Gavin Erickson

Gavin Erickson

Experts offer advice on causes, solutions, avoiding attacks and how to relieve the pain to mark Migraine Awareness Week
Friday, 25 August 2017 11:04

Annual Review 2016

The British Acupuncture Council Annual review 2016

Most people would not consider acupuncture as a possible preventive measure against dementia but this is the finding from a recent Taiwanese research study. They looked at the probability of developing dementia in the years after surviving a stroke. Dementia commonly occurs after a stroke and as well as the effects of this on independent living it also makes another stroke more likely. There has been a substantial amount of research on acupuncture and dementia in China but mainly to investigate possible physiological mechanisms.

This Taiwanese study made use of the fact that very large amounts of data from their National Health Insurance programme (affecting 99% of the population) are available for research purposes. The database records include patient demographics, diagnoses, treatments and expenditures. The researchers identified 226,699 new stroke survivors aged over 50 years in the period 2000-2004. Of these, 5610 had received acupuncture. A control group was formed by selecting non-acupuncture stroke survivors, matched one to one so that their baseline characteristics were almost identical to the acupuncture users (this sort of research is called a retrospective matched cohort study). Each group was analysed up to the end of 2009, and the number of dementia cases diagnosed during that time was recorded.

The acupuncture patients had a lower incidence of newly diagnosed dementia: 26.5 vs 34.6 per 1000 person-years, a significant difference. Acupuncture also appeared to be more effective than standard physical rehabilitation, but combining both treatments was the best option, as shown in the table.

 

Treatment    Dementia incidence per 1000 person-years
No acu, no rehab   35.9
Rehab alone  34.1
Acu alone    29.8
Both acu & rehab   25.0

This benefit did not hold for the sub-group of patients with haemorrhagic stroke (bleeding from the brain, rather than the more common ischaemic type, where the blood supply gets blocked) but these only made up 8% of the total.

Imaging studies have shown that acupuncture has a stabilising effect on activity in the brain but the evidence that this leads to clinical improvement for neurological conditions like MS, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke and dementia is thin on the ground. Although it has its limitations this present study has the enormous advantages of a large sample size and relevance to the whole population. As such it is an important addition to our knowledge on the possible benefits of acupuncture for stroke and dementia.

Circa £25,000 to £29,000, depending on experience
Full-time, permanent position

We are looking for an Education & Professional Development Administrator to join our team. The post-holder will report to the Education & Professional Development Manager and will also work closely with our regional coordinators, supporting the delivery of a range of services relating to our educational and professional development offerings.

The Education & Professional Development Administrator is responsible for coordinating agreed support programmes, including researching and organising events, maintaining accurate records, minute taking, administering committee meetings, and general office administration. As such, they should be a competent administrator with excellent IT, database and organisational skills.

The successful candidate will work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, therefore must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills and be able to liaise positively and professionally with others.

This is a full-time position; however we would be open to the possibility of a job share for the right candidates.

To apply for the role, please send your CV along with a covering letter, outlining your interest in and suitability for the role, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15:00 on the 16th August 2017.

Interviews will take place on the 4th September and we would ask that candidates keep this date free.

Last month one of the top US medical journals, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), carried an article on the prevention of migraine. Although this was billed as being a summary of information about treatment options that are endorsed by the US government this didn't appear to be true, and moreover acupuncture was missing. Acupuncture is one of the very best treatments for preventing migraines, and is even recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, so we thought that it was worth writing a letter to the editor. In the event, they chose not to publish it but we reproduce it below, to give you an idea of the various arguments and to encourage others to take up their pens when they think there is a case to answer.

Questioning the medical establishment: a letter about migraine
Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:35

a test join us page

Why Join the BAcC

The BAcC is the membership body for career practitioners of professional traditional acupuncture. We are globally recognised and a leading member of the European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association (ETCMA). Probably mention something about the PSA here too.

number 1 benefit
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number 4 benefit
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number 5 benefit
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BAcC member Beverley de Valois is well known as an expert and researcher in the use of acupuncture for cancer survivors.

She is a Research Acupuncturist at the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in London and also holds an honorary research position at the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol.

She has published a series of papers on the benefits of acupuncture for cancer survivors and is writing a book on acupuncture and cancer survivorship. Her PhD investigated using acupuncture to manage hormone treatment-related hot flushes experienced by women with early breast cancer. In her post-doctoral research, she turned her attention to lymphoedema and was awarded a grant by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). Her clinical trial in this area entails both quantitative measurement of the treatment effects and also qualitative investigation into the thoughts, feelings and experience of the participants.

It is the qualitative paper “The monkey on your shoulder”: a qualitative study of lymphoedema patients’ attitudes to and experiences of acupuncture and moxibustion that Beverley entered into the 2017 competition for the prestigious "Scientific Article Prize" put up by the International Society of Complementary Medicine Research ( ISCMR). This competition covers papers published internationally over the last two years. Qualitative research rarely makes the headlines or wins the plaudits so we applaud her for this recognition and hope that next time she can go one better: any prize money would be ploughed back into her workplace.

