Study on our high-quality acupuncture courses at the Northern College of Acupuncture


BSc in Acupuncture (weekend and weekday options) – our next courses start end of September/early October 2019. Find out more by joining us for our online presentation and Q&A evening or on our next full days acupuncture introductory event on Saturday 16th February  - click here to book your place  

Acupuncture courses teaching faculty

Principal, Course Director and Research Director


Richard Blackwell, Northern College of Acupuncture

Richard Blackwell

BMedSci LicAc MSc(Ac)
College Principal

Richard has a Medical Sciences degree from Nottingham University Medical School, and graduated from the British College of Acupuncture in 1982 before going on to study Chinese herbal medicine. He established busy practices in Birmingham and then in York, and has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level for many years. He is a past president of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine. He has published widely on Chinese medicine theory, clinical practice, research and education and has a particular interest in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Lara McClure, Northern College of Acupuncture

Lara McClure

BA(Cantab) MA(Cantab) PhD PGCHE
Course Director and Research Stream Leader

Lara obtained a PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of York in 2003 and has a special interest in the history of medicine, religion and popular culture. She has a strong research background and leads the Research Stream on the acupuncture courses. Lara has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education with Middlesex University and is a member of the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board.

Karen Charlesworth, Northern College of Acupuncture

Karen Charlesworth

MSc (Acupuncture) MBAcC
Research Director

After many years working as a journalist, Karen retrained as an acupuncturist, qualifying with an MSc from NCA in 2013. She runs a busy community acupuncture clinic in York. Karen’s MSc dissertation ‘invented’ by consensus a new auricular acupuncture protocol (known as APPA) for the attenuation of pain and anxiety in humanitarian aid situations. She is currently studying for her PhD in Acupuncture at the University of York, looking at the effectiveness of acupuncture for atrial fibrillation.



Year Leaders


Eileen Gibbon, Northern College of Acupuncture

Eileen Gibbon

Year One Leader and Pulses Stream Leader

Eileen has been practising acupuncture since 1994 when she graduated from the NCA. She went on to qualify in Chinese herbal medicine which she uses alongside acupuncture. Arising from her long experience as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, she has a strong interest in how physical habits affect function and in a subtle ‘listening’ approach to palpation and bodywork. She is a longstanding tutor on the acupuncture course and is a member of the Accreditation Board of the EHTPA which accredits herbal medicine courses. Eileen lives and practises in Sheffield.

Annie Walker, Northern College of Acupuncture

Annie Walker

Year Two Leader and Biomedicine for Acupuncturists Stream Leader

Annie has been a Registered Nurse for twenty years, working as a clinical nurse specialist in accident and emergency, and drug and alcohol treatment. She studied acupuncture in London, practises acupuncture in Cheshire and is a director of Manchester’s multi-bed acupuncture practice ‘The Acupuncture Works’.

Cheng Hao Zhou, Northern College of Acupuncture

Cheng Hao Zhou

Year Three Leader

Cheng was trained at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and qualified in 1992 as Doctor of TCM. She worked in the Chinese Health Service for eight years and qualified as “Doctor-in-Charge” in 1998. She joined the NCA team in 2001. Currently Cheng works as a Clinical Supervisor at both of the Acupuncture and Chinese Herb Medicine teaching clinics, while teaches various subjects on both programmes. She is also an External Examiner for other Acupuncture course providers which involves academic quality control and development.



Stream Leaders


Annie Milles, Northern College of Acupuncture

Annie Milles

Chinese Medicine Stream Leader

Annie trained in acupuncture at the NCA, and gained a Master’s degree in acupuncture for examining the effects of using Japanese acupuncture in her practice. She also completed the College’s post-graduate training in Chinese herbal medicine. She has been teaching acupuncture students since 2005 and has taught at the NCA, Leeds Metropolitan University and Manchester Metropolitan University. She is currently on the BAAB Accreditation Committee which seeks to maintain and improve standards in acupuncture education, and has a private practice in York.

Lynne Hampson, Northern College of Acupuncture

Lynne Hampson

Points, Clinical Education and Skills Stream Leader and Clinic Supervisor

Lynne originally trained as a nurse, and then pursued her interest in complementary health by studying at the NCA. She graduated in 1999 and has built up a busy practice where massage is an integral part of the treatment. Lynne worked as a Safe Practice Verifier and Accreditation Visitor for the BAcC and was previously involved in teaching acupuncture at the University of Salford. She has also studied at the university hospital at Guiyang in China. Lynne is also a clinic supervisor.

Phil Montgomery, Northern College of Acupuncture

Phil Montgomery

Business Stream Leader and Clinic Supervisor

Phil has run a variety of different successful businesses before changing career and graduating as an acupuncturist at the NCA in 2011. He runs a busy acupuncture practice near Selby. Alongside his Business Stream Leader role Phil is a Locum Supervisor at the NCA and works on the Points and Clinical skills streams. Phil has been on a number of World Medicine trips volunteering his acupuncture skills to the rural communities in India.


Phil Trubshaw, Northern College of Acupuncture

Phil Trubshaw

Philosophy and Context Stream Leader

Phil studied acupuncture at the University of Salford, graduating in 2011. Following this he studied tui na at post-registration level at Tui Na Tuition North West in Stockport. Currently. Phil practises in Salford and Manchester, integrating Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and Tui Na. He is currently completing his Dissertation in Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Ben Elliot, Northern College of Acupuncture

Ben Elliott

Bodywork for Acupuncturists Stream Leader

Ben graduated from the Northern College of Acupuncture in 2012 and has a private practice at York Clinic for Integrated Healthcare where he uses acupuncture alongside his previous qualification in remedial sports massage to primarily treat musculo-skeletal conditions. He has been involved with the Health Sciences department at the University of York through which he has had academic papers published by Hindawi and The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in the field of acupuncture in the treatment of depression and neck pain. Ben also worked for five years at St James Hospital giving treatment for symptomatic issues arising from cancer treatment.



