Acupuncture for Stress

Modern life is stressful; whether it’s work, kids, relationships, money worries, or just not having enough time. In fact, stress now seems an inevitable part of life for most of us.

But constant prolonged stress can have significant impacts on your body. It may lead to higher risk of heart problems, weakened immune system, digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

How can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture can’t take away the causes of stress in your life, but it can help your body respond better, and help you remain calm in the storm.

Evidence shows that Acupuncture can influence the parasympathetic nervous system via the release of neurotransmitters that regulate the body’s stress response. Acupuncture also helps to release endorphins, which can create a sense of well-being and relaxation.

Having acupuncture through stressful periods in your life could help you feel calmer and more resilient. Why not give me a call to find out if acupuncture could help you.

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New acupuncture clinic in Kingswood

After 12 years of working in Bristol City Centre, I have now opened a new clinic in Kingswood to be closer to my family and community.

My clinic is on the beautiful Kingswood Foundation Estate, with great parking and a lovely little cafe. I’m excited to be working in such a lovely place .

For anyone who would like to know more, Acupuncture is a fantastic treatment for a really wide range of issues.

What acupuncture can help with:

  • Pain, either from an injury or a chronic pain condition
  • Menstrual or menopausal problems
  • Stress, and mental/emotional health
  • Fertility support
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Digestive problems

Please get in touch if you would like to know more or to discuss how acupuncture can help you

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Acupuncture for sports and fitness injuries


Anyone who plays sport or exercises regularly has probably experienced muscle pain or even injuries from time to time. Did you know that acupuncture can be a really helpful treatment method for these kinds of issues?

Overuse and injury can create tight knots or bands of muscle fibres known as trigger points that can cause pain and discomfort. Acupuncture releases trigger points to reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility. Acupuncture can also work wonders by reducing inflammation and promoting blood flow.

So, let’s say you’ve got an injury or a pulled hamstring from your last game – acupuncture can help to alleviate the pain, reduce inflammation in the tendons, and promote healing, helping you recover from your injuries more quickly

And, if you’re dealing with chronic muscle pain or an injury that keeps recurring, acupuncture can release problematic muscle tension and strengthen to improve your overall function.

If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to manage your muscle pain or injuries, it may be worth giving acupuncture a try! Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how it could help you

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Now is the time to start hay fever treatment

Spring is on its way!

But while many people are looking forward to summer, for those that suffer with hay fever, or seasonal rhinitis, it can be a miserable time of year.

But sufferers should know that it doesnt have to be this way! Acupuncture can both relieve the symptoms of hayfever and prevent your immune system over reacting to the pollen in the first place. It can be used successfully during the hay fever season but is most effective as a preventative treatment. It is advised to seek treatment before the hay fever season starts, in early spring, to support the immune system for the coming spring and summer.

Aisling (34) describes her experience of acupuncture:
“I’ve suffered from chronic hay fever since I was 11 years old with some years being so bad that I’m pretty much house bound for days at a time. I’ve tried EVERYTHING… from local honey to steroids with varying degrees of success (and side effects!). I tried acupuncture as a last resort two years ago and it’s genuinely the only thing that has worked. I don’t have to remember to take antihistamines every day, there are no side effects and it’s the most effective treatment that I’ve come across yet.”

Acupuncture focuses on treating “the Root and the Branch.” This means that treatment during the hay fever season will address the immediate symptoms, the itchy eyes, the stuffy nose etc, but more importantly it will focus on treating the cause of your hay fever; addressing why your immune system overreacts.

Acupuncture treatment focuses on treating fundamental imbalances within a person, so regulation of the immune system will be a natural part of most treatment. Because of this, people who come for acupuncture for other reasons can often report an improvement in their hay fever symptoms too. Tom (34) found that this was the case:

“After 5 summer of suffering from Hay fever quite badly I had been having acupuncture throughout winter and spring for other reasons but got to the time of year it would usually start and no symptoms at all – for the last 4/5yrs now!”

For more information and details of scientific research into the use of acupuncture for Hay Fever visit the British Acupuncture Council

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New Acupuncture Clinic in Kingswood

Some exiting news!

From April I am moving my acupuncture clinic out of the city centre to a new base in Kingswood

I have found a lovely room in The Old School House on The Kingswood Foundation Estate, Britannia Road (
It’s a lovely site, surrounded by a host of great community organisations, with a great cafe, and free parking!

Working closer to home suits family life and gives me more flexibility. I know it won’t work for all of you, but I know for many of you the CAZ and parking charges have made travelling into the city centre much more difficult, so I hope this may actually be better for some people.

As a transition I will be keeping Mondays at The Urban Fringe Dispensary for another couple of months, until the end of May. But after then I hope to be at Kingswood permanently.

I hope to see some of you there in the future

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My new home

Today I finished moving in to my cosy new room at The Urban Fringe Dispensary. I’m really looking forward to practising acupuncture in such a lovely space.

The Urban Fringe Dispensary is a medical herbalist shop at the top of Colston Street by the Christmas Steps (58 Colston St, BS1 5AZ). I will be here on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I will still be at Queen Charlotte St Osteopaths on Queen Square on Mondays.


