2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon

The Lunar New Year will begin on 10 February in 2024 – this marks the start of the Year of the Wood Dragon

The Wood Dragon represents vision, growth, learning and moving forward. In practical terms, this may influence how individuals approach their personal and professional growth. It is a year of pushing boundaries, moving forward with purpose, and not fearing challenges.

As background, the Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle that links each year to an animal sign which are… RatOxTigerRabbitDragonSnakeHorseSheepMonkeyRoosterDog and Pig. The order of the animal signs is fixed, with the Dragon being the fifth in the cycle, hence the Year of the Dragon in 2024. Last year, 2023, was the Year of the Rabbit and 2025 will be the Year of the Snake.

Each year also corresponds to one of the five basic elements in Chinese cosmology, namely Metal, Wood, Water, Fire or Earth – creating a 60-year cycle. The universe is believed to be composed of the five elements that interact with each other in a cyclical way. These five elements are the fundamental building blocks of everything around us. The 60-year cycle is a combination of the 12 animal signs and the five elements. The understanding and application of the five elements is an essential aspect of Chinese astrology, cosmology, medicine, philosophy, and feng shui in particular.

The Chinese lunisolar calendar determines the specific animal and element associated with a particular year. The Year of the Dragon in 2024 is associated with the element of Wood. The combination of the animal sign (Dragon) and the element (Wood) designates the year as the Year of the Wood Dragon.

Acupuncture Awareness Week

There are more ways than one to ‘Get to the Point’ …
Here at the Lightworks Clinic we of course use Traditional needles, but we also use Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), not only for tissue healing but to stimulate the Acupuncture points in a gentle, painless, non-invasive way, too.
Having practiced Traditional Acupuncture since 1989 and LLLT for over 32 years, the effectiveness of Laser Acupuncture has been proved without a doubt
… the choice is simply yours !!!
For more information please follow the links below ..

So, what is Traditional Acupuncture and how does it work ?

Getting to the point of… Traditional acupuncture


So, what is traditional acupuncture and how does it work?

Traditional acupuncture is a healthcare system used in the East for over 2,000 years. Acupuncture adopts an holistic approach to healthcare, considering the mind and body as one, and is based on the idea that a blockage or disturbance in the flow of ‘qi’ (a concept from Chinese philosophy), can cause health issues. Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) theory views pain and illness as an indication that the body is out of balance.

Traditional acupuncturists insert very fine needles into specific points throughout the body, along pathways known as ‘meridians’ to regulate body processes and promote relaxation. Treatment is based on a thorough consultation –  an holistic overview of their health, lifestyle and any other contributing factors such as diet.

Other techniques can include moxibustion, cupping and acupressure (which doesn’t involve the use of needles).

Moxibustion is the burning of an herb called moxa (Chinese Mugwort, Artemisia argyi) to warm specific parts of the body, including acupuncture points, whilst in cupping, a partial vacuum is created in a cup which is placed on the skin. The suction then stimulates the flow of Qi and blood. The cups were traditionally made of bamboo but are now more commonly glass or plastic. The partial vacuum is created either by a flame or a pump.

Different styles of acupuncture

There are many different styles of acupuncture. In the UK, the most common are TCM and Five Elements, with Japanese acupuncture becoming more popular. TCM is the style practised in Chinese hospitals today. Five Element Acupuncture is a system of acupuncture practice which derives from the teachings of J.R. Worsley. Susan Evans, MBAcC and Practitioner Director on the Governing Board recently wrote a guest blog for the BAcC, explaining more: Five element acupuncture – what it’s all about

Medical acupuncture / dry needling offers a different approach to healing. Used by healthcare practitioners such as doctors, physiotherapist and nurses who take a short course, dry needling specifically targets dysfunctional muscle trigger points and is commonly used to treat muscle tightness and pain. Unlike traditional acupuncture, it does not focus on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of an ailment, more on simply managing the symptoms.

Who can benefit from acupuncture?

People of all ages can benefit from having acupuncture to help manage a range of health conditions.

