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What sorts of conditions respond to acupuncture?

  • Acupuncture is effective in a range of painful conditions and is commonly used for short-term relief of chronic low back pain and neck pain, and can help with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
  • There is good evidence that it is effective in the short term relief of tension type headaches and migraine, and of temporomandibular (jaw joint) pain.
  • Short term improvements in the symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome.

This is not a complete list and other conditions have been treated with acupuncture. Should firm enough clinical evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture treatment for other conditions become available they will be listed here.

The BMAS does not claim that acupuncture can treat all conditions and it would be dangerous to do so.

Treatment for addictions and smoking

There is no clinical evidence that acupuncture is useful in the management of withdrawal from nicotine or other addictive substances.


Acupuncture for weight loss

There is no clinical evidence that acupuncture is useful in the management of weight loss.

What is involved in having acupuncture?

Every patient will have an initial assessment, followed by a course of treatment suitable for the condition.

Treatment is usually provided in six consecutive appointments but may be less if the condition responds quickly. However, if the practitioner feels that your condition can not be treated with acupuncture, you will be recommended to see your GP or appropriate specialist.

The treatment itself involves fine needles being inserted through the skin and briefly left in position. Sometimes manual or low voltage electrical stimulation is applied to assist the process. The number of needles varies but may be only two or three.

Who will give the acupuncture treatment?

All BMAS acupuncturists are regulated healthcare professionals, who have also undertaken additional training in Western medical acupuncture. Many of them are GPs although increasing numbers come from other healthcare professions.

BMAS members work within the scope of their primary profession, and are able to use their orthodox healthcare training to assess and safely treat conditions a variety of conditions that are suitable for acupuncture.

Health Care Providers and insurance schemes

Some private health care providers such as BUPA, PPP and WPA pay for treatment under their health care policies. They will usually only do this if the treatment is being provided by an accredited BMAS member. If you are a member of a health care scheme, please telephone them for further information.

Click on the following for further information:

FIND A PRACTITIONER IN YOUR AREA

ATTENDING THE BMAS LONDON TEACHING CLINIC AS A PATIENT

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE

INFORMATION ABOUT BLOOD DONATION AFTER ACUPUNCTURE