"I’m so glad that I learned acupuncture before I retired from my NHS practice. I can continue to see acupuncture patients on a private basis at a time and pace to suit us both. So much more relaxing! Each new patient is like a puzzle to solve and I enjoy working with the patients to achieve the maximum benefit possible."
"Pain in the movement system is my daily bread and butter as a GP. Acupuncture is a vital tool in diagnosis and provision of care. With the needle being the extension of my fingertips I can explore soft tissues and identify and treat myofascial trigger points in an immediate act of care. It allows me to establish a different relationship with the patient, if I choose to do so. In some instances this act of embodied care is what is needed and it allows a different relationship, in particular with the ones with chronic pain. Lying down and receiving care, having this space of 'down-time' and 'care-time' can transform the conversation about pain, self-management, acceptance etc. Acupuncture is an investment into a better relationship. It transforms 'usual care' into better care and is also an important part of holding work: the ones whose pain is not going to go away need often a little bit support in their status quo. No NICE guideline encompasses this situation. Acupuncture is for me part of pastoral care."
"I use acupuncture as a detective, as a therapist, as pastor, as a scientist..."
"As a GP I can't imagine not using acupuncture in my day to day work as it is an intrinsic part of what I do. Once confident in needling I was quickly able to use it within a 10 minute consultation and have also been lucky enough to have a separate acupuncture clinic with longer appointments. Acupuncture enhances your connection with patients as you are actively treating them whilst also in a therapeutic encounter. As well as treating tight bands of muscle it enables the body to release endorphins, serotonin, and lots of biochemicals that generally enhance well-being. Patients really appreciate your dual role as health care professional and therapist. I have found my acupuncture work the most rewarding of all of my patient encounters."
"I'm a full time NHS GP in St Albans and have integrated acupuncture into my practice over the past 20 years or so. Not only do I use it to treat musculoskeletal conditions within 10 minute appointments but I am lucky enough to have a weekly clinic, which I run jointly with one of our excellent nurse acupuncturists. Our only funding is through voluntary donations, but this is a valued and well supported service - by colleagues and patients alike. The feedback from patients is really amazing and it gives me a great buzz to be able to make such a real difference and to be able to treat such a wide range of conditions with consistently good results and occasional miracles, which no other aspect of my job provides. I am well acquainted with BMAS courses and have encouraged many colleagues to attend and have mentored several as they gain experience after their initial training. Acupuncture and contact with BMAS over many years has also opened up new horizons and opened my eyes to practice across the world, as well as giving me the opportunity to achieve publications in Acupuncture in Medicine
and present my work to colleagues and peers."
"Western medical acupuncture (WMA) is an essential skill for any practitioner dealing with musculoskeletal presentations. WMA is my preferred approach for very acute patients who cannot tolerate manual osteopathic treatment. At the other end of the spectrum, it can be extremely effective in cases of chronic pain and restriction, including management of osteoarthritic joints – improving the patient’s pain, function and quality of life. Treatment with WMA need not be a protracted undertaking, as some of the most memorable treatment outcomes are achieved with only a few minutes of needling."
"I have used my acupuncture as a GP locum, a physician in a hospital setting, and now as a medical acupuncturist working in independent practice. I found it most rewarding treating musculoskeletal conditions as a GP, setting up a back pain acupuncture clinic in hospital, and now treating the widest variety of conditions that acupuncture can help in my private work. The BMAS has helped feed all my acupuncture needs! I was recommended the BMAS Foundation Course in 1994 by a friend. I am so glad I took his advice and went on the course."
"As a physiotherapist, Western medical acupuncture allows me to treat musculoskeletal conditions infinitely more effectively and efficiently than any other modality. 80% of my patients' conditions are either resolved or improved significantly after one visit. This is probably due to the condition often being myofascial pain. The one treatment 'miracle' has hence become the norm, in comparison to the typical average of six weeks using conventional physiotherapy modalities. Acupuncture gives my practice that edge that is needed in a competitive environment."
"I am now in my twelfth year of providing acupuncture to patients - now my full time profession having left the NHS. Casting my mind back to the Foundation Course, there was a superb cameraderie with Mike and his team with us the students. I remember feeling anxious as I wasn't a medical Dr and felt I knew nothing, then realised my partner when needling each other was in exactly the same place as me! Fast forward to 2017, I run my own successful practice and love every minute, every patient is a new adventure and a puzzle to solve. Best moments for me are when patients hobble in and walk out pain free, when a fertility lady lets me know she's pregnant and when a birth prep lady gives me feedback on a superb and quick labour. Not an exhaustive list, but acupuncture has certainly been life changing for me.
"I treat a number of chronic conditions with acupuncture and often the patients come as a 'last resort' when there is nothing left to try. I never cease to be amazed at the power and potential of acupuncture to improve different aspects of patients lives."
"As a medical acupuncturist I touch all my patients, and my needles allow me to investigate mechanical sensitivity of tissues to a much greater degree of specificity than my fingers."
"The bottom line: if you manage musculoskeletal pain, having this skill (acupuncture) makes you a better doctor..."