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Ten ways traditional acupuncture can help ease back pain

I’m James Revell a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne and I would like to share some tips on ten ways traditional acupuncture can help ease back pain.

I have worked in Eastbourne since 2004. Here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne we provide a range of treatments and acupuncture is one of them. Traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. It involves gently placing extremely fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body to trigger a healing response. As in Chiropractic care traditional acupuncture looks at the root of the condition as well as the symptoms to try to promote longer term health and well-being.

So, if you’re looking for a complementary or alternative treatment in Eastbourne, then I hope you’ll enjoy reading this blog with my tips on ten ways traditional acupuncture can help ease back pain.

Talk about it

If you’re not happy with your current situation or diagnosis, get another opinion – don’t live with pain. Before you commit to having any treatment, the practitioner can discuss your problem and help you understand whether acupuncture can help you.

Personalised for you

Each person is treated as a unique individual so the acupuncture points chosen for one person with lower back pain may be different for another person with the same symptoms.

Pinpoint pain

Contrary to popular belief traditional acupuncture is not scary or painful. Some people are naturally wary of needles but the single use, sterile needles are the same width as a human hair so are extremely fine. To guarantee a high standard of safety and care, it’s important to find a fully qualified and insured acupuncturist registered with the British Acupuncture Council.

Although primarily a chiropractic clinic we work in conjunction with and alongside other healthcare professionals. Dr Carolyn Rubens a local GP and traditional acupuncturist is one of them. To read more about Carolyn please click on the following here

Natural pain relief

By stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues traditional acupuncture helps release “happy” hormones including endorphins and oxytocin, which are the body’s natural pain relieving hormones. These hormones can change the way the body processes pain, helping to reduce discomfort.

The Image Shows fine acupuncture needles inserted into a knee

Here’s a Picture showing the fine needles used in traditional acupuncture.

Reduces inflammation

Traditional acupuncture has been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling by stimulating blood flow to the affected area and dispersing excess fluids to aid healing and recovery.

Get moving again!

Many patients can find that even after one session of traditional acupuncture their mobility and movement will be improved and muscles don’t feel as stiff. The number of sessions required will depend on the individual and whether the pain is chronic.

Reduce medication

If you are a back-pain sufferer and are tired continually taking pharmaceutical drugs, traditional acupuncture can potentially reduce the need for the long-term use of medications without the side effects often attributed to them.

Better outlook

Traditional acupuncture treats the whole person – body and mind. When you start to feel the benefit of treatment it can restore hope and positivity.


A short course of acupuncture compared to “usual NHS care” is more cost effective in the long term for persistent lower back pain.

Complementary or alternative

If you are reliant on painkilling tablets traditional acupuncture works just as effectively alongside modern medication but consult with your GP before undertaking additional treatment plans.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and about how ten ways traditional acupuncture can help ease back pain. For more information on acupuncture or dry needling (Western Medical Acupuncture) practised by Victoria White (Doctor of Chiropractic) alongside her chiropractic treatments please read our other blogs or by visiting our meet the team page at www.LushingtonChiropractic.com.

Thank you

James Revell

Chiropractor and Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne

Do I need acupuncture or a chiropractor to treat my lower back pain?

Acupuncture v Chiropractor

At some point in your life the chances are you will experience lower back pain. You may have heard acupuncture and chiropractic care are both good for treating lower back pain. So who do you go and see? Well, like my last blog comparing chiropractors and osteopaths the answer is not black and white. This is due to differences that occur within each profession and personal preferences of the individual seeking treatment. So the aim of this blog is to explain and compare what each profession does, so you can make an informed choice as to whether you would prefer to see an acupuncturist or a chiropractor.

Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell

Doctor of Chiropractic James Revell

Traditional Acupuncture

Starting with acupuncture there are two distinct schools of thought. The first is Traditional acupuncture and the second is western medical acupuncture or also called dry needling. A description from the British Acupuncture Council describes traditional acupuncture as a Health care system based on ancient principles of Chinese medicine that dates back more than 2000 years. It is concerned with the health and function of an individual, and looks at illness and pain as signs the body is out of balance. Balance can be restored by enhancing the flow of Qi or vital energy through the body. The flow of Qi is improved by inserting acupuncture needles at specific points within the body to remove blocked energy. Qi or vital energy is described as life energy that needs to flow freely through the body to maintain good health. To train and become a qualified acupuncturist, normally takes about three years to complete.

Western Medical Acupuncture

Image shows Doctor of Chiropractic at Lushington Chiropractic James Revell showing an example of an acupuncture needle in position.

