Acupuncturist Simon Casciano recalls a patients he saw a decade ago

A woman in her late fifties, first came to me with mild headaches and chronic tiredness. She had been referred to various clinics by her GP, and the consultants had been sympathetic but unable to pinpoint a cause. Facing a life with chronic pain was a wake-up call for her and with the support of her family she reduced her working hours, improved her diet and her sleeping patterns, and built a twenty-minute walk into her daily rhythm. Her symptoms began to ease. She approached me for a course of acupuncture which helped her to re-balance further and as treatment progressed her headaches diminished and finally resolved completely. She occasionally still comes for a preventative treatment every 3-4 months.

Chinese medicine has its roots in a deep and ancient tradition whose branches include Ancient Greek Hippocratic medicine, Indian Ayurvedic medicine, and the healing traditions of almost all cultures across the globe. In this country until at least the late 1600s physicians, trained in Hippocratic medicine, sought to stimulate optimal health in their patients using a system of medicine which has much in common with Chinese medicine. The focus, as in Chinese medicine, was on maintaining health and preventing disease through living a moderate life, rather than on treating the diseased body which had already succumbed to ill health.

The premise behind all holistic medical practise is that the body is a self-righting organism which, given the right conditions will thrive. We all know instinctively that a moderate, healthy, low-stress lifestyle keeps us out of GP surgeries and hospitals yet many of us continue to neglect our own wellbeing.

So the take home message is do not wait for a symptom or pain to become chronic and embedded into your life before you take action to improve your overall health. Acupuncturists treat people, not diseases, and getting treated in a timely manner not only improves quality of life right now,  but may help to prevent health problems down the line.

To make an appointment with Simon call the clinic on 01622 674656

A warm welcome to our new Acupuncturist

We are delighted to be able to inform you that acupuncturist Simon Casciano, BSc (Hons) LicAc  will be joining The Bower Mount Clinic from Wednesday 7th September.

Simon is a colleague of our previous Classical Acupuncturist and works in the same way, having  studied at the same college. Simon will be able to see patients at the Clinic on Wednesdays from 8am-3.30pm. We very much look forward to welcoming him to our team. Please call us on 01622 674656 for an initial 45 minute appointment.

Beating The Winter Blues

Winter can be a difficult period for many of us. Lack of sunlight causes depletion in our Vitamin D stores affecting our vitality and mental health. A portion of the population suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which results in low mood and fatigue. Many of my patients use acupuncture to keep their bodies and minds in balance, often continuing treatment on a maintenance basis after their initial symptoms have been helped.

Acupuncture has been shown to elevate the brains ‘feel good’ chemicals- beta-endorphins – the lack of which are linked to many forms of depression and anxiety. Over 20 years of practice has repeatedly shown me how helpful this can be to my patients. Acupuncture works by the insertion of extremely fine needles into specific points on the body, this then allows the bodies own inherent healing mechanisms to take affect. Over 2000 years old, it is now recommended by the World Health Organisation and the NHS for a variety of ailments and conditions. Alongside a good diet, exercise and plenty of rest (winter is a time of hibernation) we can feel renewed again when we finally enter spring.

If you’d like any more information or would like to book an appointment with me please contact the clinic for an appointment.

Christmas and New Year dates

The Clinic will be closed on Christmas Eve Friday 24th December and reopening on Wednesday 29th December.
We will be closed again on Friday 31st December and then re-open on Tuesday 4th January

We wish all our patients a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year 2022.

Stay safe!

Face Masks after 19th July

In accordance with guidelines from Public Health England the wearing of face masks will be mandatory in our Clinic after 19th July. This is to protect our Practitioners, Staff, and you as our patient.

Official validation of Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has
published a new guideline for Chronic Pain.  Acupuncture is now
recommended ahead of traditional pharmaceutical interventions.
This guideline was driven by the urgent need to cut down
prescriptions of opioids and other painkillers.
NICE considered a number of treatments for Chronic pain  in creating this guideline
including opioid drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol,
benzodiazepines (Valium).  None of these were found to
have evidence of benefit for chronic pain and there are possible
harms associated with their use.

Acupuncture, however, was found to be
superior to both sham (a placebo acupuncture) and usual treatments and medications  for
pain according to the 32 high quality studies reviewed by NICE.
Some common conditions that NICE stated would benefit from acupuncture
include fibromyalgia, myofascial pain (i.e. in the muscles and
surrounding connective tissue), chronic neck pain and chronic
pelvic pain, as well as many others.
Around a third of the population may be affected by chronic pain;
many of those also have a diagnosis of depression, and it is a major
contributor to absence from work.
I very much welcome this scientific validation, which whole
heartedly supports my experience of treating chronic pain for over
20 years in clinic. Should you wish to discuss how acupuncture can
help improve your quality of life then please contact me at the
Bower Mount Clinic.    Craig Minto

We are closed now for Christmas until 30th December

We want to reassure our patients that we will remain fully open apart from the Christmas break during Tier 4 lockdown. We are officially part of the medical sector and follow strict hygiene measures, wear PPE and screen all our patients to help keep everyone safe.
If anything changes by way of Government guidelines we will keep you informed.

Remedial Massage is back!

We are delighted to be able to welcome back Judith, our Massage Therapist… Please book an appointment online or phone us.

Acupuncture appointments now available

We are delighted to announce that Craig Minto will be back at the Clinic from 8th July.

Please head to our appointments tab to book in for a follow up appointment. For new patients please call us as this first appointment takes a bit longer.


As all of us will be aware the Covid 19 virus mainly seems to be targeting the lungs and causing affected patients breathing difficulties. Keeping ourselves healthy is important at this time and we should be doing everything we can to support our immune systems. This means eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and taking  regular exercise. Even fast walking for 30 minutes daily is good and the aim should always be to try and get a little out of breath.

It also makes sense to try and increase the fitness of the main muscle responsible for getting us to take a breath! The muscle responsible for keeping us breathing is the diaphragm

The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs. 

When this muscle contracts we breathy in and when it relaxes the air is pushed out of our lungs. Your abdominal muscles help move the diaphragm and give you more power to empty your lungs ( See diagram below)


So good diaphragmatic breathing is essential for keeping our lungs working to their full capacity something that is really important at this time. Like any muscle the diaphragm can be exercised to make it stronger and work more efficiently – bringing more air into our lungs.

What is diaphragmatic breathing?

Learning and practising good diaphragmatic breathing will help you use the diaphragm correctly to:

  • Strengthen the diaphragm
  • Decrease the work of breathing by slowing your breathing rate
  • Decrease oxygen demand
  • Use less effort and energy to breathe

Diaphragmatic breathing technique

Lie on your back on a flat surface or in bed, with your knees bent and your head supported. You can use a pillow under your knees to support your legs. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.

Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.


Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips . (as if you’re about to drink through a straw) The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.

When you first learn the diaphragmatic breathing technique, it may be easier for you to follow the instructions lying down, as shown above. As you gain more practice, you can try the diaphragmatic breathing technique while sitting in a chair, as described below.

To perform this exercise while sitting in a chair:

  1. Sit comfortably, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed.
  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
  4. Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.

Note: You may notice an increased effort will be needed to use the diaphragm correctly. At first, you’ll probably get tired while doing this exercise. But keep at it, because with continued practice, diaphragmatic breathing will become easy and automatic.

How often should I practice this exercise?

At first, practice this exercise 5-10 minutes about 3-4 times per day. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend doing this exercise, and perhaps even increase the effort of the exercise by placing a book on your abdomen.