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Rachel Millsted BSc(Hons) Psych, BSc(Hons) TCM (Ac),MBAcC
Becoming an Acupuncturist – My Story
I decided to study acupuncture because of the way it had helped me. Back in 2002, I was stressed and in pain. Commuting and doing a stressful job had caused tension in my shoulder which had trapped a nerve, causing pain down my arm and up my neck. I couldn’t sleep because the stress – everyday I would hear the milkman pass my house at 5am! I felt terrible most of the time. I had a week off work between leaving one job and starting another and I decided I needed to do something about it. I went to a local clinic looking for a massage to ease some of the tension…they suggested acupuncture…I’ve got to admit, I was an unlikely candidate for acupuncture being a life long needlephobe! However, something in me said “Go for it, it’s going to help” so I agreed to try. I quickly discovered there was nothing to be scared off and it was nothing like having an injection or blood test. I was so glad I had acupuncture – not only did the pain and tension in my shoulder go within a few sessions but I started to feel less stressed and began sleeping through the night. Other people started to notice and comment on how well I looked, how calm and happy I seemed. This was the part that really fascinated me – that I felt so much better in myself, yes the pain had gone, but there was something more to it than that. I knew I wanted to find out more but had no idea how begin to study. By chance, I met someone who told me there was an acupuncture course at the University of Salford. I went to the open day and loved it! I handed in my notice at work, began studying and have never looked back! Even after all this time, I’m still fascinated by the way acupuncture can bring about mind and body health and how it offers an ability to heal even when it seems most unlikely.
Qualifications and Experience
Before becoming an acupuncturist, Rachel studied for a degree in Psychology and worked within the NHS in the Mental Health sector as a Social Therapist at Ashworth Hopsital and Primary Care Graduate Mental Health worker at Salford Primary Care Trust. Rachel trained at the University of Salford for a three year, full time degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) which gave her a sound grounding in western medical science as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Wanting to study acupuncture in its homeland, she travelled to to China and completed post-graduate training at the prestigious Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, China.
After qualifying in 2007, Rachel set up acupuncture clinics within existing Osteopathic/Physical Therapy clinics in Knutsford and Chester. In 2012, she felt it was time to strike out on her own and began a new clinic in Stockton Heath, Warrington where she has been practising ever since. Rachel is a fully licensed member and registered acupuncturist with the British Acupuncture Council (the main regulatory body of acupuncture in the UK) and as such follows a strict Code of Practice. She holds full insurance.
Rachel has lectured at the Northern College of Acupuncture. During the 3 years that she taught, she was promoted to the role of Stream Leader for Personal and Practitioner Development on their BSc and MSc Acupuncture courses. To further her development as a lecturer, Rachel gained a certificate in Higher Education from UCLan which afforded her associate membership of the Higher Education Academy.
After finding great personal benefit from practising meditation and in particular, mindfulness meditation, Rachel wished to share this with others. She has studied to become a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society which is part of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.