An example of an acupuncture needle in position.

The second school of thought is Western medical acupuncture, although acupuncture needles are used it is based on an entirely different rationale. This has evolved from traditional acupuncture, where needles are inserted into areas based on current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology. As opposed to the traditional acupuncture which is based on mapped out areas of the body where qi is thought to be blocked. The western medical acupuncturist will look to insert needles into trigger points, which are essentially knots that can build up within the muscle either through trauma or over use. This style of acupuncture is typically used by chiropractors, osteopaths, GPs or physiotherapists who have attended post graduate courses.

What the guidelines say

The recently updated NICE guidelines (The guidelines used by the NHS as to being best practice for health professionals) recommend spinal manipulative therapy (also known as chiropractic adjustments), massage techniques and combined psychological and physical exercise programmes. These are all treatment modalities I use with the guests at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic. Acupuncture was recently dropped from the updated guidelines, but that is not to say it does not work, just more research is needed. I know through my personal experience patients who have chiropractic treatment and see an acupuncturist, do very well.

We both want to improve your health

Chiropractic care and acupuncture are both more than treating a back pain, they are about improving overall health – see our blog what is chiropractic. As a chiropractor my main goal is to improve the movement of your musculoskeletal system, and understand how that can reduce your pain and have other health benefits. The acupuncturists goal is also to promote health, so from that point of view we have similar goals. If you are not sure who to see for your back pain, see what approach resonates with you. Speaking as a chiropractor I would say that if you came to see me, I would make sure you get a good diagnosis and a personalised treatment package which would be appropriate to your needs. I am confident I can help with most types of mechanical back pain, but am also sure an acupuncturist might say the same thing. If I felt acupuncture would be a useful adjunct to your treatment, I can refer you to my colleague Victoria White a chiropractor here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne who practices western medical acupuncture.  I have done my best to give a balanced opinion on the different approaches and be as accurate as possible. However, I am a chiropractor and not an acupuncturist, so you might get a different opinion from an acupuncturist.

Thanks for reading.








Part 2 An interview with James Revell, Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne.

Continuing from last time, here is part 2 of the interview with James Revell, Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinical Director of Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. If you missed part 1 you can read it here.

Once graduated, whereabouts did you go to and work?

Having grown up on the coast in Sussex near Eastbourne, it was always natural for me to work in the south. I looked at chiropractic clinics, osteopaths and even multi-disciplinary clinics for physiotherapists across the south of England.

One of the chiropractors I was most inspired by was a “chiropractor neurologist”. He specialised in neurological (nervous system) conditions understanding and treating them using chiropractic neurology. 

I spent eighteen months working with him in West Sussex, as well as other clinics before branching out towards Eastbourne to open a chiropractic clinic at the Horder Centre, which at the time was known as the Apollo Centre.

Image shows James Revell, Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne, outside of the clinic.

James Revell, Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne

How long were you there at the Horder centre in Eastbourne?

I worked at the Horder (Apollo) Centre for three years. During that time, I used to commute to Eastbourne from Brighton. After a little persuasion, my wife agreed to move to Eastbourne so we could open up our own chiropractic clinic.

Was Lushington Road your first choice to open a chiropractic clinic?

Initially we looked at the potential of opening up a chiropractic clinic in Seaford, or Hailsham, but favoured Meads High Street in Eastbourne in the end. However, when 30 Lushington Road came on the market we fell in love with it. It is a big building with great potential to convert into the kind of warm welcoming chiropractic clinic that fitted our vision.

What do you really enjoy about being a chiropractor here in Eastbourne?

Something I really enjoy about being a chiropractor is helping people and making a difference. Eastbourne has already got a lovely community feel – there’s lots going on, especially for us as we are bringing up our young family. I find it really rewarding as a chiropractor to be able to contribute to the community; not only helping individuals, but joining in with local charity events and even running some ourselves.

I like to be able to help people and to feel that I have made a difference, so in a town like Eastbourne, you really can make a difference, rather than some of the larger towns and cities.

I also really like Eastbourne’s location next to the sea, the Downs and, when you need it, there is easy access to London and Brighton.

You’ve been working as a chiropractor in Eastbourne for over a decade – how many more years have you got left in you?

My role as a chiropractor has grown, just as our clinic has grown too. I really enjoy working with people and still run clinics on a weekly basis myself. However, I do have to balance that now with managing the clinic overall as well.

