Acupuncture is an ancient system of healing developed over thousands of years as part of the traditional medicine of China, Japan, and other Eastern countries. The earliest records of acupuncture date back over 3,000 years and today there are over 3 million practitioners worldwide.
It is not only acupuncturists who practice acupuncture. There are also chiropractors, osteopaths, medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and anaesthetists who practice some form of acupuncture. Acupuncture maybe also referred to as ‘trigger point therapy’, or ‘dry needling’. Sometimes practitioners may say they practice ‘trigger point therapy’, but not ‘acupuncture’. However, the insertion of a needle into the body for therapeutic effect is acupuncture, regardless of the medical background of the practitioner.
There is also a great variation in training programme… some practitioners are doing acupuncture after only two weekends of acupuncture training. All members of the British Acupuncture Council have extensive acupuncture training and abide by very high standards of this professional body.
At present in the United Kingdom, acupuncture is not state regulated. Regulation is governed by the practitioner’s professional body. The British Acupuncture Council is dedicated to safe and effective acupuncture practice by ensuring high training standards and continual professional development for all practitioners.
I have been practising acupuncture full-time for the last 14 years, and my initial acupuncture training lasted four years. I have a wide range of acupuncture needling styles to suit different individuals and different conditions. Acupuncture isn’t just about finding the right acupuncture point; it is also about the correct depth of needling, the correct needling technique, having a good sensitivity to the needle, and eliciting the correct response.