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We are always a little wary of the term 'healing crisis'. We do on many occasions see a phenomenon which is much more associated with homeopathic theory, and called the 'Law of Cure'. This describes where symptoms which have been a part of a gradual increasing imbalance in the system can re-appear in reverse chronological order as the system recovers. Hence someone who used to have eczema as a child, and then asthma as a young adult, both of which appeared to go, may well get a return, often quite a sharp one, as the treatment begins to take. This is consistent with ideas of pathogens invading the system and being expelled as they are addressed, which is certainly a concept within Chinese medicine.

Where people start throwing new symptoms, however, which are not a part of their health background or previous medical history we are a little reluctant to call them 'healing crises'. We are more likely to start asking the patient questions about what has been going on recently, and whether something they have done may have caused their problems to appear. In your case the fall four years ago and the recent short fall could well have started to generate the kinds of aches and pains you are now getting. This expert broke his wrist as a teenager at school without realising it and only had it diagnosed in his late twenties when the vast amount of writing involved in his PhD started to generate a little arthritis where the old injury had been, a sort of RSI on top of an initial trauma.  

As for the neck pains resurfacing, these can often be a consequence not only of injury but of poor posture in the lower back, and we have seen a number of occasions when treatment aimed at helping the whole system (as we are sure yours will be if you are seeing a traditional acupuncturist) may well cause a functional improvement in musculature which in turn forces muscles adapted to a previous balance having to adjust to a new setting, relaxing where they had been tense and tensing where they had been relaxed. This can also generate short term discomfort.

Our main thought, though, would be to get some of the physical structure checked, perhaps by X-ray or MRI. You might see your GP to arrange this, or you might want to visit an osteopath to see if there has been some change to the overall physical structure which they can find. We often cross-refer with osteopaths in these types of situation because we find the two treatments work well together, and they are often well placed to check whether there has been change in the bones. The neck is an area of considerable impact on the whole upper body, and if there has been deterioration in the cervical spine, which they should be able to detect, then it is possible that this may be causing nerve impingement and pains in the lower limb.

The bottom line, though, is that unless there is a clear correlation between the symptoms someone has and past patterns of disease or imbalance we tend to act as though these were newly presenting symptom rather than considering them as healing crises. Sometimes things feel like they are getting worse because they are getting worse, and it is far better to assume this rather than do nothing while persistent changes become more firmly entrenched.

The best person to be talking to, however, is your practitioner who has actual sight of what is going on and a much clearer picture of your whole system than we can hope to have. You could usefully talk to them about your concerns, and obtain their advice based on what they know of your overall patterns of energy.  

We aren't really supposed to recommend individual practitioners - from our perspective all of our members are equally well qualified to treat almost all of the patients who are likely to come to them - but in this case it is simply a matter of using your criteria and looking at databases.

There are two RCHM members who are also BAcC members. These are:

Louise Attwood

The Jade Centre of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine19 Blake Grove, Chapel AllertonLeeds, LS7 3NQEngland0113 345 83367954139668

Liuqing Wang

Chinese Acupuncture & HerbsManston Approach, CrossgatesLeeds, LS15 8BQEngland0113 26011777759975383

However, we need to point out that there may well be a large number of BAcC members who are properly qualified in Chinese Herbal medicine but choose not to join a second register for reasons of cost. Our insurers are more than happy to cover people who meet the qualifying standard for herbal medicine, and many are content to operate in this way. 

It might we worthwhile contacting the practitioners nearest to you by using the postcode search facility on our home page and checking whether any of them do also use herbs.

This is an interesting question because it highlights an issue which is at the core of the way we practise. Chinese medicine is inherently generalist in nature, i.e. using the core principles of the paradigm it is theoretically possible for any practitioner who has been suitably trained to treat any patient. This always has to be qualified with the statement that treat doesn't mean 'cure', as is sometimes intended in questions like 'do you treat migraines?, and especially in questions about the treatment of cancer, where a misunderstanding of what 'treating' means can lead to misinterpretations of what we do as 'treating cancer.' We treat people, and aim to restore the basic balances of their energies in order that symptoms which arise as a result of these imbalances can be reduced to removed.

There are a number of areas where we are looking at that counts as specialist practice, the two principal ones being paediatrics and obstetrics. The first is because children are not simply tiny adults but in some respects behave differently in their energetic function, and there are now specialist postgraduate courses which people take to work with children. Obstetric acupuncture is usually more about adding to the western medical knowledge which people need to fully understand fertility and late stage pregnancy issues, although there are some special techniques and energetic patterns which are not a part of everyone's core training. Here again there are recognised postgraduate training courses which underpin a claim to specialism.

In all other cases it would be fair to say that the claim to specialism would generally be regarded as unfounded. Certainly we know of no colleagues who have made this their primary focus,. although we suspect that those who spend a great deal of time working with sports injuries or those who are dual qualified as osteopaths or physiotherapists alongside their acupuncture training may have a more detailed knowledge of the mechanics of the pelvic area.