I have got no immediate plans to retire and hope to continue practicing as a chiropractor in Eastbourne for at least another twenty years.

Why did you decide to have other therapists alongside chiropractors working with you?

I think it is important that a patient’s treatment is tailored personally to them. By having a team of practitioners who are experts in their own individual fields, the patient can get the best possible treatment personally tuned to meet their individual needs. That’s why I insist on meeting with all the massage therapists every week to discuss cases with them.

Eastbourne Chiropractors James Revell and Mykel Mason. Shown wearing red glasses at a recent conference.

Eastbourne Chiropractors James Revell and Mykel Mason.

Lushington is the largest chiropractic and multi-disciplinary clinic in Eastbourne – in fact, we are one of the largest clinics in East Sussex! We have a team of over twenty covering sports massage, medical acupuncture, Chinese acupuncture, nutrition therapists, podiatrists, psychologists and counsellors. I think for a little clinic here in Eastbourne we are doing rather well, but what I am most proud about is the genuine collaborative atmosphere that puts the patient first.

That’s great James, keep doing the hard work and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed!


Acupuncture Awareness Week is coming to Eastbourne! March 6th-March 12th.

Who am I?

I am Carolyn, a GP and acupuncturist and have recently moved to the Eastbourne area with my husband’s job. I feel so lucky to be in Eastbourne, by the sea and the Downs, it is a perfect place to bring up our young children. I also feel lucky to be joining the team at Lushington Chiropractic to practice acupuncture and whose values are entirely in line with my own – community, health and growth. We are all helped to grow throughout our lives if we are surrounded by people who support and value us and at Lushington I can see a team that thrives because of the connections the team have made between themselves.

Image shows Dr Carolyn Rubens who has joined Lushington Chiropractic to practice acupunture

Dr Carolyn Rubens joins Lushington Chiropractic to practice acupuncture.

I have a background in arts and then went on to study medicine after doing an anthropology degree. I did medicine as a second degree and trained in acupuncture at the same time having seen it performed in Thailand where I did my anthropology research into Thai traditional medicine. Once I had started needling I found it difficult to stop! I find it is useful for such a wide variety of conditions. There are the obvious ones like headaches, migraines, back pains, neck pains. However, it is useful for many more conditions such as hot flushes in the menopause, irritable bladders, IBS, low mood, insomnia, fatigue and stress. Part of the reason it helps with general wellbeing is due to all the lovely biochemicals it helps your body to release naturally such as endorphins, your body’s pain killer, and serotonin and oxytocin which lift your mood and make you feel more relaxed

I lecture and examine for the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS). We train healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, osteopaths and chiropractors on our courses. They needle each other so get feel the positive effects of regular acupuncture treatments throughout their training. I enjoy the teaching side and sit on the council for the BMAS as the society’s Vice President. We have a lot of interest in our courses from around the world as Western medical acupuncture is not established as a speciality in a lot of countries.

What are the two types of acupuncture?

Western medical acupuncture developed from traditional acupuncture after President Nixon travelled to China in the 1970s and saw how beneficial it could be. Western medical acupuncturists make a conventional diagnosis before treating you based on neurophysiological principles. Chinese acupuncturists on the other hand base their diagnosis on the Chinese traditional medical system which is based on the concept of Qi, your vital energy, flowing around the body. It is steeped in tradition including Taoism which looks at the natural balance and order of life and tries to restore that.

I believe both systems are actually trying to do the same thing – to restore the body to its natural way. The body can be viewed as a perfectly functioning machine but it needs looking after rather like an expensive car, you would make sure it was oiled, cleaned and regularly serviced to ensure it ran smoothly. When we do the same for our bodies they can function perfectly and acupuncture helps them to do this by themselves.

Making acupuncture accessible for everybody

I use acupuncture in my daily work as a GP and have set up a teaching clinic as a pilot for the BMAS offering low cost affordable treatments to patients in the GP or community setting. I hope to introduce this in Eastbourne in the near future to help people to reduce their medications and get back to work more quickly. Patients love it and I find it very rewarding. My aim is to make acupuncture as affordable and accessible to the people of Eastbourne as possible. I’d love to set up group clinics run by the community for the community in a GP setting so people can be treated together as they are in China. I can imagine the community of Eastbourne getting behind this idea.

This week is Acupuncture Awareness Week so it is an ideal time for me to be starting up my new acupuncture clinic at Lushington Chiropractic. I have met all the team and can’t wait to start working with them.