The paper is an open access paper and is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4298420

 

Free community acupuncture clinics now open at 3 London centres

27 June 2017, London - The 2,000 year old medical practice of acupuncture has been brought into the 21st century through proven and effective research methods to treat patients, children, volunteers and all people impacted in times of shock and trauma.

Worldwide, acupuncture is seen to have a place in disaster medicine. Treatments have been used to aid citizens during times of critical disasters these include post 9/11 treatments to the New York City community, the aftermath of the 2011 hurricane in Teresópolis, Brazil, whereby 900 died. In the UK military personnel the receive acupuncture for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Battlefield Acupuncture is widely taught and used by the USA military.

Two London Acupuncturists rallied together after the Grenfell Tower tragedy to set up front line “Emergency Acupuncture” at various London locations. Since then, over 50 volunteer acupuncturists have joined the cause to treat the community for post traumatic stress. Some of our team has worked in Gaza and Myanmar so we have this amazing front line experience. In addition, a number of acupuncture supply companies have agreed to match donations for equipment to aid the emergency acupuncture clinics.

Emergency Acupuncture can be found at the following locations:

  • Ad hoc ‘Street Clinics’ under the flyer over near Westway Sports Centre, where treat the public on the street
  • The Mosque: Fridays – 4 -7pm and Saturdays 1 – 5pm. The Muslim Cultural Centre 244 Acklam Road, W10 5YG
  • The Dalgarno Centre, Dalgarno Way, London W10 5LE. Treatment space on Fridays 10am – 1pm

Community Style Acupuncture consists of:

Ear / Auricular treatments using pre-packaged, sterilized, disposable needles or ear magnets.

Treatments done in a group setting using an effective protocol for reducing stress, panic and anxiety, improving sleep, and creating a general sense of well-being.

"We have already treated hundreds of people; the benefits to people’s lives has been incredible, which no other medicine can do in this immediate way, our team have worked flat out and the results have been absolutely fantastic.”

Sheira Chan, Co-Founder, Emergency Acupuncture
Contacts:
Gisela Norman 07968 855 001
Sheira Chan 07761 092 904

Q: I have been for 3 acupuncture session over the last week. I am going for various reasons, CFS/ME, anxiety and the flu amongst some other moans and groans. After the first session I was pretty ill with indigestion and nausea and aching. Nothing much after the second session but a headache. After the third session however I am feeling very strange, I feel almost out of it for lack of a better description. I cant seem to get myself to focus at work no matter what I do and had a panick attack which I don't usually suffer from. I am spaced and feel removed. I am also a bit nauseous. Is this normal and has anyone else described this. When will it pass? I need to work and I am getting anxious. Is it a good sign.

A: It's always very difficult for us to comment when we do not have a full case history in front of us, and better still, an actual patient. We are always aware that if we take issue with what someone has done without knowing the full picture we might make an unfair criticism for which we might be held to account.

What we do wonder, though, is whether it is entirely wise to do as much treatment in a week to someone with a background of MS/CFS who has reacted very strongly to the initial session. In people whose immune systems have been weakened by long term illness it is always wisest to start slowly with the strength of treatment and to row back if they throw quite severe reactions. This is not a universal rule, but it is impossible to tell after a single session whether the effects are a clearing of imbalances or an adverse reaction to treatment.

We suppose that since the second treatment didn't really cause anything over-dramatic the practitioner decided that it was the former, a mild-ish reaction which could indicate the beginning of the process of healing, and treated again. In the event, the further reactions after the third session might call for a review of that judgement.

It is highly likely that if you have been slightly overtreated the effects will not last that long. Acupuncture is a remarkably safe therapy, and the only serious incidents involve the penetration of organs with needles, and these occasions are very rare. If someone has a strong reaction to treatment then it normally lasts no more than 48 hours at most, and usually less. We suspect that by the time you receive this you will already be feeling a great deal more 'normal'.

It may, of course, be that the problems are not at all connected to the treatment; CFS issues can often come up at any time. However, it does look like the treatment is implicated, so it is really important that you discuss this with your practitioner in determining how to proceed. This might mean less frequent or less powerful treatment, and we are sure that a properly trained and qualified practitioner will listen to your concerns and respond accordingly.

We did say, though, that without looking at you and the case history we could not say for sure whether the practitioner was in any way at fault, and it may well be that he or she is surprised by this outcome and well able to respond positively to the feedback you are providing. Treatment is sometimes like a voyage of discovery where a practitioner can only find out what the best strategy is by setting off as normal and then reacting if the signs are that the treatment is too much for the patient. The practitioner may well have made a judgement that you needed frequent treatment based on your case notes, but your reactions might suggest that this is not the best way forward.

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