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Supermodel Jodie Kidd talks lifestyle in the Daily Mail - Jodie is supporting the Simplyhealth back care app which includes British Acupuncture Council members in its practitioner list. Simplyhealth will be donating £1 for every download to the charity Backcare.
1. The names of all members shall appear on the register together with their practice details. It shall be the duty of each member to inform the Membership Manager of any changes.
2. Only in exceptional circumstances will consideration be given not to include the member’s name and/or practice details on the publicly available register.
Such circumstances shall include:
- The member or a member of their family has been, or is likely to be, the subject of harassment by an individual or individuals, and knowledge of the member’s name or practice details might put them at risk.
- The member or a member of their family has been threatened or assaulted by an individual or individuals and their safety is at risk.
- By order of the Court.
- By reason of any witness protection programme or similar scheme.
- Any other exceptional circumstance which the member or their named representative may present in writing for consideration by the Registrar.
3. Members who inform the Membership Manager in writing that they intend to retire within 12 months will be allowed to remove their practice details, although not their names, from the register to enable them to wind down their practices.
4. In the event that the circumstances outlined in Para 2, subsections 1-4, do not provide clear evidence of a need to remove the member’s name or practice details from the publicly available Register, the Membership Manager will refer the case to the Registrar for further consideration.
5. The Registrar’s decision relating to any matters raised under Par 2 sections 1-5 will be final and not subject to further appeal.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen is undergoing acupuncture treatment to help with knee and calf problems.
Find your local qualified acupuncturist www.acupuncture.org.uk/find
Q. Has or can acupuncture be practiced on children with juvenile arthritis? My daughter suffered terribly with her knees & had had fluid drained on many occasions & steroid injections but it never lasts for long. She's also been on very strong pain killers too.
A. Many children are successfully treated with acupuncture, and juvenile arthritis is one of a number of conditions for which acupuncture is mentioned in nearly all of the review papers of alternative and complementary treatments for the condition. We would like to say that this is because there is robust evidence that it works, but we're afraid that it is simply a reflection of the fact that in desperate circumstances people will try almost anything, and there are going to be times when the treatment works.
That said, traditional acupuncture is based on an entirely different way of looking at the body as a flow of energy with distinct patterns and rhythms of flow. If these are disturbed either locally where the problem occurs or systemically of which the local problem is a specific manifestation, then until the flow is properly restored the symptom will continue. This is why, from a Chinese medicine perspective, the conventional treatments will appear strange - getting rid of the fluid or reducing the swelling isn't really dealing with the problem. A skilled practitioner will need to see what else is happening in the whole system and look at how things have progressed to be able to start to address the specific manifestations.
Children are also not the same a little adults. There are a number of ways in which a child's energy and its treatment is different from that of an adult. Although we have not yet fully agreed standards for paediatric acupuncture, there are a number of specialist postgraduate courses for treating children whose graduates are specially trained to work with children. Although most of us treat the occasional child, we would also concede that people who focus their time on this group develop a very effective way of working with children which is to everyone's advantage. We cannot give specific referrals, but using google to search for 'acupuncture' 'children' and your area may well generate a number of hits for BAcC members who have undertaken specialist training . The same search methods will also quickly identify the courses, some of which list graduates by area to help search for a practitioner with the requisite skills.
Our best advice is always to try to visit a BAcC member local to you to discuss whether acupuncture treatment is suitable. Most will offer a little time without charge to establish whether acupuncture is the best treatment, and most will also know of other techniques which it may be worth investigating if they feel that the problem lies outside the limits of their scope of practice.
The $64,000 question is what we mean by 'help' in these circumstances. The first thing a practitioner would need to know was the exact nature of the accident. If there has been permanent damage to a physical structure like a bone, tendon or ligament, or if a nerve has been damaged beyond the body's ability to repair, then this severely limits what might be possible. There is a very small amount of evidence that acupuncture may be able to help nerve regeneration but this comes from the experimental end of the acupuncture world and often involves trials on animals, or 'ratpuncture' as some of our colleagues cheerfully dismiss it.
Within the limitations posed by physical damage, however, the Chinese medicine systems have an entirely different way of looking at the workings of the body as a flow of energy, called 'qi', whose balance, flow and rhythm determine the state of a person's health. Where there has been accidental damage to the body, this is seen as impairing the flow of qi in the affected area, and there may be some physical damage the effects of which might be lessened by treatment. It is not unusual, for example, for patients who have had major scarring from injury or surgery to face difficulties in the flow of energy because of the physical obstruction caused by keloid (or cheloid) tissue. Very simple procedures to reinstate the local flow can sometimes have profound effects.