All appointments with me and my colleague Rob Bowley, who is a traditional acupuncturist, will be half price for the month of March to celebrate Acupuncture Awareness Week. If you haven’t tried acupuncture before why not come along and try acupuncture with one of us.

Carolyn Rubens

Lushington Chiropractic can help people of all ages

My parents have both used Lushington Chiropractic.

My 90 year old Dad came to see Mykel Mason (Doctor of chiropractic) with shoulder pain and a problem with his ankle, his ankle is much improved and his shoulder was getting a lot better until he had a fall and fractured his wrist which needed wiring and the neck of his humerus which needed pining! He will be returning to continue chiropractic treatment when he is fully healed.

My 86 year old Mum also came to see Mykel with a problem with her arm and a numbness in her fingers in one hand, Mykel worked very hard to help Mum with adjustments and suggestions of various exercises she could do to help increase her range of motion, she has also had a number of therapeutic massages with Sue Hudson.

They have both been very pleased with the treatment they have had but also commented on how friendly and welcoming the clinic was, they particularly found our wonderful team of clinic assistants very kind and helpful!

They both enjoyed coming to our Open day here in Eastbourne which was held on a lovely sunny day in July last year, they were very interested to hear about all the other therapies offered at Lushington Chiropractic, Why not come along to the Wellbeing Open Day this year on Wednesday 28th October 10.00am – 2.00pm where Lushington Chiropractic is celebrating its 10th Birthday!!

Its 10 years since James Revell (Doctor of Chiropractic) first opened the doors of Lushington Chiropractic and it has come a long way!

The clinic has 10 years of proven award winning service to over 8,000 local people

Judy with Ken & Betty Burns enjoying our Open Day 2014

You can find out about Chiropractic, Massage therapy, Mindfulness & pain management, The work of the Health Trainers, Stress self help with Acupressure, Nutrition, Podiatry and much much more

You can be sure of a warm welcome at Lushington Chiropractic

Discovering an all-new you through acupuncture

Could you be saying hello to an all-new you this year with the help of acupuncture?

January is always a good time of year to reflect on what has gone before, as well as setting a course for the New Year. For many people it is the time of year to focus on their health and look to effective treatments such as acupuncture.

It’s not unusual for people to succumb to seasonal bouts of coughs, colds and flus during these post-Christmas winter months. But why is it that some people are affected more or less than others?

For an acupuncture practitioner this is due, not solely, to the many germs and viruses around, but largely to the relative deficiency of one’s own vital energy or Qi. When one’s energy is low this can result in a weakened immune system, allowing colds and flus to flourish.

There are many factors that can deplete your energy and consequently weaken your overall health. These may include diet and nutrition, stress, lack of exercise, lifestyle, overworking and many external factors.

By tackling these issues it should be possible to increase one’s energy reserve and bring the body’s inner landscape into better balance. The result of this is typically a stronger immune system and an increased sense of wellbeing.

Acupuncture works on balancing and increasing this energy throughout the body and I find it interesting to note that people who receive regular acupuncture treatments suffer much less with colds and other minor illnesses.

So what else can we do to improve things as we start the New Year?

After the rich foods and revelry of December, January is the perfect time to take an interest in one’s diet and begin to choose healthier options – ones that bring us closer to vibrant health. Choosing an exercise that is stimulating and keeps you interested will also help to keep you going throughout the year.

Finding ways to lead a better work/life balance is vital and will enable you to avoid burning out and will enable you to enjoy more fully your leisure time. Stress and emotions are two huge factors that drain energy and are well worth considering.

Like all of the team members at Lushington Chiropractic, I believe in the importance of self-care, and I encourage clients to be aware and vigilant of the stresses and strains that impact on their daily lives. It is a well known fact that constant worry and anxiety have a dramatic effect on the body. They act like a leaky tap, constantly draining our vital energy. Understanding where and why this is happening will have an immediate effect. It is a topic that I am passionate about as an acupuncture practitioner, so expect some more blog articles on this in the near future.

Finally, there is one more way you can rev up your energy reserves. It is one which has had the most powerful and enduring effect on my own life and the one I now teach to many students in my classes around the local area. Tai Chi and Qigong are gentle, yet thorough, therapeutic exercise systems which have stood the test of time. They were specifically developed hundreds of years ago to not only work on the musculo-skeletal system but also to enhance the body’s natural energy reserves through specific movements, breathing techniques and internal awareness.

If you would like to find out more about how acupuncture could help you please drop the clinic a call or email, contact us via our Facebook page or come and have a chat with me at the clinic.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and look forward to your comments.

Have a great New Year