Currently National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture for treatment of primary chronic pain, tension type headaches and migraines. Acupuncture is also used by those with other musculoskeletal pain, digestive and women’s health issues and mental health conditions, with clinical evidence on its effectiveness emerging all the time.

Sometimes, people choose acupuncture when their body systems feel out of balance, even though they have no obvious symptoms. Some choose to have regular treatment because they find it beneficial and relaxing, especially if they lead a very stressful life. Often, people turn to acupuncture to take back control of their health whilst others want to understand their body in a deeper way, wanting to look after their body, mind and soul.


Your local BAcC registered acupuncturist will be happy to discuss how acupuncture may help you. To find your local BAcC practitioner, visit: Find an acupuncturist – BAcC (acupuncture.org.uk)


Can Acupuncture help Stroke Victims…  ??

Below is an extract from Stroke Rehab Times …

“Acupuncture is recommended by the World Health Organisation as an alternative and complementary strategy for stroke treatment and stroke care.” – World Health Organisation.

“Stroke is one of the most common conditions treated by acupuncture in China” – Robinson 2012

study published in 2017, conducted at the Chinese Medical University Hospital, discovered that acupuncture exerts a beneficial effect on ischemic stroke “through modulation of different mechanisms originating in the central nervous system.”

Another study published in 2020 in the Egyptian Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery suggests that acupuncture could help stroke patients by alleviating oxidative stress.

How does it work?

Acupuncture increases the circulation of blood, which in turn relaxes muscles and stimulates the production of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and endorphins, which can result in relaxation and pain relief.

The Lightworks Clinic works closely with Physability UK  in assisting with recovery from paralysis however caused, but particularly from Stroke…

Call for more details

The Lightworks Clinic

07712 778378

2022 Courses


 Following Covid-19 and the success of moving the
Lightworks Laser Therapy Courses

we are pleased to announce a full list of
Lightworks Laser Therapy Courses
for 2022

These will cover ….
 Human, Canine and Equine Low Level Laser Therapy
                         Introduction to Canine and Equine Laser Acupuncture
                                 Smoking Cessation

Click on the image below to register your interest …

Looking forward to seeing you in 2022

Welcome to 2022 !!

With Omicron seeming to prove less severe than first thought, we are looking forward to a more stable year in 2022  !!

That’s not to say, however, that precautions are been relaxed at the Clinic  –  we are still requesting that all our clients wear facemasks and sanitise their hands upon entry and for our part, any used equipment is sanitised, the couch is wiped down, fresh air is allowed to circulate between patients and, at regular intervals, the whole clinic is fumigated.

However, there is an air of optimism this year, particularly in Chinese Astrology, where we see the start of the
Year of the Water Tiger

2022 is the Yang-Water Tiger year.

Yang-Water is connected to flowing water, river, or cloud.  The Tiger is characterised as being tough when facing adversity, with a strong sense of justice and a commitment for the greater good….   generating positive imagery for 2022

Look out for the celebrations at the beginning of February  …1st – 15th  !!

.More information will be released at the beginning of next month…

Be Patient, Stay Safe, Keep Calm…

Another year on  …

I can’t believe it’s a year since I wrote that, in spite of the lockdown restrictions, we had enjoyed absolutely fabulous weather last May  –  with our gardens much advanced  !!

Compare that to this year, with our late frosts and torrential rain that blew the petals off my apple tree within a couple of days  –  I’m praying that at least some of them have set.

So it is with great Joy we have a glorious Late May Bank Holiday Weekend, with weather to enjoy and sun to soak up… at last  !!

Witness, my amazing Clematis, Candy Stripe….


However, Dear All, please don’t take your eye off the ball and relax your Covid safety standards too early  –  we are definitely NOT out of the woods yet  –  so I encourage you to continue to  ….

Be Patient,   Stay Safe,   Keep Calm


Acupuncture: No scientific research whatsoever?

This article was recently published on the BAcC (British Acupuncture Council) website  …  makes for an interesting read !!
Acupuncture: no scientific research whatsoever?
Researcher Lianne Aquilina interviews scientist and acupuncturist Dr John McDonald (Griffith University, Australia) on the science of acupuncture

Q: How does acupuncture work?

