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.



We are still open for the provision of Osteopathic treatment for those who are in pain and distress, but we do not have appointments for Acupuncture and Remedial Massage.   In light of the current Covid-19 outbreak we have implemented a number of important steps to ensure a safe environment at our clinic. Our priority is to provide safeguards for all our patients, practitioners and staff whilst continuing to provide treatment, support and continuity of care for all those in need. We are happy to support and advise patients by phone who have conditions that potentially make them vulnerable to infection so that they do not have to attend the clinic.

We are constantly monitoring the official guidance for Health Care Professionals from The Department of Health and Social Care and other agencies including Public Health England.

We are currently taking the following steps:

We are asking all patients who have a any signs of illness especially a sore throat, cough or flu-like symptoms or a loss of sense of taste or smell to stay away from the Clinic but to please call us if they have any questions or concerns – we are here to help.

On arrival at the clinic all patients, staff and visitors are being screened and we are taking everybody’s temperature using a non-contact thermal thermometer.

All persons entering the building are being required to sanitise their hands with sanitizer provided.

All treatment tables and pillows have disposable paper sheeting and are fitted with plastic covers which are sprayed down with anti-viral agents after each appointment. We have also increased the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning hard surfaces and door handles etc. with anti-viral wipes several times a day..

We are also introducing measures to enable increased “social distancing”. We are also asking that patients try where possible to avoid bringing friends or family to their appointment and that you do not arrive too early for your appointment.  You may wish to stay in your car and have us call you when your practitioner is ready for you – just let us know you have arrived.

In this way we are confident that all possible steps are being taken to protect you and enable you to continue to receive treatment and care.  This is anxious time for all so if you have concerns please know that we are here to help in any way we can. We have spent 40 years serving our local community and will continue to do so.

Update on available Practitioners

Whilst we continue to serve our community with osteopathic treatments, for the time being we regret that we are not able to offer Acupuncture or Remedial Massage. We apologise for any inconvenience cause and hope you will understand.

Acupuncture Explained


Many people coming to The Bower Mount Clinic are unsure if acupuncture from our highly acclaimed acupuncturist Craig Minto might be able to help with their particular health care problems. So here is an explanation that may help. Oriental acupuncture is a deceptively simple form of medical treatment (Chinese Medicine) involving the insertion of extremely fine needles into carefully located parts of the body. However, behind this apparently straightforward act sits a huge body of knowledge and philosophy, tried and tested over thousands of years and on millions of people.

Acupuncture is all about creating ‘balance’ in all the systems of the body. Human beings are hugely complex both physically and psychologically. We all need enough rest, play,work, love and laughter, at the right time and in the right amount to maintain our health. Any excess or deficiency leads to imbalance and eventually dis-ease. The holistic approach of Chinese Medicine allows the practitioner insight into the heart of the patient’s life and condition, taking into account all of the contributory factors that can result in illness. The aim is to awaken and assist the body’s own powerful and natural self-healing mechanisms .In this way acupuncture can help in a very wide ranging conditions and help improve ones feeling of well-being.

A ‘symptom’ is a sign of disharmony within the individual indicating that their body is out of balance. Every patient is different so the acupuncture diagnosis needs to look at and treat each individual and their unique imbalances and circumstances. Patients really appreciate the attention to detail and depth of analysis that an acupuncture consultation and treatment provides. It often gives them a clearer understanding of why their body is out of balance and what they can do in the future to prevent further problems. 

We all know that at times in our lives we just don’t feel ourselves, something that is often not detectable on the usual blood tests and scans. However, we do know what it feels like to feel ‘well’ and a course of acupuncture can often restore this sense of harmony and well-being.

If you have any specific questions with regards to your own health needs, and how acupuncture may be able to help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Autumn is upon us!



Sadly the warm weather is slipping away, the days are drawing in and before you know it, you’ll be once more wrapped up in thick winter woollies. We all at The Bower Mount Clinic hope you managed to make the most of the summer, soaked up some vitamin D and kept yourself in good shape for the winter ahead.

One of the challenges our bodies face with colder weather is that the muscles, tendons and ligaments that move and support our spines tighten up as the temperature drops. Also if joints are already inflamed, a drop in barometric pressure or temperature can aggravate swelling and pain.   

Over the years we have seen that autumn is a time when many of our patients find that an “Osteopathic Service” helps to keep their spines and joints mobile and pain free for the coming winter months. If you begin to feel stiff in the mornings or when doing everyday activities consider having a check up and osteopathic treatment to help prepare your body for winter.

Autumn is also a time to consider doing more regular stretching exercises to help maintain flexibility.

One very simple exercise to help maintain flexibility in the lower back is the Knee-to-chest stretch.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended.
  2. Lift and bend your right leg, bringing the knee toward your chest. Grasp your knee or shin with your right hand, and pull your leg as far as it will comfortably go.
  3. Remain in the knee-to-chest position while tightening your abdominal muscles and pressing your spine into the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Return slowly to your starting position.
  5. Do the same with your left leg.
  6. Do the same with both legs at once.
  7. Repeat the sequence several times.


Please note do not attempt any specific exercises without checking with your Doctor or osteopath especially if you are experiencing any current symptoms in your spine. Always stop any exercise if it gives you any pain or discomfort.