Eleanor Breen Acupuncture, Bristol

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New clinic @ the Urban Fringe Dispensary!


I’m really excited to be moving to a new room at the Urban Fringe Dispensary on Colston Street from next week (see on map).

The Urban Fringe Dispensary is a holistic medical herbalist shop and dispensary and an integrated health clinic. Have a look at what they do here:

I’m excited to be working alongside such a fantastic group of therapists, and in such a lovely space. I look forward to seeing you all there in the future.

I will also be keeping my Monday clinic at Queen Charlotte St Osteopaths for anybody that finds that location more convenient

Acupuncture Awareness Week: Acupuncture for Sports Injuries


7-13 March is Acupuncture Awareness Week!

The focus this year is on how acupuncture can help sports injuries. Acupuncture is a fantastic treatment for muscular-skeletal pain and injuries sustained from sport (or any other reason!). I see all kinds of injuries in clinic, they are some of the most common things I treat, and they respond really successfully to treatment.

Olympian Rebecca Addlington is a great fan of acupuncture and uses it to help with injuries and performance. watch the video above to hear her talk about how acupuncture helps her.

To find out more have a look here at my fact sheet on how acupuncture can help sports injuries:

sports injuries fact sheet

Or please get in touch to find out more about how acupuncture could help your injury


Eleanor Breen Acupuncture, Bristol


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Christmas Gift Vouchers – The gift of better health!

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Don’t know what to buy your loved ones for Christmas this year? Looking to give them a more meaningful gift?

You could start them on the journey to better health and wellbeing with an acupuncture gift voucher.

Gift voucher for 1 treatment: £35
Special Offer:  5 treatments for the price of 4. Just £140

Eleanor Breen Acupuncture, Bristol

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Painful periods? They don't have to be!

Painful periods affect many women and for some they can be truly debilitating, with cramps so severe they can do nothing but curl up on the sofa in pain. For some people it is not unusual for 1-3 days a month to be a write-off, unable to work or function at all. Too often a visit to the doctor results in being told this is ‘normal’, and just given painkillers or even advised to go on the contraceptive pill to address the problem. The contraceptive pill can have many other side effects and many women have to choose between the monthly debilitating pain from their periods or the emotional and physical roller coaster they get from taking hormonal contraception.

But the simple fact is: Severe period pain is not a natural part of the menstruation process! It is not something that we should have to put up with and accept. According to traditional Chinese medicine painful periods are seen as a pathological symptom of an imbalance in the body and it is something that can be resolved.

Why do we get pain?

Primary dysmenorrhoea is period pain that occurs without an underlying medical condition. When our body is ready to shed the uterine lining (endometrium) at the end of each monthly cycle, the muscular wall of the uterus contracts to constrict the blood vessels and cut off the blood supply to the endometrium. This causes the tissue to die and the endometrium is shed. a small degree of discomfort is normal, but studies show that in some women there is hyper-contraction of the muscles causing severe pain

Secondary dysmenorrhoea is pain that occurs as a result of an underlying problem with the uterus or pelvis such as endometriosis, fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease

How does acupuncture help?

Extreme pain during a period is a sign that the natural process of shedding the endometrium isn’t working at its best. Many women also experience other symptoms such as irregular cycles, heavy or long periods, digestive problems or feeling irritable or tearful. In fact all these problems are a sign that the menstrual system isn’t functioning correctly. By finding out why this is happening and addressing the problem at its cause, it is possible to be problem free.

An acupuncturist will take a full case history to determine the root cause of the dysfunction. The treatment would be then tailored to each individual according to what needs rebalancing. It may be that other methods are used in addition to acupuncture. Sometimes heat is used in the form of Moxa. Sometimes lifestyle or dietary changes are suggested.

An acupuncturist’s aim is to allow the blood to move more freely during the menstrual process. Often those with severe pain will have many clots in their menstrual blood. This is a sign of what acupuncturists call Blood Stagnation and it is that lack of easy flow that causes many problems. Acupuncture could help whether someone experiences pain from primary or secondary dysmenorrhoea.

Acupuncture may help reduce symptoms of dysmenorrhoea by:

  • increasing relaxation and reducing tension (Samuels 2008). Acupuncture can alter the brain’s mood chemistry, reducing serotonin levels  (Zhou 2008) and increasing endorphins (Han, 2004) and neuropeptide Y levels (Lee 2009), which can help to combat negative affective states
  • reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Zijlstra 2003; Kavoussi 2007)
  • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz, 1987; Zijlstra 2003; Cheng 2009);
  • increasing nitric oxide levels, which relaxes smooth muscle and hence may inhibit uterine contractions (Wang 2009)
  • regulating neuroendocrine activities and the related receptor expression of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary axis (Liu 2009; Yang 2008)

The evidence

for full information on the evidence and research behind this information, and information on how acupuncture can help other menstrual conditions,  please see the British Acupuncture Council’s fact sheets for the following conditions:

Period Pain (dysmenorrhoea)


Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)



If you have menstrual problems and would like to know more, please contact me for a chat.

Eleanor Breen Acupuncture, Bristol