Effective, Pain-free &
Heather Davidson is a qualified, caring and friendly acupuncture
practitioner based in Oxford. Read more...
Acupuncture is recognised as effective by many organisations, including the NHS. Read more...
Heather Davidson is a qualified, caring and friendly acupuncture
practitioner based in Summertown, Oxford.
She practices Japanese, Five Element & Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCM).
She is qualified in Japanese "touch needle” Toyohari Acupuncture and is the Vice President of Toyohari United Kingdom.
She heads the Practical Skills Programme and lectures at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading.
She has a broad knowledge of conventional Western medicine.
College of Integrated Chinese Medicine
Heather's initial training was at the internationally renowned College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, U.K, where she gained a BSc(Hons) and Licentiate of Acupuncture (LicAc). Her training also included biomedical sciences.
She is a faculty member at the college.
An interest in Japanese acupuncture led her to complete a postgraduate qualification in Toyahari, an advanced form of acupuncture that uses precise methods for taking pulses and providing treatment. It was initially developed and practised by blind practitioners in Japan, highly revered for their heightened sensitivity and perceptive skills.
It remains a growing and dynamic tradition of acupuncture, where practitioners train continuously in groups to improve their skills.
Postgraduate studies include:
Trauma, anxiety and PTSD
Fertility, Pregnancy and post-natal care
Advanced acupuncture needling and pulse techniques
NADA protocol (for addiction and trauma)
Advanced Moxibustion (moxa)
Post graduate qualifications in Japanese Acupuncture
She continues to do postgraduate studies related to her practice.
She is DBS checked for children and vulnerable adults.
All new patient and follow-up appointments:
All available appointments are visible online.
Please book appointments online and not by phone or email. Booking by email or phone can result in delays.
Please note: most people are booking well ahead of time.
Once you have booked, email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be placed on the waiting list for an earlier appointment.
If an appointment becomes available, you will automatically be offered it.
Please reply to waiting list emails within 24 hours, or the appointment may be offered to someone else.
Appointments within 24 hours are offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
All bookings are subject to the fee and cancellation policy.
Thursday: 10.30am - 6.30pm
Friday: 10.30am - 6.30pm
Saturday: 10am - 5.30pm
Appointments are up to 40 minutes per session.
Email is the best way to contact me if you'd like to discuss anything or ask for advice before booking an appointment.
"My cycle regulated for the first time in my life, and very soon after that I discovered I was pregnant. I am now mum to a beautiful baby boy - and I never needed the IVF! "
I'll take a medical history and assess your main complaint. I'll also ask you about symptoms and other related information.
The first appointment will include a treatment.
Follow up appointments
After the first appointment, we will book follow-up appointments.
These are initially usually one week apart and will be spaced out as your condition improves.
"First Five" package
For the best results, five consecutive weekly treatments are recommended after the initial appointment.
To take up this offer please book all five sessions at the same time.
Please note this doesn't include
the First Appointment.
Community Acupuncture Appointments
These appointments can take up to 30 minutes and are charged at £40 per session.
Community acupuncture rates are for those on a low income, including pensioners and students.You will receive the same quality of treatment as for regular appointments. Not all conditions lend themselves to this shorter session time.
Thursday: 10.30am - 6.30pm
Friday: 10.30am - 6.30pm
Saturday: 10am - 5.30pm
Payment is made online. For convenience the link for payment can be found on each appointment confirmation email.
If you prefer to pay cash for follow-up apointments please let me know.
Some health insurance companies cover acupuncture; please check with your insurance company.
Treatments need to be paid for on the day, proof of appointment and payment can be provided for you to claim back from your provider.
Fees & Cancellations
Appointments must be paid for before, or on the day of the appointment. Appointments cancelled or changed without 48 hours notice will incur the full fee. Oxford Acupuncture reserves the right to charge this fee automatically.
Any items purchased are to be paid for on the day. Oxford Acupuncture reserves the right to charge for unpaid items automatically.
Because 94% of appointments are made at the previous appointment, I, and other patients, appreciate at least a weeks notice so that other patients do not lose out.
"I started to feel like my old self again, like I was back in control of my life."
"After a session I always feel calm and centred, and I’m delighted that my symptoms are improving a lot."
The Practice Rooms at the Banbury Road end of South Parade, Summertown. The building is immediately behind the hairdresser, 'A Cut Above'.
There are regular buses from Oxford City Centre to Summertown. Banbury road buses include 2, 2A, 2B, 7A, 7 gold, 94, 250. The nearest stop is 'Shops'.
There is roadside parking and three car parks in Summertown.
Roadside: There are two disabled parking bays at the beginning of South Parade and some free two hour parking bays along South Parade and on the surrounding roads.
