Sleep is an important part of our day and vital for our bodies to rest and reset. How much you need depends on your age and can range from 12-17 hours for babies to 7-9 hours for adults. But when we have trouble with getting to sleep it may seem like the problem is insurmountable, especially in the middle of the night. Prolonged insomnia can make you feel unwell and can lead to concentration difficulties and lack of judgement, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Insomnia is also a contributing factor in diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Millions of people worldwide are affected by insomnia at some point in their lives. Such is its prevalence in today’s society, there are whole organisations dedicated to supporting people with insomnia and sleep disorders. So, what is it and what can we do to help us fall asleep and stay asleep?

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a disorder where people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Many report being tired and ready to sleep, then getting into bed, turning off the light and being wide awake. Others report they wake up fully alert and unable to switch their brains off or relax enough to get back off to sleep.

Causes of insomnia are many and varied. They include jet lag, shift work, physical pain and discomfort, lack of exercise, recreational drug use and care duties. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can be a cause and a symptom of insomnia. Prescriptions drugs, such as corticosteroids, statins and beta blockers have been noted to exacerbate sleep issues. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any tangible cause.

Medical Treatment

Typical interventions from the medical profession have varying degrees of efficacy. Prescription drugs are used, although GPs no longer prescribe sleeping pills as often as they used to. Counselling and CBT is also an option, sometimes in conjunction with medication. Over the counter sleep aids are available, but not always useful as they can make you drowsy during the day. Sometimes melatonin is available, but is most often prescribed to children with learning disabilities. This, however, is not licensed by NICE as a sleep aid.

Alternative help with Cambourne Acupuncture

There are things that we can all do at home to try to improve our sleep such as reducing caffeine, increasing physical exercise and adopting relaxation techniques. Treatment at Cambourne Acupuncture can be an integral part of your journey back to good sleep too.

During a consultation we’ll assess your recent clinical signs and symptoms and your experience of insomnia to identify the underlying cause of your insomnia and factor this into your treatment course.

Acupuncture aims to rebalance the energy flow around your body so it is in alignment with your circadian rhythms. Certain points on your body are stimulated to encourage relaxation and can have a rather pleasant sedative effect! A course of Chinese herbal medicine may be recommend for certain causes of insomnia. For example, during a woman’s menopause phase when insomnia can be a common issue.

If you are beginning to have sleep issues, or have had insomnia for a long time, do contact us to see how we can help you get a good night’s sleep. We are members of the British Acupuncture Council and you can find out more on how acupuncture can help treat insomnia on their website:

Treatment for warts and verrucas

Unsightly and often occurring in visible places, warts and verrucas can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. But you don’t have to put up with them on your hands and feet forever.

There is many an old wives’ tale about how to get rid of them, from the sublime frog kissing to the ridiculous drawing an ‘X’ in the middle of a crossroads and spitting on it (please look both ways before trying this)!

There is an easier way and one that will not get you arrested or run over.

What are warts and verrucas and what causes them?

Warts and verrucas (planar warts) are small rough lumps on the skin, usually found on the hands or the feet. Some can appear on the face, often the forehead. They are an infection in the top layers of skin caused by a strain of viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus is passed on via direct contact with someone else who has warts or verrucas. The virus can get into the layers of skin via scratches or cuts and some people are more susceptible to contracting them than others.

Warts are harmless but can be itchy and uncomfortable. Verrucas can be more painful and many describe the feeling as a sharp sting through their foot as they walk. Both are highly contagious and left untreated they can last months, or sometimes years.

How they are treated by your doctor or pharmacist

Conventional treatment will usually start with a visit to the pharmacist, where you can buy plasters and creams to kill the virus and restore the skin. These act by eating away the skin to eradicate the virus and soften the area so it can heal. The side effects of this can be further pain, blistering and irritation of the skin. When they become persistent, a doctor might treat them with liquid nitrogen which acts to freeze-burn the skin.

