Gemma Starling BSc(Hons), PGCE, LicAc, MBAcC Five Element Acupuncturist

About Me

I am a fully qualified and experienced Traditional Acupuncturist, specialising in Five Element Theory. Having experienced the positive benefits of regular Acupuncture whilst working as a teacher in my twenties, I later decided to completely change direction and enrol on a three year degree-level Licentiate Course at the Acupuncture Academy in Leamington Spa where I graduated with Distinction (LicAc). Since graduating I haven’t looked back. I love helping others improve their health and wellbeing using an incredibly gentle, natural and ancient form of medicine.

As a fully qualified and insured member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) I hold full professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover. I am also licensed to practise by Cornwall Council.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been practised in China and the Far East for over 3000 years. In recent years, research highlighting Acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating a wide range of conditions, has led to it becoming an increasingly popular treatment option for patients in the West.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s own healing response by encouraging the smooth flow of vital energy (Qi) throughout the body. The focus for an Acupuncturist is on the patient as a whole as all symptoms are viewed in an interconnected way. Five Element Acupuncture can be particularly beneficial as it works specifically at identifying the root cause of a symptom or illness, therefore symptoms are less likely to return and the whole body tends to heal itself, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Many people seek Acupuncture treatments to relieve specific aches and pains such as tension type headaches or migraines, or for other common health problems such as emotional imbalances, digestive problems, allergies, disrupted sleep or menstrual disturbances. Many also have regular treatments as a preventative to ill-health or simply because they find it relaxing and beneficial to their general well-being.

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has compiled a selection of fact sheets which provide accurate and unbiased general information on the benefits of Acupuncture for a wide variety of conditions.

What Does a Treatment Involve?

Your initial visit will last between 1.5 and 2 hrs and will involve obtaining a thorough understanding of your main complaint in addition to your general health and lifestyle. This will include questions about your medical history, current medications (if any), as well as questions about your sleep, appetite, digestion, and general well being etc. You will also be given the opportunity to discuss any troubles or concerns you are currently going though - should you wish. Complete confidentiality is always maintained regarding anything discussed within a session. After your consultation I will carry out a few non-invasive diagnostic tests such as a blood pressure reading, pulse readings and a temperature distribution test; followed by your first treatment.

During subsequent visits, appointments last approximately 1 hr. These sessions start with a review of your progress since your previous appointment followed by an appropriately planned treatment.

The effects of Acupuncture Treatments are cumulative so a series of treatments are usually required to achieve a desired response. Health improvements usually start to be seen after 4 weekly sessions; after this, treatments can be spread further apart. However healing responses and rates are unique to each patient. Alongside symptomatic improvements, Acupuncture often helps people to ‘feel like themselves again’.

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Some patients have concerns that Acupuncture may be painful. However since very fine single-use pre-sterilised needles are used, there is usually only a very slight sensation, if any, as it enters the skin. Sometimes patients can experience tingling or a dull-ache but if this occurs it only lasts briefly and tends to not be perceived as uncomfortable.

Most people find Acupuncture relaxing and calming. Some people feel tired and occasionally light headed following a treatment but these feelings are short-lived and are just a sign that your body is responding to treatments and is starting its healing response.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When administered by a fully trained practitioner, Acupuncture is one of the safest medical treatments currently on offer in the UK. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are infrequent, mild and self-correcting. To see more information regarding the safety of Acupuncture please visit the British Acupuncture Council’s website.

Treatment Fees

Initial consultation (diagnosis and first treatment): £75 Subsequent treatments: £50 Clinic opening times (via pre-booked appointment): Saturdays 8am-5pm Contact


Tel.: 07779 377239

A warm welcome awaits you.