Carparks: The closest (although small) car park is Alexandra Courts Park, just off Middle Way (a two minute walk). The Summertown Car Park on Diamond Place (just behind Co-op supermarket off Banbury Road) and the and the Ferry Leisure Centre Car Park off Marston Ferry Road are larger and a five minute walk.
We have a bicycle rack for your bike.
When you arrive:
There is no reception area at The Practice Rooms, so please arrive at the time of your appointment. At the main entrance is a keypad with coloured buzzers. I am in the white room. Please press the white room button, and wait for me to buzz you in.
"I have regained a great deal of my confidence and life that
I thought I had lost."
Chronic and Acute conditions
She treats men and women for both chronic illnesses and acute conditions, including pain management and symptom control, supporting them to prevent further illness and get their lives on track.
Here is a list of conditions regularly seen in her clinic.
Fertility & women's health
She helps women through the stages of fertility, pregnancy, labour, post-natal care and the menopause.
She has studied and practised meditation for over 25 years and has a particular interest in mental and emotional issues, including trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
She is approved by Anxiety UK to treat anxiety.
She creates a safe therapeutic environment for her patients. Her approach emphasises the whole person and can bring about profound emotional change and wellbeing.
She helps people solve both the causes and the effects of illness. Getting to the root of the condition helps to achieve long term health improvements, enabling the body and mind to truly repair and re-balance.
Acupuncture works by improving system function, rather than by suppressing symptoms.
Along with the reduction of immediate symptoms, people often report a reduction of stress, better sleep, increased energy, feeling "better in themselves" & feeling "more like themselves".
Methods used to maximise treatment
Health and Safety
New, individually packaged and gamma-ray sterilised needles are used for each client and every treatment.
All other equipment is sterilised according to established NHS and PSA guidelines.
Additionally, equipment is also UV sterilised between patients.
Covid19 guidelines for health care are still in operation in the clinic.
Focus on the Cause
Heather works by looking for the underlying cause or imbalance of a symptom or condition. This approach leads to a longer-lasting resolution of symptoms and often seemingly unrelated problems can be resolved at the same time.
The make-up of these underlying patterns are specific to each individual and are often historical. Treatment is tailored to each person.
Heather practices a method of acupuncture that is not painful. Your comfort is a priority and treatments will focus on ensuring that you get the maximum possible benefit from each session.
Acupuncture is a tried and tested 2000-year-old medical system that uses very fine needles gently inserted into points on the body.
The effect is both stimulating and calming and influences the function of the organs, muscles, autonomic and other systems of the body.
Toyohari is a Japanese acupuncture school that uses an advanced "touch-needle" technique. This is a specialised technique that uses silver and gold needles to influence the body without penetrating the skin. It feels very gentle and relaxing and is excellent for children and needle-wary adults.
Also known as Moxa. A herbal treatment used to warm the body, improve immunity and the quality of the blood, replenish reserves and activate weak and tired systems.
Especially useful for people who feel the cold.
Glass suction cups move and oxygenate the blood and fluid in the muscles, releasing knots and stiffness. It is a very effective deep tissue therapy, reducing pain, muscle tension and inflammation, while improving movement in muscles and joints.
Electroacupuncture works by attaching a controlled electric current attached to acupuncture needles to stimulate the points and reduce healing time.
This is especially effective for muscular-skeletal pain, stroke rehabilitation and Bell's Palsy.
Diet & Lifestyle
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to diet, exercise and lifestyle.
You will receive specific individualised advice from an oriental medicine perspective that fits with the acupuncture treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I wear?
Please wear loose clothing. You'll need to remove shoes, socks, tight clothing and tights for the session.
I will almost always need to be able to access your lower legs and arms from the knee and elbow down.
I will also likely need to access your back and stomach.
You won't ever need to remove underwear, and a clinical robe will be available if you would like one.
Please let me know if you have concerns. Your comfort will always come first, and I will do my best to work with you in the best way possible.
Please turn your phone to silent for appointments.
How many appointments will I need?
The number of appointments will depend on a few things: how long you've had your issue; how your lifestyle impacts this; how acute or severe the complaint is.
This can be assessed in the initial appointment, and a treatment plan will be discussed.
Will it hurt?
No! The needles are really fine - about the thickness of a human hair - and very few people ever feel them. Having trained in gentle needling, I make an effort to ensure the needling is entirely painless.
You might feel a sensation after the needle is inserted, but this isn't painful.
People usually feel very calm and peaceful during the session. This feeling can last for a while after the session.
Is it safe?
Research shows that acupuncture is one of the safest treatments in the UK. There are seldom side effects, the most common being feeling tired after treatment. Very occasionally a tiny bruise might appear at an acupuncture point.
More information on the safety of acupuncture can be found here: British Acupuncture Council.
Is there any research?