Quite often, however, warts and verrucas don’t respond to any conventional treatment and recur again and again. Continual treatment with creams can damage the skin, making further warts more likely and compromise your overall health and wellbeing.

How Cambourne Acupuncture treats warts

At our clinic we treat warts and verrucas with a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Small acupuncture needles are inserted around the affected areas in other areas of the body to regulate and boost the immune system. We can also use moxa therapy, which involves heated moxa held close to the skin or on acupuncture needles.

Herbs are carefully selected to in preparations that are administered orally as a tea. This helps to tackle the virus from inside the body.

Successful treatment of verrucas after years of recurrence – Rachel’s story

“Having had verrucas on my feet for 8 years I became very self-conscious about the soles of my feet and gave up any activities where they may have been on display. Last summer the infection spread to my fingers and I developed warts around both thumb nails. Jane treated me with a combination of herbs & acupuncture. I was amazed and also hugely excited. My feet & hands are now clear. The infection has gone. I have taken up swimming & yoga again. I am delighted with the results of Jane treatment & cannot recommend her highly enough for her skill, patience, kindness & encouragement. Thank you!”

This testimonial was from 2010 so I reached out to Rachel again to see how she is now. I’m delighted to say that ten years on, Rachel is still free from warts and verrucas. She has never had another problem.

If you would like to discuss skin conditions or any other problems worrying you, you can call us to discuss your concerns or click here to book an initial online consultation to talk about a course of treatment designed for you.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common disorders women experience today. It can affect as many as one in three women in the UK. It is a multifaceted disorder which ranges in severity in each person. Ovaries become enlarged and have fluid-filled follicles (or sacs) that surround the egg.

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

The higher than normal levels of certain hormones caused by PCOS can affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation.  As a result, many women’s menstrual cycles become long or irregular and their ovulations are infrequent. They can develop excess facial or body hair or acne, as well as thinning hair and hair loss from the head. The syndrome is also linked with increased insulin resistance and diabetes plus other metabolic disorders, as well as pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia.

Not all women with polycystic ovary syndrome will present the same way or have the same symptoms as it can vary in severity in each person. Some will have mild or no symptoms apart from irregular periods, so it can often be difficult to diagnose.

What causes PCOS?

The jury is out on what is the exact cause of PCOS. Stress is said to be a factor, as are hormonal imbalances.

Conventional treatments

Conventional treatments for PCOS may concentrate on reducing the many symptoms and factors that exacerbate the syndrome. This may be support to lose weight, as well as strategies to reduce stress. Contraceptive pills may be prescribed to reduce body hair and acne. Diabetes medication may be offered to treat Type 2 diabetes and reduce PCOS symptoms.

If the woman wants to get pregnant, fertility medication may be prescribed. Surgery is the last resort for some, where portions of the ovaries may be removed, which can (in some cases) kick-start ovulation.

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can help

Research has demonstrated that acupuncture can increase ovulation and reduce the level of male hormones that cause excess hair on the body and hair loss on the head. In addition, acupuncture works to harmonise the nervous system, calming or stimulating depending on what is required for a balanced state of health and wellbeing.

A course of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can also help with insulin sensitivity, as well as improve hormonal balance.

I have PCOS. Will I be able to get pregnant?

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and lifestyle tweaks can make a significant difference to your fertility health. At Cambourne Acupuncture we design a treatment regimen specifically designed to support your fertility goals and we have had great success with women who have previously been unable to fall pregnant.

Vicki’s experience of getting pregnant during treatment at our clinic

“We had been trying for three years to conceive. We didn’t think we’d have any problems as I had fallen pregnant the first time after only a couple of months. After many tests it was discovered that I had PCOS.

I went through a whole host of emotions from guilt and heartache to frustration and anger. After searching for answers, I found Jane’s website and phoned her. Within the first consultation, I found Jane so empathetic and was amazed that for the first time a professional said to me ‘I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive again’. I followed all Jane’s advice and she was a constant support.

