Needling Technique and Bodywork for internal disease: Riding the Point


There is so much more to needling technique than “turning the needle clockwise or counterclockwise, and using your intention”!

Whether we’re treating insomnia, headaches, digestive issues, or hot flushes, one of the key factors that will influence the outcome of an acupuncture treatment are the practitioner’s clinical skills. Improving these tangible skills is a crucial way of achieving better clinical outcomes.

This seminar is part of our “Practical Skills Seminar Series.” It is a standalone weekend course, however participants are encouraged to also attend the other seminars in the series.


Our weekend CPD course focusses on practical clinical skills, as taught to us by Andrew Nugent-Head. We will focus on the theme of “Riding the Point”, which is the ability to keep stimulating a point without moving the needle. We will cover needle techniques such as Spreading, Gathering and Channel Travel (see below for full discussion of material).

We will also cover different types of bodywork, such as Point Pressing, Deep Qi with Vibrating, and Traction, to complement our needle techniques and further enhance our skill when working with the patient’s body and Qi.

Both days will start with a set of DaoYin practices designed to develop the skills we need to perform the techniques. Throughout the days we will draw links between the DaoYin and treatment to allow participants to clearly see how this DaoYin very directly feeds into our clinical practice.

This course was set up as we hope to spread the understanding and use of these fundamental clinical skills within the acupuncture community in the UK. At the end of it, we hope that participants will have taken their practical skills to a new level and will be more confident and effective practitioners.


Course teachers: Zarig and Conny Cooper.

Zarig and Conny are long-term students of Andrew Nugent-Head’s. They are part of his teaching team, travelling internationally to assist at his seminars. Please see individual practitioner pages for full biogs.

Participants: Practitioners or students of acupuncture.

Course dates:
Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December

Both days run 10am-5pm, with an hour for lunch.

Venue: The City College of Acupuncture, University House, 55 East Road, London N1 6AH

Cost: Earlybird is £150 for the 2-day course if paid by 16th November, after that £160.
Deposit of £60 secures your place, balance to be paid by 16th November.
Refunds possible up to 1 month before start of course, after that fee is non-refundable.

Please email to book your place.


Course Material: 

Both days will start with some DaoYin exercises to help develop our sensitivity to Qi and our ability to manipulate it. The focus of the weekend is “Riding the Point”, ie.e. the ability to keep stimulating a point without moving the needle.

Spreading Needle Technique. When using Spreading Technique, the aim is to release Qi trapped in a local area causing buildup there. This is a gentle technique used to release tension slowly in a soothing manner. Often used on the upper back and shoulders, with successful application, the patient will often feel a great release and take some unexpectedly deep breaths.

Gathering Needle Technique. Gathering Technique is used when we want to bring Qi to a local area. This may be an end in itself, or in preparation for using another technique such as sparrow-pecking.

Channel Travel. Channel Travel is used when there is an imbalance of Qi in the channel. For example a patient may be experiencing a headache and tight breathing, but having cold feet, indicating too much Qi stuck in the top part of the body and not enough in the lower part. We will practice Channel Travel applied to the limbs to draw the Qi away, and also applied to head points such as YinTang and Baihui to guide the Qi down.


We will also cover 3 bodywork techniques: Point Pressing, Traction, and Deep Qi with Vibrating.

Point Pressing is the manipulation of a point using our fingers only. When pressure is sustained in the correct manner, points and channels can be unlocked and stimulated. Often used on distal points such as Spleen 4 or Kidney 6, the effects can be clearly felt throughout the body.

Traction is a physical manipulation which gently lengthens the musculoskeletal system, allowing it to relax and reset. Of great importance is the skill of “riding the traction”, ie feeling the body as it lengthens and releases and constantly adjusting the traction to keep it at the optimal level. Correct traction is a deeply relaxing and soothing experience for the patient as their whole body can reset.

Deep Qi. This is a deeply settling technique which puts the patient into a very relaxed, lulled state. Often patients will comment that this is their favourite part of the treatment! We will learn how to practice this technique on different body areas with added vibrating.