Complementary health care clinic specializing in pregnancy scans, classes and treatments

Alex Owen

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine


Alex Owen (BSc TCM, Bachelor Medicine (China), Diploma Tuina, MAATCM)

Alex started his studies in traditional Chinese medicine in 1996 and holds qualifications from both the UK and China. He is a full member of the Association of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine. As well as running clinics in Hertfordshire and North London he also taught Chinese medicine for 4 years at Middlesex University and helped set up the UK’s first full time, maternity acupuncture service on the NHS, at Whittington Hospital.

Alex is trained in the full range of traditional Chinese medicine therapies including – acupuncture, herbal medicine, tuina (Chinese massage), cupping, moxibustion and nutritional therapy. His main specialisations are in women’s health (menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, menopause etc) and pain conditions (sports injuries, arthritis, migraine etc).

What is Acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical system that has developed in China over the last few thousand years. It incorporates different therapies such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tuina (Chinese massage), diet therapy and exercise.

Acupuncture is the most common part of Chinese medicine practised in the UK and involves the insertion of small metal needles into specific points on the body. Even for those with a fear of needles, treatments are generally found to be relaxing and rejuvenating experiences.

Acupuncture has also become very popular as it is a drug free therapy it can be used seamlessly alongside conventional medicine, so is still an option even if you are on medication or receiving physiotherapy or osteopathy etc.

How can Acupuncture help me during pregnancy?

Acupuncture is really a perfect therapy for use during pregnancy. Many women can find it hard at times and many orthodox treatments rely on drugs which are not suitable for use during pregnancy. Acupuncture does not involve taking any form of medication and can be used safely from the very first weeks of pregnancy, by a fully trained practitioner.

During the early stages of your pregnancy acupuncture can help with the main symptoms which tend to pop up, namely – nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, constipation and lack of energy. Most women will experience one or more of these symptoms during their first trimester. Acupuncture helps your body adapt to the hormonal changes that occur during those first weeks and months allowing you to enjoy this happy time and settle into your pregnancy.

During the second trimester, many of those initial symptoms will start to fade and some women start to experience the beginnings of more physical symptoms such as back and pelvic pain. If caught early they can be quickly resolved but if left untreated can become more painful as the pregnancy progresses. Acupuncture is able to calm the nervous system and strengthen the muscles making your body more resilient to these types of conditions.

In the third trimester, more pain conditions can occur as well as some new ones, as you approach the end of the pregnancy. Acupuncture can provide treatments for conditions ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to turning breech or transverse babies, from high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) and gestational diabetes to helping you prepare for a natural birth. Acupuncture can even be used if you pass your due date in a form of natural induction.

Through helping to establish the Whittington Hospital maternity acupuncture service and working alongside the NHS staff, I gained extensive knowledge for treating a wide variety of pregnancy related conditions right the way through out pregnancy and helped numerous women give birth safely and naturally. I am always happy to answer any question and queries you may have about acupuncture and its use during pregnancy.

How can acupuncture help me with fertility?

Acupuncture and herbal medicine have become ever more popular in recent years with couples trying to conceive. They can provide help whether the couple are trying naturally or used alongside IVF to boost success rates.

Chinese medicine can help your body in many different ways. It can regulate your hormones, helping you overcome conditions such as PCO (polycystic ovaries), or help in cases of irregular or absent periods. The herbal medicine has a particularly good effect on hormones such as FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) which is pivotal in preparing your follicles each month and can be a particular problem with women who are trying to become pregnant later in life. It helps regulate your entire reproductive system and can even help control excessively heavy or painful periods and conditions such as endometriosis.

It is now accepted that stress plays a large part in your ability to become pregnant and as acupuncture can help reduce the stress hormones in your system and encourage the release of relaxing endorphins, it can play a crucial role in helping you to better adapt to life’s stresses. This is possibly how acupuncture can boost IVF success rates.

Acupuncture for pain

Acupuncture has become very well known for its ability to help acute and chronic pain conditions. Its ability to calm your nervous system as well as clear inflammation means that it can help with everything from trapped nerves and prolapsed discs through to tennis elbow and RSI (repetitive strain injuries).

Acupuncture for health

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are not limited to the areas above but can help a wide range of conditions relating to any body system; so even if you suffer with asthma, high blood pressure, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), urinary difficulty, eczema, or even stress, Chinese medicine maybe able to help your return to full health.

For any further information please contact us on the telephone number below or feel free to contact Alex by phone or email on

07813 184180 or


Care Quality Commission

Verulam Clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission. Provider ID: 1-127591200 20th May 2012 Registered number: 05283588 All sonographers & physiotherapists are registered with the Health & Care Professions Council.


Verulam Clinic
118-120 Victoria Street
St Albans

01727 833 100