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Phone: 07732 091 662


Use the form on the right to book an appointment or for more information.

6 Ashdown House, Riverside Business Park, Benarth Road,
Conwy, LL32 8UB
North Wales, United Kingdom

07732 091 662

Snowdonia Osteo is an osteopathic clinic based in Conwy, North Wales, and run by registered osteopath Hugo Matcham. For anything from back pain, neck pain and sciatica to joint pain, RSI and sports injuries, there's always something I'll be able to do to help. Treating causes, not just symptoms.


Everything you need to know about what acupuncture is and the types of conditions it can be effective in treating.

What is acupuncture?


Western medical acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at certain points on the body for therapeutic or preventative purposes following a medical diagnosis.

The insertion of needles stimulates sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles resulting 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.

What conditions can acupuncture be effective in treating?


Acupuncture can be an effective treatment in providing:

  • Short-term relief of tension type headaches

  • Short-term relief of migraine headache

  • Short-term relief of chronic low back pain

  • Short-term relief of neck pain or chronic neck pain

  • Short-term relief from temporomandibular (TMD/TMJ) pain

  • Temporary adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain


Is acupuncture safe?

When carried out by a qualified practitioner acupuncture is generally very safe, however a minority of patients do experience some mild, short-lived side effects such as:

  • Mild pain, bleeding or bruising where the needles puncture the skin

  • Feeling drowsy, sick, dizzy or faint

  • Worsening of pre-existing symptoms

If you have a bleeding disorder such as haemophilia or are taking anticoagulants it’s advisable to talk to your GP before you have acupuncture.

Acupuncture is also not usually advised if you have a metal allergy or an infection in the area where needles may be inserted.

It's generally safe to have acupuncture when you're pregnant but please make sure you inform your practitioner of your pregnancy beforehand because certain acupuncture points can't be used safely during pregnancy.

What to expect during your appointment

As a new patient your session will take up to one hour and will involve an initial discussion, treatment and then a few minutes at the end to cover your management plan and any relevant exercises and advice you need to take away. Follow up sessions will take about 30 minutes and will be mainly focused on treatment as most of the detailed discussion will already have been done during your initial consultation. At the end of each session we'll take a few minutes to review and make any necessary adjustments to your management plan.

You'll be asked some straightforward questions about your current discomfort and some more detailed questions about your medical history and any medication you might be taking.

You'll then be asked whether you're happy to remove some of your outer clothing so that a careful physical assessment can be carried out involving a series of simple movements and some gentle contact using the hands to assess how your body is functioning. The removal of some of your outer clothing is necessary in order to observe and palpate any dysfunctional areas but this is entirely at your discretion and can be discussed further at the time if you wish. It's helpful if you wear something stretchy to minimise clothing removal and to allow you to move more easily. You may of course bring a friend or relative along to your appointment if it will make you feel more comfortable.

I'll then give you an explanation as to what the most likely cause of your discomfort is, what treatment is appropriate and the benefits and any potential risks of that treatment. As long as you're clear on everything up to that point and you're happy to go ahead then treatment will begin.

The needles used are very fine, are only a few centimeters long, are pre-sterilized and are disposed of immediately after a single use.

You may feel a tingling, a dull ache or a small twitch when the needles are inserted but you shouldn't experience any significant pain.

Once the needles are in place they may be left in position for anything from a few minutes up to around half an hour depending on the individual symptoms and treatment objectives.

With your prior consent the needles may be gently pulsed, rotated or stimulated with a very mild electric current at various intervals during the treatment.

You will always be asked how you are feeling as the treatment begins, your comfort will be assessed throughout and the needles can be removed at any point if you so wish.

At the end of the session your treatment and management plan will be discussed which will usually involve giving you some exercises to take away and maybe also some advice as to how you can address the issues in your own time from day to day. In many ways this is the most important part of your treatment and goes to the heart of what osteopathy is all about; to enable you to continue to make progress in your own time and to transfer ownership of your recovery gradually to you over the course of your treatment and management plan. The simple fact is that the patients who follow the rehabilitation advice are usually the ones who recover the fastest and keep future recurrences at bay the longest. You get out what you put in.

A minority of patients may feel a bit stiff or sore for a day or two after treatment, a feeling similar to post-exercise soreness. This is entirely normal for some patients but please feel free to get in touch if you have any concerns following your appointment.

The number of treatments needed depends on the individual, the nature of the discomfort, how long symptoms have been present and how much time and effort the patient is willing to invest in their own recovery. It's possible to give a likely recovery time based on experience but everybody responds differently to treatment and not everybody chooses to take a proactive approach in their own time. My aim is not to tie you into a long-term treatment plan; your progress will be discussed and reassessed during each appointment with the objective always being to reduce your reliance on treatment and to give you the means to manage your own recovery and future wellbeing. The patients who put the most in are usually the ones who get the most out.

All information gathered during your initial consultation, subsequent treatments and on-going management is completely confidential. Occasionally it might be necessary to consult your GP or another specialist of some kind but this will only ever be done after first discussing the matter with you and gaining your consent.

If there's anything else you need to know please just give me a call, send me an email or contact me using the form at the bottom of the 'CONTACT & BOOKING' page. I'm happy to answer your questions online or fix a time when we can have a quick chat on the phone.