There is also a different way of looking at the flaccidity of muscles. In conventional medicine this is usually viewed as a direct consequence of nerve damage and a great deal of physiotherapy treatment is applied to retain whatever function is left. From the chinese medicine point of view, the weakness and loss of bulk in muscles is seen as a weakness in the flow of qi, and needles are used to promote good flow. This is most clearly instanced in post-stroke treatment, where in China acupuncture is applied vigorously and as soon as possible to the muscles which have been affected by the stroke to try to restore the flow of qi. Reasonably good evidence suggests that this can really speed up recovery, although as always the quality and methodological soundness of Chinese studies is often in question.
However, the advice we tend to give rather frequently is to arrange a brief visit to a BAcC member local to you for them to be able to give you a face to face assessment of what acupuncture treatment may be able to achieve. Each person is regarded as unique and different in Chinese medicine, so even two people with the same presenting symptom would often be given entirely different treatment. What we can't see at this remove, and can't tell from your question, is the actual damage from the accident, and also the investigations and tests you have had to establish the limitations within which recovery is possible. With that information a practitioner should be able to give you a reasonable estimate of what acupuncture treatment may be able to achieve.
Q. Following an MRI scan I have been diagnosed as having "central canal stenosis with degenerative changes at L4-L5 level and moderate disc herniation". I have difficulty walking more than 200 metres. Is it at all likely that acupuncture would have a significant positive effect?
A. We are sorry to hear of your difficulties. We were asked this question many years ago, and our advice has not changed that substantially. Back then we wrote:
Lumbar canal stenosis can manifest in many symptoms dependent on the extent of the stenosis. Our colleagues in America are very upbeat about the potential for success in treating lumbar canal stenosis; if you google 'lumbar stenosis acupuncture' you will see an article on the www.acupuncture.com site which speaks positively of success rates, as well as an 'acupuncture today' listing which also gives good cause for hope.
Personally we tend to take a slightly more guarded view of the chances of success, and base our own prognoses on gathering as much information as we can about the condition - how long the person has suffered from it, is it degenerative, does it have peaks and troughs, has it been exacerbated by accident or trauma, and so on - before committing to treatment. Even though we are working with entirely different diagnostic systems, if a condition has some very severe manifestations based on irreversible physical change, the expectations of a 'good' result have to be lowered accordingly, even what might count as a 'good' result.
The best advice that we can give is that you discuss this with a practitioner whom you might consider seeing and ask their advice. Many of our colleagues are happy to discuss someone's concerns with them rather than book them straight in, and a significant number are happy to set aside a few minutes to meet someone and offer a more informed view of whether they can help based on a rapid assessment of the actual presentation.
Since we gave this advice there have been a number of studies such as this one
which give some cause for optimism, although finding a UK practitioner able to deliver this particular form of treatment may take some doing. The most recent systematic review
is much more guarded in its views.
However, it is often possible that the symptoms from which people suffer are not directly related to a physical change in the same area. We find that many people are told that arthritic changes in the lower spine are responsible for their chronic low back pain, but we often see the pain reduce or vanish without any accompanying physical change. Acupuncture has, in fact, been accepted within NICE guidelines as an effective treatmen for the treatment of chronic low back pain, and the evidence base is certainly more compelling than for many other western named conditions. Our fact sheet on back pain
gives more background.
The best advice we can give remains the same - visit a BAcC member local to you for a brief face to face assessment of whether they think you might benefit from acupuncture treatment.
The BAcC continues to receive calls and emails about the NHBTS policy that any patient who has had acupuncture treatment delivered by a practitioner who is not statutorily regulated has to wait four months before they can donate blood. This change to the NHSBT's donor criteria came into effect in late 2009,and with the statutory regulation of acupuncturists now unlikely in the foreseeable future, this could mean that someone having regular treatment with a BAcC member would never qualify to donate blood.
The BAcC has exemplary safety standards and campaigned vigorously to challenge this decision. We have since done our best to make sure that all of our members let their patients know that they must wait four months to donate blood or bone marrow products.
The official notification and rationale for the decision is available on http://www.transfusionguidelines.org/docs/pdfs/dl_change_note_2009_32.pdf and http://www.transfusionguidelines.org/docs/pdfs/dl_change_note_2009_33.pdf but some enquirers have found this difficult to locate on official sites.
The BAcC is fully committed to reversing this decision for the benefit of the patients of its members. The recent accreditation of the BAcC under the Professional Standards Authority Assured Voluntary Register scheme has given us hope that this new flagship scheme will provide the recognition of exemplary standards the BAcC needs for its members to be granted exemption from the deferral period for donation.
To promote Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19th May), The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has partnered with Anxiety UK, the country's leading anxiety disorders charity to launch a joint research project and increase awareness of how traditional acupuncture can help those with anxiety disorders.
"I consider acupuncture, with its ancient and honourable history, to be an underused resource within the NHS. In my case it has been 100% effective and has no side effects.
Mrs Sandra Hancock, BSc"