We often use medical acupuncture as a quick way to help muscles relax. Not only do muscles relax but the local blood vessels in the area dilate, bringing more blood to the area (Medical Acupuncture). This does not depend on whether or not a patient ‘believes’ in acupuncture but is simply the straightforward physiological effect of the needles on local musculature. Some of the other effects of treatment are less predictable: a patient today who was being treated for hip and buttock pain was so surprised at what was happening that she burst out ‘Oh my goodness this is so amazing I’m going to tweet it’. And promptly did.

It was probably just a coincidence but needles featured in another context later in the day. A friend of one of our patients is a well known photographer. He contacted us to ask if we would do facial acupuncture on a model for a photo shoot. We thought that we could probably use one or two needles at most on the model, but that was not sufficient. The photographer wanted us to ‘fill the face full of needles’ for a fetish-like effect. As the treatment was intended to be decorative or aesthetic and not therapeutic, we gracefully declined.