CAM Therapies (Impington, Cambridge)

Irina Szmelskyj, DipAc, MSc, MBAcC, MBAA, BAFMOR, FRSPH
Award-winning Acupuncturist

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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.


Acupuncture has a vast body of evidence

Acupuncture is one of the most evidence-based medical modalities. Vast body of evidence shows that acupuncture works.

Past 20 years

Unpresedented in allied medicine, over 13,000 acupuncture trials published

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. (Evidence Based Acupuncture)


World Health Organisation publishes report on acupuncture effectiveness

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 finds evidence that acupuncture can help 117 conditions

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 international guidelines recommend 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 now more accepted than many other forms of medicine

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

Acupuncture is safe

Research on the safety of acupuncture is so conclusive, even critics concede that acupuncture is 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. 

Acupuncture pain-relief effects last for at least 12 months

Two meta-analysis studies on acupuncture on acupuncture for chronic pain found that 85-90% of the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture lasted for over 12 months after a course of acupuncture treatment. 

Acupuncture MRI studies show show that a course of acupuncture literally re-wires the brain and this has a lasting effect.

Irina Szmelskyj,
Award-Winning Acupuncturist


  • National Award-Winning Acupuncturist
  • Registered with the British Acupuncture Council
  • Registered with the British Medical Acupuncture Society
  • Registered with the British Acupuncture Association
  • 17 Years' Experience
  • International Speaker and Presenter
  • Lecturer and Examiner at under and post-graduate levels
Photo of Irina Szmelskyj, Award-winning acupuncturist

Irina Szmelskyj DipAc, MSc, MBAcC, MBAA, BAFMOR, FRSPH
National Award-Winning Acupuncturist in Cambridge, UK

We only use disposable acupuncture needles

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.

Acupuncture treatment may involve the use of supplementary techniques.

Acupuncture adjunctive techniques

electro acupuncture treatment


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.

moxibustion moxa treatment

Heat, moxibustion

For some conditions, acupuncture's effect can be enhanced by heating the points. For larger areas we use an infrared heat-lamp. Individual points are heated with moxa or moxibustion, a technique where the herb mugwort is burned near a point.

cupping treatment


Cupping is where the air is removed from a cup and it is then placed on the patient’s skin. This vacuum effect pulls on the skin, thus generating an effect similar to acupressure. Cupping is completely painless but can leave temporary circular marks where the cups were applied. Cupping is often used to shift congestion and can have a beneficial effect in respiratory conditions such as cough, flu or bronchitis. It can also improve muscular pain.

acupressure treatment


Acupressure is where acupuncture points are stimulated by finger pressure or by a small pen-like probe. Acupressure is particularly suitable for people who would like to have acupuncture but are worried about needles. Acupressure can also be used on babies and children.

ear auricular acupuncture treatment

Auricular acupuncture

Auricular (ear) acupuncture is where acupuncture points on the ear are treated to help relieve symptoms. There are over 200 acupuncture points on the ear. These can be stimulated with small needles or magnetic or herbal seeds. These needles or seeds can be left in place for up to several days in order to stimulate acupuncture points for longer.

Our easy-to-use appointments facility is open 24/7.

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Acupuncture in Cambridge


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

We are fully accredited

Logo British Acupuncture Council

Registered with The British Acupuncture Council

General Osteopathic Council Registration Mark No 1290

Registered with The General Osteopathic Council

Professional Standards Authority registration logo

Accredited by The Professional Standards Authority

Member of The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis Logo

Member of The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis


CAM Therapies
74 Cambridge Road
CB24 9NU
Phone: 01223510611


We are based in Impington, Cambridge, just 1 minute away from the A14 Histon junction 32 (Cambridge side of Impington). We see patients from Cambridge and the surrounding areas in Cambridgeshire and neighbouring counties.