Two practitioners at the York Clinic, Debbie and Ben, combine sports massage with acupuncture. I asked Debbie a few questions about how the two therapies work together.

What are the benefits of combining sports massage with acupuncture?

Experience has shown me that combining the therapies is more successful for relieving chronic or acute musculoskeletal pain. Each technique has its own strengths. For example, while massage is particularly good at increasing circulation, acupuncture reduces inflammation, accelerates the healing process, decreases pain and works deep muscles that are difficult to access. No one approach works for everyone, so I combine them.

Acute pain is often accompanied by inflammation which can trick the brain into feeling extreme pain from the lightest touch, making it difficult to get to the root of the problem with massage until later treatments. However, acupuncture goes directly to the problem area and starts reducing inflammation immediately, allowing more effective use of massage.

Also, when treating musculoskeletal problems I use acupuncture to treat other conditions. For example, I can put needles into the hands and feet to help with headaches and, while they are working, treat the back with massage therapy.

Can patients choose which treatment they have? And can anyone have sports massage and acupuncture?

I assess each person to determine whether massage and/or acupuncture is appropriate. Although I may recommend a combination of acupuncture and massage, it is entirely the patient’s choice.

You also use taping and magnets. What do these do?

Kinesio Taping has numerous benefits. It can relieve pain, reduce inflammation and bruising, prevent or relieve spasms, speed the recovery of overused muscles, support and strengthen weak or injured body parts, and allow athletes to remain active while injured. The tape can be left on for up to 5 days, so the therapeutic benefits are available around the clock. This significantly accelerates the healing process.

Magnetic Therapy is a non-invasive, natural therapy. When a magnet is placed on a painful area, the magnetic field gives what I call a ‘molecular massage’ to the atoms and molecules in the damaged muscle and tissue. Magnets can also be placed over main blood supplies. Blood contains iron; this iron reacts to the magnet, allowing the red blood cells to absorb oxygen more efficiently. As the blood circulates it delivers a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to the whole body. This helps the body rid itself of toxins and waste, creating the right conditions for the body to heal itself.


To book an appointment with Debbie or Ben, phone 01904 709688 between 9am-6pm on weekdays, 9am-2pm on Saturdays. Alternatively, email us or use our contact form.

For more information, see Debbie’s website.