Acupuncture Facts

Some facts about Traditional Acupuncture

For over 2,500 years traditional acupuncture has been a staple in Eastern medicine. With growing evidence in support of the therapy, 2.3 million people each year are now using traditional acupuncture in the UK. Whilst traditional acupuncture is now more commonplace, there is still uncertainty around how the therapy works and what the benefits of treatment are…

Types of Acupuncture

  • “There are two types of acupuncture treatment, medical and traditional. Both treatment styles vary, with traditional acupuncture focusing on the root cause of the problem and treating the patient as a whole. Medical acupuncture as used by practitioners such as physiotherapists involves a technique called ‘dry needling’. Although both practises use needles, dry needling aims for ‘trigger points’ whereas traditional acupuncture is based on the balance of energy in the body.”

Needles are very fine and flexible

  • “Traditional acupuncture needles are also nothing like hypodermic needles used for taking blood. In fact, some are just 0.12mm in length and can be compared to the size of a single human hair. They’re also sterile and disposable. If you have any concerns at all, your local traditional acupuncturist would be happy to talk to you about it before you commit to treatment.

Acupuncture is not painful

  • “Some people may experience a sensation when a needle is inserted. After which the you won’t feel the needles as such but may feel a tingling as energy moves around the body. Most people find traditional acupuncture to be hugely relaxing and some people even fall asleep!”

Acupuncture is suitable for all ages

  • Traditional acupuncture is completely natural and can be used by anyone including pregnant women, the elderly and children of all ages – even babies! It’s completely safe when carried out by a fully qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council and can help with a whole range of ailments and persistent pain.

Traditional acupuncture recommended by the World Health Organisation

  • “Traditional acupuncture is a treatment option that many medical institutions around the world recommend, and in fact the World Health Organisation recognise traditional acupuncture as a valid treatment for a wide range of conditions. In some cases it is also used in the NHS.”

Traditional acupuncture can be useful for a wide range of conditions

  • Traditional acupuncture can help with many different physical conditions but it can also be extremely beneficial for emotional problems including anxiety disorders, low mood and stress. Patients often comment on how clear headed, relaxed and alert they feel and many people will say they feel emotionally stronger as a result of treatment.

Traditional acupuncture doesn’t just involve needles

  • Traditional acupuncturists will go above and beyond in their approach offering lifestyle and dietary advice too. A large part of a treatment is spent talking to the patient, before the acupuncturist picks up any needles. They’ll discuss what has been going on emotionally, physically, at home, and at work. Not only does this help inform which acupuncture points are needed for that session, but it helps to make sure treatment is specific for that particular person.

Traditional acupuncture has been proven to work better than placebo for chronic pain

  • “Data from 18,000 patients looking at the effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic pain shows that acupuncture was proven to be more than a placebo. Acupuncture was proven to not only be better than usual care, but also outperform sham acupuncture.”[i]

 Traditional acupuncture is more mainstream than you might think

  • “Traditional acupuncture has become more and more popular with 67% of people in a recent survey saying it’s much more acceptable these days[ii]. With increasing research into its effectiveness, traditional acupuncture is now a credible evidence-based treatment and not just an ‘alternative’ therapy. Contrary to belief, 2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out each year in the UK!”

Traditional Acupuncturists undertake 3 years of degree level training

  • “Members of the British Acupuncture Council have all completed degree-level training for over three years before practicing in the UK. All registered acupuncturists are trained in relevant aspects of Western medicine including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathology. To guarantee a high standard of safety and care, it’s important to find a fully qualified and insured traditional acupuncturist registered with the British Acupuncture Council (www.acupuncture.org.uk).”

Traditional acupuncture can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine

“There is no conflict between traditional acupuncture and conventional medicine; they complement one another.”
BAcC Infographic

[i] Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med 2012 Sep 10;1-10.

[ii] 2,000 UK adults were questioned by One Poll, November 2015