I would recommend Jane without hesitation. She always provided me with consistent advice and I’m so thankful to her for all her support before and during my pregnancy.”

To find out more about how Acupuncture can help treat the causes and symptoms of PCOS, visit the British Council of Acupuncture’ information page.

If you have any issues and want to talk to us about treatment in our clinic, take advantage of our FREE first consultation you can book here.

What is infertility

Infertility is where the reproductive system is not working at optimum levels and is defined as not be able to conceive after twelve months of trying.

It is more common than we assume too. There are a million recorded cases of infertility each year. Some are first time attempts to conceive and have been unable to (primary infertility), and some are where a person has been pregnant before but is struggling to conceive again (secondary fertility).

Causes of infertility

There are several reasons why people are finding it difficult to conceive and I think it’s a good idea to break them down here.

In women, the causes can be:

  • Abnormalities in the uterus
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Ovulation irregularities
  • Conditions such as Polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis
  • Overexposure to certain chemicals
  • Some medication

In men, the causes can be:

  • Low sperm count
  • Overexposure to certain chemicals
  • Medication
  • Smoking
  • Sexual issues such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction

Having exhausted all these possibilities, sometimes the cause is frustratingly unexplained. If you are still trying for a baby, you may start to think about IVF (in vitro fertilisation).

How IVF works

IVF is a medical procedure that takes sperm and eggs and fertilizes them in a laboratory. For men, your sperm is collected and the healthiest and most active are selected. For women, the process is a little more complicated. You will be given medication to suppress your periods so medication to boost your egg supply can be more effective.  You will be given regular injections of hormones to support this process. Your eggs are then collected and fertilised before being transferred to your womb.

Support advice from your consultant

Typical advice for self-care during IVF is rest, gentle exercise and a balanced diet as free from chemicals as possible. Diet also affects sperm health, so it’s important for men too. Supplements might also be recommended.

How can acupuncture support your IVF programme?

Acupuncture can form an important part of your fertility treatment. It has become very common for many people alongside IVF. Treatment at my clinic will ensure your body is in the best possible condition for good fertility health.

Acupuncture helps by encouraging good blood flow to your reproductive organs and helps you to relax as you go through the IVF treatments. As well as acupuncture, we offer advice on relaxation techniques and yoga exercise to help you to feel more relaxed during your IVF cycle.

Research has shown that acupuncture before and after embryo transfer significantly improves pregnancy success, with a success rate improvement of 65%. We would recommend that you start your acupuncture treatment a few months before your IVF cycle to work on any minor health issues that can help to support a successful and healthy pregnancy.

And of course, our clinic is in a perfect location to support your IVF treatment, being only ten minutes away from Bourn Hall IVF Clinic and twenty minutes away from Cambridge IVF.

We are members of the British Acupuncture Council and you can find out more about the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment on their information page (

Acupuncture on Embryo Transfer Day  – Nicky’s story

I was approaching 39 and my GP referred me to a consultant to check things out who found nothing wrong. It was suggested that, due to my age, the best possible chance of getting pregnant was IVF treatment. I had to travel to Bourn Hall clinic from Jersey for the final stage of the treatment and had researched the effects of acupuncture pre and post embryo transfer. I came across Jane who is just 10 minutes from Bourn Hall.

She was so lovely and empathetic. She made me feel totally confident in her ability to help and she treated me before and after the embryo implantation.

Then came the best news of all: my positive test result, followed by an early scan to confirm the heartbeat. I couldn’t wait to tell Jane and she knew before any of my close friends and family!

Acupuncture to support IVF – Lizzie’s story

My husband and I knew we needed IVF to conceive again. We had been through the works in the US when trying for our firstborn and we knew the reality of our situation.

Acupuncture paved the way for my body and mind to accept what was necessary with IVF and feel like I was doing something very positive in the light of so much of the unknown. And it worked!

