Mindfulness and Medical Acupuncture

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medical Acupuncture Licence

Time Well Spent

MindfulnessThe silver lining in the clouds…unexpected periods of time to focus on projects I’ve wanted to do for ages: Establish a solid Mindfulness practice and get my licence to practice Medical Acupuncture in order to be able to offer this in my Remedial Massage treatments

#1 MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)

During lockdown#1, I found myself a bit ‘ lost’ : my business life suddenly on hold.  I went through a frantic period compensating for this disruption by completing numerous courses. Hygiene/ PPE/ covid-19/ on-line self care therapy to name a few.  Home decorating, organising, tidying …. making things from old bits and pieces lying around the garden. Whatever I could find to fill my time. Beneficial ? yes, Productive? yes…..A bit excessive in retrospect? for sure.

From ‘Doing’ to ‘Being’

My brain whizzed into overdrive; planning, over-thinking. ‘Calm Doon!’ was the cry from my mind and body. I was acutely aware that I needed clarity of thought and space in my head. A switch from ‘doing’ to ‘being’. For ages I’d wanted to develop my personal mindfulness practice and now the timing was right.  Furthermore, the impact of the pandemic on the nations’ mental health was becoming evident. Concerns of  low mood and stress facing themselves, family members, friends and colleagues from clients. After some research, I concluded that awareness through mindfulness would enhance the quality of my own life but it could be useful for others too.

Mindfulness Scotland teacher Training Course

With this in mind, I enrolled on Mindfulness Scotland‘s MBSR Teacher Training Course. Starting in September, running until next year. My intention after that is to teach the 8 week MBSR programme. It’s not intended to replace my Massage Therapy practice; far from it. My intention is to deepen my own mindfulness practice and offer a the 8 week MBSR course as a separate resource to anyone who may benefit.

Interestingly, there is no regulatory body for Mindfulness* and anyone can set up and teach it so there is a vast spectrum of capability. The human mind is complex so for myself, personally, having the appropriate level of personal practice, teaching ability and training is fundamental.

(*The same is actually true for Massage Therapists – there’s no overall authority so anyone can set up and start a massage business with little or no qualification. In Scotland, however, therapists who meet the required criteria are fortunate to become members of the Scottish Massage Therapists Organisation who provide guidance and a code of conduct. The SMTO have been outstanding in their support of massage therapists in Scotland during the pandemic. The rules pertaining to our industry have been at best been confusing and at worst a shambles so it’s been great to have a sensible voice.)

Resources Available

Mindfulness Scotland have a number of helpful resources on their website which are free for anyone. Recently, I completed the 8 week MBSR on-line course offered by Palouse Mindfulness as a pre requisite of my current MBSR teacher training course. There are also lots of free resources available there that can be accessed easily. I’ve detailed these at the end of this blog.

It’s strange doing a course where the key attitudes include’ non-striving’, non-judgement’, ‘patience’, letting be’…. not my usual approach to a course.  I’ve only met my tutors and peers on-line over Zoom so that’s also a bit strange. While I’m enormously grateful for that technology, I can’t wait to meet them in person. On a positive note, there’s a sense of optimism now with the news of the vaccine so finger’s crossed it won’t be too long before we can resume some sort of normality.

Until then its a case of staying safe, protecting our loved ones and being present in our moments.


#2 Medical Acupuncture (Dry Needling)  Licence


Medical Acupuncture

Under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, piercing of the skin requires the practitioner to hold a Skin Piercing and Tattooing Licence. This requirement applies to Medical Acupuncture (Dry Needling) for musculo-skeletal conditions.  Strict hygiene criteria and protocols are required for a licence to be granted by the local council.  I’ve had contract flooring and a hot handwashing sink installed to fulfil the rigorous criteria.

Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Chiropracters who are allied to the NHS do not require a licence for skin piercing but Massage Therapists, Sports Therapists and Traditional Chinese Acupuncturists do require a licence to practice legally in Scotland.


Licence Granted

I’m delighted to say that having completed the required courses in Medical Acupuncture and Advanced Medical Acupuncture, and fulfilling all the licence criteria, I was granted my  Skin Piercing and Tattooing  licence on November 1st by North Lanarkshire Council. This will last for 3 years.

I can now safely and legally practice medical Acupuncture (Dry Needling) for MSK conditions.




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