Acupuncture has been used as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 4000 years. It is believed the body contains meridians. These are pathways through which the energy of life called Qi (“chi”) flows. Disturbances/blockages in the flow are believed to cause problems such as pain and muscle spasm.

Acupuncture works to stimulate appropriate points along the affected meridian(s) in order to improve Qi flow. The points are usually stimulated by the insertion of very fine, sterile needles.

Modern research shows that acupuncture stimulates the brain via nerve endings in skin and muscles. When the brain is stimulated in this way it releases pain relieving chemicals. These can assist our body to repair itself when injured.

Effects should be apparent in 2-3 sessions, but treatment may last up to 6 sessions.

Treatment will be adapted/ discontinued if there is no effect after 3-4 sessions. 

Acupuncture at Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic



  • £75 for 60 minute appointment

  • £45 for 30 minute appointment

Block booking prices are available for both physio and sports massage. Please see physiotherapy special offers for more detail.

Book an appointment


A full medical history and physical assessment will be carried out prior to any treatment. This will happen on your initial consultation.

Only sterile, single use disposable needles are used.

The needles are then inserted into specifically selected acupuncture points. You may have between 2-16 inserted depending upon the condition being treated.  The needles may be inserted in and around the problem area, away from it (in the hands and feet), on the opposite side of the body and occasionally points in the ears are used.

Once the needles are all in place the therapist will occasionally stimulate the needles by gently turning them. You may feel a mild ache, numbness or heaviness around the needles. This is referred to as De-Qi by the Chinese and is a sign that the area is being stimulated.


  • Current scientific research has examined a wide range of conditions thought to be helped by acupuncture treatment.
  • The use of acupuncture for pain relief is supported by an ever growing body of evidence.
  • Acupuncture in the past has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a short term treatment for non specific lower back pain and tension- type headaches and migraines.

The needles can be left in place for 10 to 25 minutes.

Acupuncture is not used in the following circumstances:

  • If you have a metal allergy
  • If you have a needle phobia
  • If you have an infection

Does Acupuncture have any side effects?

  • Drowsiness can occasionally occur after treatment. In this instance you are advised not to drive immediately after treatment
  • Minor bleeding or bruising occurs in about 3% of treatments
  • Mild pain can occur in about 1% of treatments
  • In about 3% of cases symptoms may initially worsen after treatment
  • Fainting can occur in certain patients

Chartered Physiotherapists using acupuncture are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) and to remain on the membership register they must adhere to its strictest codes of practice including, hygiene guidelines training courses and educational updates. 


If you would like to book an Acupuncture treatment, have any questions or would like some more information, then please do get in touch.