotional) well-being, through balancing how we function as a whole.  We use extra-fine needles to tap into a network of energetic channels that suffuse the entire body and influence how our system works.  We also use massage and acupressure of points on these channels and can warm them by burning a herb called moxa near them.  This system of medicine also offers lifestyle and dietary advice to help individual symptoms and general well-being.

Sometimes people are interested in acupuncture to help a specific complaint or sometimes it is to feel more generally well and ‘at our best’.  Either way, most people need a course of treatments: effects are cumulative.  Ideally we start with weekly treatments and space treatments out as symptoms respond.  We then review progress as we go and after 4-6 sessions we can usually tell how things are going. 

As acupuncture starts to help specific complaints, people often find it also helps other aspects of health such as sleep, energy, immunity and emotions.  This is because it treats the ‘whole’ person.  The best way of getting any single ‘part’ better is to address the whole, inter-related picture.

It is then possible to tailor treatment to suit your own needs:  You can stop after a short course (4-6 sessions), try a longer course (10+ sessions) or come for ongoing treatment (for health maintenance).  People tend to come back to their practitioner either on a regular basis (eg. monthly or at the change of the seasons) or when the need arises.  Once you have had a course of treatment, you have a practitioner who has built up information about you, your health and dis-ease patterns and how acupuncture works best for you.  This information can all be drawn on later to provide an invaluable resource whenever needed.

Ongoing maintenance treatment works well as a preventative medicine, detecting and correcting minor imbalances before they manifest as full-blown or irrevocable symptoms.  It re-tunes and acclimatises us in the present moment, amidst ever-changing lives, helping us to move on more smoothly through life.

There are two main types of acupuncture practiced in the West: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Five Element acupuncture.  TCM treats symptoms and their causes directly, by unblocking and promoting good energetic flow through the body.  Five Element acupuncture uses the same technique to treat the person as a whole, the aim being to restore balance to the natural elements that make us up, so we can ‘heal ourselves’ (more information on Five Element acupuncture). I am trained in both these styles and practice them in an integrated way, which works well for most people. 

I trained in acupuncture at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, between 1997 and 2000, and have run a private practice in the Oxford area since then.   I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council and was one of the founder members of the Acupuncture in Childbirth Team, ACT Oxfordshire. We undertook further training to specialise in treating women during pregnancy, childbirth and post-natally and held honorary contracts at the John Radcliffe Hospital.   I treat a wide variety of complaints and problems as well as more and more people coming simply to be at their best.   Acupuncture is used very well as a preventative medicine. 

Because treatment aims specifically to support natural processes, some benefits are subtle and require time, but these subtle effects offer the most profound benefit.  They can improve how our body and whole being functions well into the future.

To make an acupuncture appointment or ask more:    contact Mary 

At its best, a course of acupuncture not only clears up our symptoms but also brings a generalised feeling of well-being. 

Changes we need to make in our life become clearer and easier. 

Our spirits may feel more buoyant, and we may be calmer and more grounded.

In short, life flows a little more smoothly: things are in balance, in harmony.


More about Five Element Acupuncture.  


Mary Heneghan
BA(Hons), MA, MSc, Lic Ac, MBAcC
Member of the British Acupuncture Council

© Mary Heneghan