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BAcC responds to NICE guidelines re acupuncture for back pain on the NHS

Date: Wednesday, 27 May 2009 22:24

BAcC responds to NICE guidelines re acupuncture for back pain on the NHS

26 May 2009

The British Acupuncture Council, the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture, fully supports NICE's (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) decision that acupuncture be made available on the NHS for chronic lower back pain.

Traditional acupuncture has been used for over 2,000 years to alleviate back pain and British Acupuncture Council members have for many many years been successfully treating patients for this condition either in private practice or working within the NHS. In effect, therefore, these new guidelines are a rubber stamp of the positive work already being undertaken as well as an endorsement of the wealth of research evidence now available in this area.

Back pain affects more than 1.1 million people in the UK with 95% of patients suffering from lower back pain problems [1]. Recent research has shown that acupuncture treatment can be effective in treating back pain [2] and introducing acupuncture treatment on the NHS can be very beneficial for patients who are suffering from the one of the nation's main reasons for work-related sickness absence [3].
It is essential for patients to choose an acupuncturist who is registered with a professional body. British Acupuncture Council members have extensive undergraduate degree level training in acupuncture and biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture in the UK. They are bound by strict codes of ethics, and safe practice and professional conduct.
Every patient who visits a British Acupuncture Council practitioner is given a full consultation prior to treatment in order for a traditional diagnosis and treatment plan to be drawn up.

The profession of traditional acupuncture continues to be a beneficial and effective therapy for a variety of conditions and the thorough consultation and diagnostic process is of paramount importance to its efficacy.

The British Acupuncture Council is working towards the forthcoming statutory regulation of acupuncture to ensure the highest standards of professional excellence are maintained.

Mike O'Farrell
Chief Executive, The British Acupuncture Council


As with all healthcare treatments, it is important to find a registered and qualified practitioner. To find a practitioner in your area call the British Acupuncture Council on 020 8735 0400 or visit

Press enquiries: Amy Seaman - Tel: (01903) 821550 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[1] NHS
[2] Statistics provided from HTA Spotlight: Acupuncture for back pain
Research by the University of Regensburg has shown that acupuncture is one of the most effective therapies for back pain. The research published by Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that acupuncture can provide significantly more relief from lower back pain than conventional therapies. The Chinese needle treatment was 74% more likely to lead to a sustained reduction in pain or improved ability to function normally than physiotherapy, medication and advice on exercise.
[3] NHS

About the British Acupuncture Council

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has a membership of around 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture.

BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in traditional acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture in the UK.

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