After a two year study the BMA’s board of Science and Education recommended the use of Acupuncture for the treament of conditions including nausea, vomiting, back pain, dental pain and migraine headaches. See the article in the British Medical Journal here.
As a practicing acupuncturist I am often confronted with scepticism about the benefits and effectiveness of acupuncture therapy. This no longer surprises me as despite being used for nearly 200 years in Western Europe, still the general level of knowledge about the scientific underpinnings of Chinese Medicine remains quite low, however, the BMA however, is one of the most respected medical institutions in the world and with this kind of backing the use of acupuncture gains immense credibility.
Acupuncture in the Lancet
While acupuncture may seem new to many, the history of its practice in the west is really quite extensive. While most people are aware that acupuncture has been used in China for several thousand years, not so many people know that already in the 1600s knowledge of this ancient practice was brought from China to Europe by Jesuit missionaries. Acupucture was then practiced quite extensively in Britain during the early 19th century. Indeed the very first edition of the Lancet in 1823 included an article on the effectiveness of acupuncture for a variety of conditions including rheumatism and ear infections.
The literature today presented by the BMA recommends its use for muscular, bone and joint pain, IBS, migraine, dental and back pain (as mentioned above), nausea (including morning sickness and nausea induced by medications), accelerated recovery after stroke, support in withdrawal from drug use, and help for those suffering from asthma.
Acupuncture: A Safe Therapy!
Again the BMA recommends acupuncture for its excellent track record in safety, with the caveat that you should seek out a registered acupuncturist. Here in Ireland there is no state register for acupuncturists (although acupuncturists are pushing for this legislation), however, there are at least two main, well established and highly reputable professional associations for Chinese Medicine practitioners, the AFPA and the TCMCI. If you are seeking therapy in Ireland you should check to see with whom your practitioner is registered.
Cost of Treatments Reimbursed
Once your practitioner is registered with either of these associations then you should have no problem in claiming back in full or in part the cost of your therapy with the main health insurance providers.
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BA, Hdip, Lic Ac (China), Dip. Ac, Dip Tuina.