What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine. Fine needles are inserted at certain sites in the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes.  Acupuncture is often seen as a form of complementary or alternative medicine.​

Uses of acupuncture

Acupuncture practitioners use acupuncture to treat a wide range of health conditions such as:

  • chronic tension-type headaches

  • migraines

​Acupuncture is also often used to treat other musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain conditions, including:

  • chronic pain, such as neck pain

  • joint pain

  • dental pain

  • postoperative pain

How acupuncture works

Western medical acupuncture is the use of acupuncture following a medical diagnosis. It involves stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body.

This results in the body producing natural substances, such as pain-relieving endorphins. It's likely that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture.

A course of acupuncture usually creates longer lasting pain relief than when a single treatment is used.

Traditional acupuncture is based on the belief that an energy, or "life force", flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced "chee").

Practitioners who adhere to traditional beliefs about acupuncture believe that when Qi doesn't flow freely through the body, this can cause illness. They also believe acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi, and so restore health.

The Acupuncturists

Ruth Haskew

M Ost

Ruth qualified with a Masters degree from the British School of Osteopathy in 2016, relocating to Wiltshire after several years practicing in Suffolk. Originally working in education and the charity sector, Ruth retrained to pursue her long held interest in the moving body and health care. This interest originated in teenage years spent training and competing nationally in Tae Kwon Do, where Osteopathy greatly aided her performance and injury recovery.

Osteopathic treatment is tailored to you as a whole person, not just symptoms. Ruth aims to give patients a clear understanding of their problem and recovery time, working collaboratively to find a plan for self care to take away with you in addition to any gentle hands on treatment. Ruth can also utilise medical Acupuncture as a part of her treatment.

Ruth’s particular interests include older adults & arthritis, pregnancy related pain and chronic pain. However, as an experienced Sports Massage Therapist and Osteopath, Ruth has worked with a wide variety of people; from office workers, elderly, palliative care, expectant mothers and athletes; working both in clinic and on endurance cycling and running events since 2012.

Ruth is registered with the General Osteopathic Council and a member of the Institute of Osteopathy.

James Bentley

Bsc (Hons) TCM, BSc (Hons) Ost

James studied Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for five years at Westminster university. He graduated in 1999 with a BSc Honours in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2005 he went onto study Osteopathy for a further five years at Middlesex university, graduating again in 2010 with a BSc Honours in Osteopathy.

James was the head acupuncturist and osteopath for the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV charity for a total of 19 years working at the London Lighthouse, Charing Cross hospital and St Charles’ hospital in London. He has also taught acupuncture and was a clinical supervisor at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM). In addition, he has worked in private practice as an osteopath and acupuncturist in a variety of multidisciplinary clinics in London and the south / west for the last 20 years.

James is both a member of the General Osteopathic Council and the British Acupuncture Council. He combines osteopathy and acupuncture to treat a variety of ailments. His passion is to integrate his unique understanding of Traditional Chinese medicine and modern manual therapy to holistically treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, sports injuries and chronic pain syndromes.


© 2018 Trowbridge Osteopaths


20 Union Street, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8RU


Tel: 07504 258 927