Other members of our acupuncture courses teaching faculty


Helen Compton

BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine PGCHE MCPP
Biomedicine for Acupuncturists tutor

Helen graduated from the College of Phytotherapy in 2004 and practises herbal medicine in Harrogate. She is also helped design and teach the BSc in Herbal Medicine from Leeds Beckett University between 2007 and 2012 and runs workshops, talks and walks on herbal medicine.

Ric Chamberlain

Chinese Medicine tutor

Ric has a Biological Sciences (Genetics) degree from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in molecular virology from the University of Reading. He later worked in the fields of Hepatitis C and HIV in the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. He graduated with an MSc in Chinese Medicine from the Northern College of Acupuncture in 2002. His dissertation was on the nature of intuition and its role in the practice of Chinese medicine. Since then Ric studied for and was awarded a PGCHE from Middlesex university Ric now lives in North Wales where he runs clinics in Ruthin and Flint. In addition he also runs the acupuncture programme at Wrexham University.

Jo Curle

BSc (Hons) Cert Ed MBAcC

Jo has worked as a massage and holistic therapist since 2002 and as a spa manager in both Australia and Northumberland. Following on from a Certificate in Education in 2010 she combined her interests in massage and teaching to teach massage at a local college. After completing a BSc in Acupuncture at the NCA in 2015, she joined the bodywork teaching team. Jo works as an acupuncturist in and around Newcastle specialising in facial acupuncture and musculoskeletal pain treatment with Gua Sha and acupuncture.


Sabine Green

Pgdip Acu MBAcC

Sabine studied her Post Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture at the NCA and graduated in 2010. She is running her clinic in Stockton in Tees with a strong emphasis on women’s health and fertility. She is also a trained supervisor.

Helen Singleton


Helen is a Chartered Physiotherapist who then studied for a Masters degree in Acupuncture. She practises in Beverley and Market Weighton and also conducts Pilates classes. Her speciality is musculoskeletal conditions.

Michael Ranft

BA(hons) PGCE PGDipAcu MBAcC

Michael worked in secondary education for over a decade as an English teacher before studying acupuncture at the NCA, graduating in 2017. He runs his own clinics in Northumberland and Newcastle, specialising in distal methods of acupuncture from the lineages of Dr Tan and Master Tung. Having practised various traditional Chinese martial arts for almost 20 years, Michael also teaches Tai Chi and Qigong, as well as the Filipino style of Eskrima.



Clinic Supervisors


Nicky Thomas, Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture

Nicky Thomas


Nicky Thomas qualified as an acupuncturist in 1999 after studying for 4 years at the NCA. Over the past 14 years Nicky has practised acupuncture in York and then in Bahrain in the Middle East, from where she has recently returned to join the clinical supervisors’ team at the NCA. As well as practising acupuncture in York, Nicky also teaches yoga, qi gong and tai chi and thai chi and teaching qi gong on the acupuncture course.

Brendan O'Sullivan, Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture

Brendan O’Sullivan


Brendan studied five element acupuncture before completing his TCM training, and also gaining a diploma in the treatment of children with acupuncture. He has worked extensively in the NHS, in GP acupuncture clinics and hospital pain clinics, and now runs his own busy clinic in Scarborough where he specialises in the treatment of pain.


Sarah Dixon (locum), Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture

Sarah Dixon (locum)


Sarah graduated from the NCA in 2000. Her MSc looked at the effects of acupuncture on post natal depression. She visits patients in their own homes in and around the city of York specialising in chronic, psychological and gynaecological conditions.

Julie Williams (locum), Clinic Supervisor, Northern College of Acupuncture

Julie Williams (locum)

BScAc(Hons) MBAcC

Julie graduated from NCA in 2012. She runs a busy clinic at home in Northallerton and also in Yarm. Julie is an affiliated member of the Zita West Fertility Network specialising in Fertility. Julie’s ethos is “acupuncture for life”. Julie also teaches on the points and clinical skills stream.



Points team - under the leadership of Lynne Hampson


Emma Houston Jupp

DipAc BA(Hons) MRes PGCE

Emma graduated from the NCA in 2012 and practises acupuncture and clinical aromatherapy in Scarborough. She is a qualified teacher and also teaches children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Alex Humphries


Alex graduated from the NCA in 2015 and practises acupuncture and Tui Na in his own Clinic in York. Alex has a passion for the treatment of pain and musculo- skeletal issues and is inspired by the lineage of channel acupuncture of Master Tung and Dr Tan. He Integrates both Western and Eastern models of body work alongside Acupuncture.

Hannah Palfreyman

BScAc(Hons) MBAcC

Hannah graduated from the NCA in 2011 and now runs an acupuncture clinic in Leicester within a multidisciplinary practice.

Adam Stott

BScAc(Hons) MBAcC

Adam graduated from the NCA in 2016, practices in a multi-bed clinic in York and is also interested in the spiritual welfare of his patients.



Pulse team - under the leadership of Eileen Gibbon


Jill Marks


Jill is an NCA graduate who practises in Barnard Castle and works at a multidisciplinary practice in Durham. She became an acupuncturist following a 20 year career in secondary education.

Jude Blair


After a career in nursing, Judy studied at NCA, firstly in acupuncture and subsequently in Chinese Herbal Medicine. She currently runs private clinics in Leeds, as well as a Nada clinic for men suffering with side effects from treatment for prostate cancer at St. James’s Hospital, Leeds. She is also involved with a World Medicine project, bringing acupuncture to people who live in a rural and impoverished area in India.