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Case Study – Bernard Martin

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Case Study – Bernard Martin




Bernard Martin, 92, from Suffolk, first went to see an acupuncturist in 2011 on the insistence of his wife.

He was suffering from chronic pain in his legs, back, chest, shoulders and spine and was finding it difficult to move. His balance was affected and he could not lift his legs up very far. The pain disturbed his sleep and he was on a cocktail of anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers.

Much of the pain was caused by injuries he had sustained during his military career, during which time he had been blown up twice when fighting in Malaysia and had contracted malaria.

His acupuncturist, Annya Stoddart, from the Pain Relief Clinic in Stowmarket, said: “Initially I treated Bernard in a sitting position using needles to clear wind, move qu and blood in his whole body, with particular emphasis on his back.

“In the following weeks I treated him lying down on his back and on his front, continuing to clear wind, move qi and blood and adding nourishing qi and blood to his treatment.

“After about eight treatments his pain was virtually gone. When he first came to me his pain was 5.5/10, when he left several years later it had dropped to 3/10. And he had come off all his painkillers.”

She continued: “The best moment of all was when he came into the clinic and said: ‘Look!’. He kicked his leg up into the air and followed that with what became a favourite refrain for many years: ‘I am fit as a butcher’s dog.’”

Annya treated Bernard for nearly seven years.

Bernard said: “When I met Annya it was like meeting an old friend. When I left I felt like I was losing a friend. She is a master at her job, she knows what she’s doing, puts your mind at ease and I’ve never looked back since going there.

“After two to three visits I began to feel the benefits. It’s made so much difference to my life, I have something to look forward to. I can stand for so much longer when I’m working with the lathe and I can twist around the bend much more easily too.”


Notes to Editor:

  • For further information, case studies or interviews please contact: Katie Osborne on 07990 922615 or by emailing

About the BAcC:

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has a membership of nearly 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture. BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in traditional acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.

Traditional acupuncture:

Traditional acupuncture as practised by members of the BAcC is based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,500 years. Traditional acupuncture is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental, to be a sign the whole body is out of balance. Western or medical acupuncture is a more recent development practised predominantly by doctors and physiotherapists, who use acupuncture techniques within their existing scope of practice on the basis of a western medical diagnosis

Why use a BAcC practitioner?

Only British Acupuncture Council members belong to a Professional Standards Authority accredited register, providing professional guarantees of safety, education and continuing development (

Look for the letters MBAcC after the name of your acupuncturist to ensure:

  • extensive training – minimum three years degree level – with relevant western medicine including anatomy and physiology
  • adherence to BAcC codes of safe practice and professional conduct
  • compliance with current health and safety legislation
  • full insurance cover for medical malpractice and public/products liability
  • mandatory continuing professional development to keep knowledge and skills up to date
  • postgraduate study of special interests such as pain management and acupuncture for children

Find a BAcC registered acupuncturist near you