AcupunctureWhat is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a system of healing which has been practiced in China and the Far East for thousands of years. Often described as a means of pain relief it can actually treat people with a wide range of illnesses ranging from arthritis to anxiety and depression. The focus of acupuncture is on the overall well being of the patient rather than the isolated treatment of specific symptoms. By inserting fine needles into one of the 560 acupuncture points on the body, the acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance.

Who has Acupuncture and what can it treat?

Many people have acupuncture for specific symptoms or conditions. These may include anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, circulatory problems, depression, facial paralysis, fibrositis, high blood pressure, aches and pains, infertility, menstrual and menopausal problems, migraines, rheumatism, sciatica and skin conditions. Acupuncture is perfectly safe to have during pregnancy or alongside medication given by the patients’ general practitioner.

About the Treatments

What does if feel like? Most people’s experience of needles is with injections or hypodermics like those used when having blood tests. Acupuncture needles are much much finer. Some people say that having acupuncture feels like a tingling or a dull ache. When needles are inserted into one of the acupuncture points they are often left in place for upto 20 minutes or so. Many people find this part of the treatment very relaxing and have been known to fall asleep. Sometimes at the end of the treatment the acupuncturist will “tonify” or use a much faster needle technique to complete treatment.

What happens on my first visit? Your first consultation will be longer than subsequent visits. This enables the acupuncturist to take a detailed medical history and if necessary listen to your heart and lungs and take a blood pressure reading just like your general practitioner might do. This helps the acupuncturist to identify underlying patterns and syndromes according to the practice of traditional Chinese medicine. It also enables the practitioner to then draw up a very personalised treatment package tailored to meet the needs of the patient. They will also ask to look at your tongue and take your pulses on both wrists. This gives the practitioner valuable insight into the internal health of the patient.

How often will I need treatment? This will vary from patient to patient and very much depends upon the nature of the problem. Normally you may be required to visit the acupuncturist once or twice a week at first… although some conditions may need less frequent attention. Sometimes the effects of treatment can be quite dramatic and only need two or three treatments. Normally patients may need support for a period of several weeks or a few months… it is normal to see some improvement after about 5 or 6 sessions.

Is it safe? You should ensure that the practitioner you would like to see is registered with the British Acupuncture Council (BACC). (For more information see the link at the bottom of this page.) All members have been trained at accredited colleges and observe a strict code of safe practice, hygiene and ethics. All members will only use sterile disposable needles and safe needling techniques. Patients who have been treated by a member are eligible to donate blood through the National Blood Service on submission of an approved certificate signed by the practitioner.

Tamara Ashcroft-Nowicki

Tamara has been in practice since 2000. She trained at the internationally renowned College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading. Training involves four years hard study of not only traditional Chinese medicine, but also western medical sciences. Before an acupuncturist can start public work they have to complete a clinical year supervised by their resident college, this is to ensure that they are practising to the highest possible standards and they are also expected to continue with annual study as part of a continued professional development plan as outlined by the British Acupuncture Council. Acupuncturists like Tamara are also expected to attend regular BACC meetings in the area to discuss strategies and new treatment techniques currently under development.

Therapeutic Massage

Tamara now offers a range of therapeutic massages to suit individual needs.  She often combines these with her Acupuncture treatments to help those patients with painful conditions.  Clients of The Oxford Practice, can now enjoy these on their own for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Swedish Massage Full Body   90 mins

Swedish Massage Back, Neck and Shoulders 45 mins Aroma Body ( as above )

Thai face and Scalp massage 40 mins

Thai hand and foot massage 40 mins

Hot Stone massage 60 mins

Pregnancy massage

Pamper packages ( a 2 hour session with a selection of the above treatments … excellent for birthday gifts or Christmas presents ) ( All times are approximate )


Additional Information and Links:

Offerings for Special Areas of Interest: Tamara, like many of her colleagues, is known for special areas of interests. For Tamara, these include:

  • IVF Management and Support (Fertility Treatments)
  • M.E.
  • Facial Acupuncture / Rejuvenation
  • Meditation Classes
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression ( including Post Natal Depression)

For additional information please contact The Oxford Practice or send Tamara an email. You can also find more detail at and The British Acupuncture Council Site

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