What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture works to help maintain your body’s equilibrium. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of ‘Qi’, your body’s vital energy.

For a number of lifestyle and environmental reasons, Qi can become disturbed, depleted or blocked, which can result in some symptoms of pain and illness. In certain instances, traditional acupuncture can be an effective therapy to help restore balance and promote physical and emotional harmony.

Treatment is aimed at the source of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps with resolving your problem and enhancing your feeling of wellbeing. You may notice other niggling symptoms resolve as your main health complaint improves.

Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or to relieve specific pains. Some use acupuncture because they feel generally unwell but have no obvious diagnosis. Others choose acupuncture simply to enhance their feeling of wellbeing.

Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, including babies and children and  can be used effectively alongside conventional medicine.


Sylvia Gulbenkian

Sylvia Gulbenkian

LicAc MBacC BVetMed MRCVS DipPaed Acupuncturist

About Sylvia Gulbenkian

Sylvia is a very experienced acupuncturist practicing a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM ) and 5 Element Acupuncture, with patients of all ages from 3 months upwards. 

Following her qualification as an acupuncturist in 2002 at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (CICM), Sylvia has been treating a wide variety of conditions and has a particular interest in helping patients with fertility problems and treating during pregnancy. 

This interest was increased further after experiencing the positive effects, first hand, during her own two pregnancies and she is a keen advocate of pre-birth treatments and acupressure during labour. 

As a result, Sylvia is an active member of the Acupuncture Childbirth Team (ACT) Brighton and Sussex ( teaching acupressure to birthing partners.

In 2017, Sylvia also completed a 2 year diploma in treating babies and children with acupuncture. The effects of treatment at a young age can help, not only with current problems, but also with problems that may affect the child for the rest of its life. 

Janet Stringer


About Janet Stringer

After working as a microbiologist and Quality Assurance manager in the pharmaceutical industry for 17 years Janet returned to studying and qualified as an acupuncturist from the College of Integrated Chinese medicine in Reading in 2002. She practices both Traditional and Five Element Acupuncture.

Since then she has been working in a busy polyclinic in North Kent, before migrating south to live in West Sussex. 

A firm believer in taking an integrated approach to healthcare she also worked as a consultant for the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and various suppliers of Chinese Herbal Medicines to the UK.

In the past Janet has worked on Safe Practices in acupuncture for the British Acupuncture Council and taught interested parties in clean techniques and Quality Assurance for herbal supply chains. She continues to study but now it relates to perenial philosophy with a particular emphasis on its links to Chinese Medicine. Over the years Janet has treated a wide range of conditions, from stress and anxiety to seasonal rhinitis, fertility to headaches and she has a special interest in neurological conditions such as MS, and disorders of collagen and elastic tissue, including Marfan’s and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Sylvia and Janet are members of the British Acupuncture Council – further information can be found via their website at


What To Expect From Your Consultation & Treatments

Your first appointment will last for 1 hour with follow up appointments taking around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The number of sessions required depend on your individual needs. Your acupuncturist will usually ask to see you once or twice a week at first. Some change is usually felt within five or six treatments, although occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient.

Your acupuncturist will use a number of different methods to get a complete picture of your health and lifestyle, including taking a full medical history, reading your pulses, and looking at your tongue.

Based on this information, the acupuncturist makes a diagnosis and puts together your personal treatment plan.

Acupuncture points are selected according to your symptoms as well as your underlying energy pattern.

Some people choose to have ongoing regular acupuncture to maintain good health and for relaxation and wellbeing purposes.

Acupuncture needles are much finer than the needles used for injections or blood tests. When the needle is inserted you may feel a tingling sensation or dull ache.

The needles used are single-use, sterile, and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have been prescribed medication we recommend you tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication and supplements you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. British Acupuncturist Council (BAcC) acupuncturists are trained to recognise any potentially serious underlying health conditions and may refer you to your GP if they consider it appropriate.

Please note: Appointments with Sylvia take place at Meadows Wellbeing but are booked directly with her via email.

Appointments with Janet are booked via the Meadows Wellbeing reception team.