When it came time to try for number 2 here in the UK, I was adamant about including acupuncture as a main ingredient for our success. Jane’s proximity to Bourne Hall was ideal for the procedures and treatments we wanted to coordinate.

Jane was incredibly accommodating. We were called to the clinic very quickly one morning to have the egg transfer, two days earlier than planned. Jane stopped everything to meet with us that day so we could have acupuncture after the procedure.

Jane is fun we bonded immediately and I loved talking with her. We found out we were pregnant after one cycle of IVF and treatment from Cambourne Acupuncture. And then we found out it was twins!

The babies are due in 2 weeks and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We truly believe our success – our double success – is due to Jane’s work in helping my body prepare for IVF, the result of modern medicine and traditional medicine working successfully side by side.

Thank you Jane. You have given us so much! We are so, so grateful!  

If you would like to explore the possibility of receiving support from our clinic as you go through your IVF treatment, then please do get in touch by calling for an initial consultation, to arrange how the clinic can help.

Relieving sciatica pain

Anyone who has had sciatica knows that it goes far beyond being just a pain in the leg. The effects of it permeate your every move day and night, even when you are just walking around the house or rolling over in bed.

Causes and symptoms

Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched.  The result is pain, numbness or tingling sensation anywhere along the pathway of the nerve.

Triggers are numerous. They include ageing of the discs, where they become less flexible, poor posture, incorrect lifting techniques, accidents, sports injuries as well as being common in pregnancy and childbirth. Other, less common causes are more serious health conditions such as spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.

How sciatica affects you

The pain, tingling or numbness starts anywhere from your lower back or from your bottom. It will radiate either down the back of your leg or down the outside of your leg, sometimes right down to the ankle.

Sitting and standing for any length of time can cause an enormous amount of pain, as can sneezing or coughing.  The pain can be constant and tiring and could keep you awake at night. During the day, your movements are often restricted to avoid the pain shooting down your leg.

Conventional ways to tackle the pain

Common theories are that sciatic pain usually resolves itself in about six weeks and, for those who suffer longer, treatments are painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Stretches and exercises to mobilise and strengthen the core muscles that stabilise your back are often prescribed alongside pharmaceuticals. Hot and cold packs sometimes help to reduce inflammation.

How acupuncture can help

Acupuncture has been shown to be a very helpful treatment for sciatica.  At Cambourne Acupuncture we use a technique called electro-acupuncture.  Electrical pulses are applied to the acupuncture needles providing an effective and comfortable treatment.

There are many causes of sciatica. Inflammation caused by various lower disc problems and muscle tightness are responsible much of the time however. These causes both respond well to electro-acupuncture. There is no treatment like it, so the results can seem miraculous – especially if you have tried many other treatments with little relief.

Successful relief with acupuncture – Christine’s experience

Christine had been suffering with sciatica for over three years, but she noticed a change in the level of pain after just the first session of acupuncture.

“Acupuncture has been a very positive treatment for me. As a result, I have experienced great relief from the pain of sciatica and associated back pain…by the end of six treatments, the pains related to the sciatica had virtually gone. I would recommend Jane Johnson as a therapist for her professionalism and experience and I have always found her to be informative, kind and patient. I have certainly benefitted from her skill & knowledge.”

If you need help with your sciatica, do call me to discuss your needs.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Historically, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has had a bad rap. In the past, it was nicknamed Yuppie Flu, because it was reported that well-paid, but overworked, young middle-class people seemed to catch it in droves. They were blamed for working too hard and burning themselves out.

But, to the 260,000 people affected by it in the UK, it is no joke. On average, the condition lasts for at least six years and many live with a form of the condition for life.

Symptoms and Severity

CFS is different for every individual who contracts it. The main symptom that is shared amongst all is the extreme tiredness that is not relieved by resting or sleeping. This isn’t just an experience of being weary. The feeling can be overwhelming and sufferers say that they can’t see an end to it.