Acupuncture is one of the most researched alternative medicine therapies. Research is ongoing and carried out most notably by Harvard University, the University of Beijing, and the University of York. Please visit the British Acupuncture Council for more information on specific research.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes. Please see the section on Price List and Other Information.
Are Covid Secure steps in place in the clinic?
Since the Covid outbreak, many aspects of clinic management have changed, including regular covid testing. Many of these will remain in place from now on.
"I have ME. Heather helped me go from not even being able to climb the stairs to holding down a full time job."
Conditions regularly seen at the clinic
The following are regularly seen at the clinic.
If your condition or concern is not on the list, please email me - the list is not comprehensive.
For additional information on research carried out on these and other areas, please visit the British Acupuncture Council website and World Health Organisation information on acupuncture.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Insomnia & sleep disorders
Headaches & Migraines
Hypertension – High blood pressure
Dysmenorrhoea & Cramping
Obstetrics & Childbirth
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Bloating & cramps
Hayfever & Allergies
Sports & Other Injuries
Chronic & Acute Pain
Chemo and Cancer support
"The migraines became very few and far between and I actually cannot remember the last one I had now..."
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a therapy that has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of conditions. Its usage stems from traditional Chinese medicine which soon spread to neighbouring areas like Korea and Japan.
It views the body as an integrated whole. By asking questions and using pulse diagnosis, the practitioner can identify which systems are weak, blocked and over-active. The practitioner then chooses appropriate acupuncture points to treat the symptoms and the root cause simultaneously. By doing this, the person can be brought back into balance, restoring health and well being, and increasing resilience to future problems.
What can it help?
Acupuncture is recognised to be effective by a variety of organisations, including the World Health Organisation, the NHS, Cancer Research, the Drugs Rehab Service and the Stroke Association amongst others.
It is used to help a wide range of conditions, both physical and mental. It is often considered better at managing chronic conditions, it can also be effective with acute conditions.
It is most often seen as a good way to manage pain, but is also very effective in dealing with other system or organ based diseases and illnesses.
A more comprehensive list can be found on the UK based British Acupuncture Council website, And from the World Health Organisation who list the wide variety of diseases or disorders for which acupuncture therapy has been tested in controlled clinical trials.
How does it work?
From a traditional Oriental medical view point acupuncture works by stimulating the subtle meridians of the body. A practitioner is able to adjust the strength of each meridian using different acupuncture points. Points can be reduced, tonified or harmonised to help bring the body back to balance. A body and mind in balance can better withstand diseases, repair from injury and illness, and maintain healthy function.
There are a few theories on how acupuncture might be achieving this. One is that it the needling itself acts as a micro-trauma which stimulates the immune system with healing compounds. This accounts for local healing effects of dopamine, the body's natural pain killer, and natural anti-inflammatories.
Most often, however, acupuncture uses points on the lower arms and legs to effect organs and entire physical systems (cardiovascular, hormonal, digestive etc). A needle inserted into a particular point in the wrist can affect the lungs, and one in the foot can affect the stomach. It is possible that acupuncture uses the network of neural pathways to change the way the body functions.
"Not only did the acupuncture help, but having someone receptive to talk to was a tremendous help. The depression is now in the past."
How much research is there?
There is a growing body of research evidence showing that acupuncture is effective, and in many cases more effective than standard medical treatments.
Acupuncture is by far the mose researched of all alternative or conjunctive health practices.
See below for various articles and pieces of research on a variety of conditions treated with acupuncture.
Understanding the Research
Scientific research uses very particular and precise language that is not always easy to understand.
Some care must be taken when interpreting the results of any research. Treatment outcomes are dependant on the quality of the practitioner and the surroundings. Fully trained acupuncturists study for at least four years at degree level to understand the very complex prinicipals and techniques in Oriental acupuncture.
Research is often carried out by medically trained acupuncturists who may have trained for only a handful of hours.
This is adequate for running trials, but does not acurately reflect the results that can be achieved by degree level trained practitioners.
Nonetheless the research into acupuncture remains robust.
The Cochrane research group is highly regarded in scientific research. They collate and analyse unbiased, high quality studies and research from multiple sources. They are tentative at drawing conclusions making their results particularly valuable to the scientific community. They have a large body of acupuncture research, see the list below. Find their research here...
British Acupuncture Council
British Acupuncture Councils research fact sheets – from acne to vertigo
World Health Organisation
The Independent – ‘Best way to treat back pain is with acupuncture’
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD
autism spectrum disorders ASD
cencer: chemotherapy and radiotherapy side effects
carpal tunnel syndrome
dysphagia and poor nutrition following a stroke
hot flushes (cancer, non-hormonal and hormonal menopausal)
IBS irritable bowel syndrome
menopausal hot flushes
pelvic and back pain in pregnancy
PMS premenstrual syndrome
polycystic ovarian syndrome
post-operative nausea and vomiting
rotator cuff injusry and pain