A: Acupuncture has been shown to affect every bodily system in some way.

The most thoroughly researched aspects are the powerful pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.

Scientist Dr Han Jisheng conducted hundreds of studies on the naturally occurring opioids which are produced by the human body in response to acupuncture (such as -endorphins and enkephalins).

Endogenous opioids, that is opioids which the body produces naturally, are more powerful in relieving pain than opioid medications such as morphine. In fact, β-endorphin is four times more powerful than morphine dose-for-dose.

While endogenous opioids help to explain how acupuncture works in acute pain, actions on chronic pain involve lasting modulation of the nervous system. In a landmark study by UK researchers including the late Prof Hugh MacPherson, it was found that, after acupuncture treatment for chronic pain conditions, 85-90% of the pain relief experienced at the end of the treatment course persisted 12 months later.

The anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture have been found to involve numerous signalling pathways, inflammatory mediators and receptors.
Our team’s research on allergic rhinitis showed a dramatic decrease in the pro-inflammatory cytokine Substance P and suggested that acupuncture was reducing the expression and sensitivity of the receptor (TRPV1) which causes signs and symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itching and blocked nose. Such cytokines are involved in many inflammatory conditions, so being able to regulate their activity is an important goal.

Q: What about mental health?

A: Acupuncture has benefits in mood disorders such as anxiety and depression by modifying serotonin and cortisol, and by switching the body from the ‘fight or flight’ activated state to the relaxed ‘rest and digest’ mode.

Q: And for any other health conditions?

A: Research is ongoing in many areas. For example, acupuncture has been shown to regulate hormones and relieve pain for endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Studies have discovered effects on various internal body systems, including temperature control, blood pressure, heart rate, stomach acidity and peristalsis and bladder pressure.

Recent research has established that acupuncture can assist in resetting the body clock by modulating proteins and genes within the brain centre that controls and regulates the body clocks in the nucleus of every cell.

Q: Some people still believe that acupuncture has no evidence base and that acupuncture is not a proven effective treatment. What would you say about this?

A: I would say that somebody needs to do a lot of reading.

There are now over 13,000 clinical trials of acupuncture registered in the Cochrane Database and this does not include the large volume of studies into acupuncture’s underpinning mechanisms (some of which I have mentioned above).

There are also several hundred systematic reviews showing evidence at varying levels for the effectiveness of acupuncture. Systematic reviews provide an overview of controlled studies on a particular condition, using a fixed set of guidelines for assessing the quality of the evidence.

Q: Can you share the findings of the Acupuncture Evidence Project with regard to medical conditions people suffer from?

A: Yes. This was a review of systematic reviews commissioned by the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd. With my co-author Stephen Janz, we found that the strongest evidence currently for the effectiveness of acupuncture is for low back pain, migraine, chronic tension-type headache, knee osteoarthritis, post-operative nausea and vomiting, post-operative pain, allergic rhinitis and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Q: Are you aware of any other similar recent projects?

A: A recent systematic review commissioned by the Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand found that acupuncture is effective for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions.

In fact, the evidence base for acupuncture is far stronger than the evidence base of most other allied health professions such as physiotherapy.

This should not be surprising as this research is simply confirming what has been observed about the effectiveness of acupuncture over the last two thousand years of practice, by large numbers of practitioners and patients.

Acupuncture is practised on every continent except Antarctica, and is used alongside conventional medicine in hospitals in many countries including USA, Germany and Israel. Acupuncture is included in both private and government insurance schemes around the world and is recognised by UNESCO as an ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’.

Acupuncture is supported by an impressive evidence base of scientific research. The idea that there is no evidence base for acupuncture is simply not supported by the evidence.

BUPA now accept Acupuncture !

Great News  ….
BUPA now covers Acupuncture

After many years resisting calls to include Acupuncture in their health insurance packages BUPA now do so

Not only that, but they directly name the BAcC as the relevant regulatory body for acupuncture in the UK. Previously BUPA would only consider BMAS acupuncture.

• Acupuncture is not named separately in the policies but bundled with complementary therapies
• Chronic conditions are excluded, except for acute flare-ups