Other symptoms include insomnia, muscle and joint pain, headaches, flu-type symptoms and sore throat, dizziness and foggy brain.

It goes without saying that having just a few symptoms from the list above can have serious consequences on your life. Coupled with the fact that a diagnosis for CFS is not a fast process, as it has very similar symptoms to other conditions, so you may have a flurry of examinations and blood tests to rule out most of these.

All this, and the every-day pain and exhaustion affect work, relationships and your mental health.

Typical treatment plans

Once diagnosed, the traditional approach is to draw up a plan for you that may include lifestyle changes and a healthy diet. You may be offered cognitive behavioural therapy and sympathetic employers might make adjustments to help manage your activity levels.

There isn’t a targeted drug that treats or cures CFS but you may be advised to take painkillers or anti-depressants if it is affecting your mental health.

The most common message suffers are told is, “there’s nothing that can be done… you have to live with it..”

How acupuncture and herbal medicine can help

Sometimes acupuncture on its own is used, sometime a combined approach is more suitable. It depends on the specific symptoms and your individual circumstances.

Here are a couple of examples of people I’ve helped:

Nick’s experience

Nick had been suffering with the symptoms of CFS for nine years.

“For years I was told that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was untreatable and that I would have to live with it for life.”

He suffered with low energy, palpitations and insomnia. He was constantly tired and anxious.  This situation was perfect to treat with acupuncture.

Nick commented that: “…with regular treatment I am able to continue a normal life just as I was before being diagnosed.”

Karen’s experience

Karen had a range of symptoms and she too was told that nothing more could be done.

“I spent years feeling tired, lethargic with constant viral symptoms i.e. muscle aches & pains, pins & needles, constant sore throat & always being ill as I had a weak immune system. I was also being treated with drugs by this point for depression.”

For Karen, I recommended a combined approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
“Jane treated me holistically as an individual. After a course of acupuncture & herbs all the symptoms disappeared, I felt well in myself and my energy levels returned. I was also able to discontinue the depression medication.

Want to learn more?

We are regulated by the British Acupuncture Council, who have factsheets to explain the effectiveness of acupuncture with illnesses and conditions. To read more about acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you can click this link.

For more information about Chinese Herbal medicine you can click this link


If you have CFS and want to get in touch with me to discuss how I can help, you can call for an exploratory call, or book here

Miscarriage is not something that is spoken about readily and in the open.

Certainly, people who have miscarriages find it difficult to talk about the experience. The loss of a pregnancy can be devastating and it doesn’t seem like there is a person in the world who understands. It’s normal to feel a whole host of emotions if this happens to you.

Symptoms range from cramps and spotting to full contractions and labour. The emotional consequences are ones of grief, shame and inadequacy.

The experience can impact the whole family.

Why they happen

Around twenty percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and can happen in the first three months of pregnancy.

The causes are many and include irregular hormone levels in the mother, some infections, abnormalities in the womb and certain medications. Smoking also increases the risk, as does alcohol and drug use.

You may not find out the exact cause of your miscarriage and it is quite common for medical tests to fail to explain the reasons why.

Most miscarriages can’t be prevented, but a nutrient rich diet low in refined carbohydrate and moderate exercise helps keep you healthy and well.

Not consuming certain foods and drinks are a good idea too. Alcohol, coffee and inflammatory foods should be avoided.

Thinking about getting pregnant again

After a miscarriage, many people will be anxious about getting pregnant again. Having doubts is normal, as you may feel that you could miscarry again. Taking time to think about your decision and discuss it with your partner is important, as it can take a toll on your emotions and mental health.

Rest and relaxation are the most important aspect of recovery and are often overlooked. The body after a miscarriage needs to time to heal.

How acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help in recovery and for future pregnancies

We practice gentle treatment for future pregnancies by combining carefully selected traditional herbal medicine and targeted acupuncture at our clinic.  Combining the two gives real strength to the treatment. Together they can help your body recover after a miscarriage by rebalancing your hormones and regulating your periods. They can also help bring strong blood-flow back to your womb and abdomen.

Treatment and lifestyle advice are intended to support each stage of a woman’s ovulatory cycle, since a woman’s chemical balance changes from week to week.

We also use temperature charting to access the health of a woman’s cycle. This is how minor abnormalities in a woman’s cycle are observed.

Some real-life success stories


Collette had had two consecutive miscarriages and feared she would never have children. When she booked an appointment at Cambourne Acupuncture, she was, in her own words “a broken lady”.

She goes on to say that “after treatment with Jane, my next pregnancy was to be a success and I finally got my rainbow baby. What [Jane] can do for you is priceless. Thank you so much for your help and support”.


If you’ve had a miscarriage, or have been having difficulty getting pregnant, please do get in touch and we can discuss how we can help. You can click on the contact us tab to find out more, or you can book an appointment. We are currently offering a free consultation with your first appointment.


Most people think of  migraines as a bad headache but there is more to them than that. For those of you who suffer with migraines, whether occasionally or frequently, that doesn’t begin to describe how they affect every part of your life.

The anatomy of a migraine

There are several types of migraine, but most are characterised by the severe pain radiating on one side of the head.

Typical symptoms of migraine are often experienced in phases, where people start to feel tired and irritable, then comes sensitivity to light, sound and smells, stiff neck and mood changes, followed by throbbing headache and fatigue. With some forms there can be pins and needles, numbness, nausea (vomiting even), disorientation or confusion.

All in all, it is a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

The migraine impact

The causes are numerous and individual to each person, but the impact on quality of life is much the same and always wide-reaching. Around 86 million workdays are lost in the UK alone, due to migraine. The cost in healthcare is about £1 billion.

This of course has an impact on the economy. Far harder to calculate is the far-reaching impact it has in other areas of people’s lives. It has effects emotional wellbeing, as sufferers are more prone to anxiety and depression. This has obvious consequences for them, their family and friends, as they are unable to fully participate in their lives, whether it be work performance or other activities.

If you don’t want to take drugs

So, what can be done to help alleviate symptoms and prevent occurrence of migraines?

Beyond using pharmaceuticals for pain relief, other interventions can be used to treat and prevent symptoms.

A healthy diet free of nitrates and trigger foods (diary in some) can help, while adding extra magnesium helps with prevention. Tracking your diet and noting what you were eating and drinking can help you narrow down what might be the triggers for your attacks.

Acupuncture for Migraines

In my practice, I have found acupuncture really helpful for my clients.

First of all, it can help with pain relief. It does this by stimulating the release of endorphins, those feel-good hormones, helping you to relax and rest.  Some medical studies have shown that low serotonin is sometimes linked to migraines and acupuncture can help to level that out.

It can also help considerably with the reduction in frequency of attacks, and the extent to which they affect you when they do occur. It does this by restoring healthy blood flow and reducing inflammation in and around your head and neck.

Shane’s experience

A client of mine, Shane, suffered with migraines regularly before she came to see me. Alongside excruciating headaches, she would experience violent vomiting. Her migraines would last for days and pain killers had no effect. But after just one session her symptoms began to improve immediately:

“The sickness went away and the headaches were much less severe. My treatment was weekly at first and after about 3 sessions my migraines went away.”

Shane continues to have occasional preventative sessions. She says:

I absolutely can’t recommend Jane enough and will continue to have treatments in the future.

Want to know more?

To learn more about migraines, symptoms, causes and relief, you can visit the link to the British Acupuncture Council factsheet. We are members of the British Acupuncture Council, the UK’s largest regulatory body for acupuncturists. That means you can visit us with confidence.


So if, like Shane, you are suffering with migraines, don’t wait to exhaust all the options before you get in touch with me. Call for an exploratory chat, or book here