Acupuncture Therapy


Almost 3 decades since the CSP recognized the use of complementary therapies by its own members, the number practicing acupuncture has grown to over 6, 000. Acupuncture is now seen by many as a necessary Part of the physiotherapy bundle, say experts from Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, the society’s largest professional network.

Acupuncture is complementary to physiotherapy because it supplies us with a window of opportunity. It provides pain relief and relaxation, allowing the patient to exercise and restore normal function. In the year 2009, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence Recommended making acupuncture available on the NHS in England and Wales for chronic back pain.

An upgrade to the NHS constitution in March 2010 provides all patients with the legal right to receive NICE-approved treatments if their physician deems them appropriate. Nevertheless, current cost-cutting might make them less widely available. Even though Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy, most AACP members obtained their acupuncture training from a western scientific perspective. The AACP class is extensive, requiring 80 hours of postgraduate training for the basic eligibility, followed by 10 hours of CPD every 2 years. Numerous masters courses are also now available, like One at the University of Coventry, especially directed at physiotherapists.

Evidence and publicity –
One reason commissioners cite for not financing complementary therapies is a shortage of evidence.

Acupuncture stands up well, with a number of studies have found it can provide pain relief. Supporters also say there’s impressive research documenting acupunctures capability to promote relaxation and enhance sleep patterns. But under new guidelines from the Advertising Standards Authority, claims related to these findings will not be acceptable. Claims featured in an ad must now be supported by evidence from human trials. So acupuncture professionals will only be allowed to mention the conditions for which acupuncture has met this standard: nausea, vomiting, dental pain and knee arthritis.

Whoever made the choice is possibly not aware of the difficulties inherent in acupuncture research. They’ve only selected those conditions which are supported by the gold standard of scientific research systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials and neglected the proof that supports acupuncture as an effective treatment for pain management. Hubert van Griensven, a London physiotherapist who also uses acupuncture, points out that it’s impossible for acupuncture to replicate the individualized treatment a patient receives in a rigorous experimental setting. After years of experience, a professional develop a strong sense of what may be achieved, and will recognize aspects of a problem, he says.

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