Our usual advice, though, to visit a practitioner to discuss what treatment might be able to offer is something we feel confident in doing on the basis that all practitioners will be able to offer useful and constructive advice, and be in a position to follow it up with treatment
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 14:23

Can foot numbness be caused by nerve damage

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We are not quite sure what we can offer as an answer without a more detailed question about acupuncture.

Obviously nerve damage can and will cause numbness, as will nerve impingement where there has been damage to surrounding tissue which compresses a nerve. Numbness can also arise where there has been some change in the structure of the spine, especially in the lower back, and where either a protruding disc or vertebral spine pressing on a nerve has generated this as a symptom. There are also conditions like diabetes, Parkinsons disease and MS where changes in the physical structure of the nerves themselves, leading to numbness or neuropathy.

The key issue is which parts of the foot are affected. The most effective way of checking is to see your GP and arrange for a referral to a neurologist. This will identify which nerves have been affected and together with other elements of a differential diagnosis identify the probable cause.

This is an acupuncture website, though, and just in case you are experiencing foot numbness after treatment we can tell you that there are very few recorded instances of permanent damage to nerves following acupuncture treatment. The most common outcome, even though this is itself rare, is that needling has caused internal bruising which has pressed on a nerve. This would be very specific, however, and the impact experienced in a very local and defined area. It would be very unusual, if not impossible, for a practitioner to cause the foot as a whole to be numb.

If the numbness has arisen as a consequence of treatment we can only suggest that you check with the practitioner to see if there is any chance that he or she might have been culpable by virtue of where the needles were inserted. If this is not the case then we suggest that you contact your GP fairly soon to have the numbness further investigated. 

The majority of UK training courses for acupuncture are part-time, although one or two are offered as university courses with full-ish time attendance and the whole infrastructure of student loans, etc etc.

We can really only speak about the courses which we recognise through the independent accreditation system we set up twenty five years ago. The British Acupuncture Accreditation Board accredits courses which meet an exacting standard not only of education but also of student and staff resources, what makes the learning experience an effective one. Graduates of BAAB courses are automatically eligible to join the BAcC subject to the usual health and criminal record checks.

A full list of the accredited courses can be found here: https://www.baab.co.uk/accredited-courses.html. The Board's website also has a great deal of useful information about what becoming an acupuncturist involves.

Some of the courses have developed substantial distance learning elements to accommodate people like yourself who have no choice but to maintain full time employment while they train, and to cover the fact that there are some large areas where training is not offered. If you look through the details of each course you will quickly see which these are. Most courses have open days for prospective students, and these are really worth attending for the courses which you think might be suitable.

You might also contact a local BAcC member to see if they would be willing to give up a little time to tell you about what being a professional acupuncturist means. This is likely to be a very realistic picture!

There are, obviously, other courses which feed into other professional associations, but we don't really feel qualified to offer information or comment on these.



Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:35

a test join us page

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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.

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number 4 benefit
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question

Q:  Since my daughter had a long seizure at the beginning of July she has lost her appetite, she also had a uti and was very poorly being high dependency initially. She cannot talk/global developmental delay. Could acupuncture help?

We are very sorry to hear of your daughter's problems.

A:  Underneath your very brief description of the rather difficult recent past seems to be a longer standing problem, unless the global development display has been a consequence of the seizure. However, we suspect that this cannot be the case - the diagnosis could not be made on the basis of a couple of months of poor progress.

A:  If this is the case, the underlying causes for the development delay could be associated with the reasons for the seizure and may also have a considerable impact on treatment aimed at helping with things like appetite loss of recurrent UTIs. These things are treatable to a degree, but the traditional Chinese medicine approach takes the whole person into account when assessing the case and making a prognosis, rather than simply addressing a symptom. The only way to establish whether acupuncture might be of benefit your daughter, given the complexity of her case, would be to visit a local BAcC member experienced in working with children.

Paediatrics is one of the three fields where we are close to establishing recognised standards which would enable our members to claim to be experts and advertise themselves as such, but we are not quite there yet. If, however, you google 'acupuncture children' along with the place you live you will find at least one or two people who have undertaken postgraduate training with the two main providers in this field, and this will lead you to members who focus their practice on working with children. Children are not simply littler versions of adults, and there are a number of areas where a patient would benefit from the specialist skills which these members learn over and above the generalist skills which we all possess.

You may find in your searches that there have been some interesting developments in the field of scalp acupuncture and developmental delay. These, while exciting, are far from being properly researched, and we would advise a little caution if you do come across this and think it may offer a solution to your daughter's problems. Scalp acupuncture is a modern variant, and we are not really in a position to comment on it. We are aware that one or two very experienced practitioners are using this to good effect, but we are also aware that a desperate parent will often throw caution to the wind when looking to help a  child. If you do come across someone offering this kind of treatment you would be wise to check their training background carefully.


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Wednesday, 24 April 2013 19:23

Conference for members and students

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You need to login to book for the conference as a BAcC full or student member

 

Full members login and register for the conference here

 

Students login and register for the conference here

 

 

 

Thursday, 18 August 2011 17:16

testcodes

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Saturday, 28 May 2011 19:53

test-hp

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