Tried and tested medicine
Today 2.3 million acupuncture treatments are carried out each year by British Acupuncture Council members and the therapy is widely accepted as an effective solution for a range of illnesses and symptoms. What's more there is a substantial body of evidence to support this. Click here to find research that has been carried out on acupuncture including low back pain, nausea and osteoarthritis knee pain.
A popular myth
One of the most popular myths surrounding acupuncture is the size of the needle used in treatment. Research shows that 21 per cent of the British public think an acupuncturist's needle is as large as that used in an injection. In reality, an acupuncture needle is as fine as a human hair and some are just 0.13mm in length. And while most people might experience a slight tingling sensation when the needle is inserted, it is nothing like the pain of being given an injection.
Despite what you may have heard, many acupuncturists have degree-level qualifications. In addition, all British Acupuncture Council members are bound by strict codes of safe practice and professional conduct, and are fully insured. When you see the letters MBAcC after a practitioner’s name you are guaranteed excellence in training, safe practice and professional conduct, so always look for a practitioner who has British Acupuncture Council membership.
Claims that acupuncture is unsafe are much discussed in the media, yet there is a growing body of research which underlines acupuncture’s safety record. Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. This makes acupuncture one of the safest treatments available.
Side effects from acupuncture treatment given by a fully qualified traditional acupuncturist are few and far between. Any minor side effects experienced, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are usually minor and self-correcting.