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We have been asked this question a number of times, and our answer has always been:

Google is a massively powerful search facility, and if you google 'acupuncture anosmia' it looks as though there are a number of studies which give cause for hope. If you look carefully, however, you will see that there is but one study is frequently quoted, generating a number of secondary references. This study, what we call an n=1 case study because it is the report of a single case, is important because it suggests that there may be something worth looking at in the use of acupuncture treatment. The weakness of n=1 studies, of course, is that they are not designed to test acupuncture, and the positive outcome could have arisen for any number of reasons, especially since the case study can provide no evidence for the sudden onset of the problem.That is not to say that acupuncture treatment is not worth trying. The use of Traditional Chinese medicine involves a great deal of questioning and examination to determine the state and flow of the energies of the body, called 'qi', and the state of the organs which are responsible for all of the functional aspects of the body. Even where there is no obvious cause from a conventional medical point of view, it is rare for a symptom to stand alone in Chinese medicine other than where it derives from a blockage. In this case, if the blockage is removed, the function is restored. We strongly suspect that this is what happened in the case study, and blockages of this kind can sometimes occur for no obvious reason.Generally speaking, though, a pattern of disharmony will generate a number of symptoms or changes in function, not all of which are clinically significant from a conventional perspective, and these may point t specific imbalances affecting Organic function. Note that we capitalise the word 'Organ' - what we understand by this in Chinese medicine is a great deal more than a physical unit in the body. The Chinese understanding of an Organ embraced functions on all levels, body mind and spirit, and when practised properly Chinese medicine can legitimately claim to be holistic.The best advice we can give is that you visit a BAcC member local to you for advice on whether they think that acupuncture treatment may be of benefit, and to discuss briefly with you the other aspects of your health which may indicate wider patterns which in turn may link to your problem. That is not to say that there may not be as simple a treatment as the one described in the paper, and one of the points used has the Chinese name 'Welcome Fragrance' suggesting that it may have a direct bearing on the sense of smell. You would certainly not do any harm. However, we would be more likely to look at this as a functional disturbance and be looking at other factors in the system which might point to a treatable pattern.We have had a look through all of the databases again and found references to these four papers which give mixed outcomes for treatment
  1. Vent J, Wang DW, Damm M. Effects of traditional Chinese acupuncture in post-viral olfactory dysfunction. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;142:505–509. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2010.01.012.[PubMed] [Cross Ref]
  2. Silas J, Doty RL. No evidence for specific benefit of acupuncture over vitamin B complex in treating persons with olfactory dysfunction. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;143:603. [PubMed]
  3. Damm M, Vent J. Response to: no evidence for specific benefit of acupuncture over vitamin B complex in treating persons with olfactory dysfunction, by Jonathan Silas and Richard L. Doty. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;143:603–604. [PubMed]
  4. Anzinger A, Albrecht J, Kopietz R, Kleemann AM, Schöpf V, Demmel M, Schreder T, Eichhorn I, Wiesmann M. Effects of laserneedle acupuncture on olfactory sensitivity of healthy human subjects: a placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized trial. Rhinology. 2009;47:153–159. [PubMed]
and don't really give us much cause to be over-optimistic. However, what we said above about blockages and energetic weaknesses is probably a great deal more relevant than studies which are either too small to underpin any conclusions or too specific to one variant of anosmia. Chinese medicine was always and remains the treatment of the person, not the named condition, in the expectation that if the system is in good balance it will repair itself and function as it should. This seems to us a better statement of what we are trying to achieve than 'acupuncture treats x and y', and having used this kind of approach for many, many years we have seen enough problems resolve for which there was no evidence to suggest that a short course of treatment is always worth trying, and will certainly cause no harm.
We are usually asked more specific questions, such as 'can acupuncture help trochanteric bursitis?', and the last time we were asked a generic question about 'bursitis' was in 2012. Remarkably, we said then pretty much what we would have said now had we not found this reply:

The first question we'd have to ask is 'where?'. Many patients present at acupuncture clinics with bursitis of the major joints like the hip, knee, shoulder or elbow, and to a degree the outcome depends on exactly which joint is affected. The same would apply in western medicine; some joints are easier to treat than others, and some easier to immobilise while healing takes place.However, Chinese medicine is very different in its approach to an understanding of the body and the way it works. The theory of Chinese medicine is based on a flow of energy called 'qi' of which the body consists in different forms, and the understanding of how its balance and flow can be affected by illness, lifestyle and constitution. When people suffer from bursitis in a joint, the practitioner will want to establish first whether this is a local problem, caused by an injury or from over-use, or whether it is a consequence of a systemic problem affecting all of the joints to a degree, or a bit of both, as is often the case. Treatment will then be aimed at the appropriate cause, but will almost certainly involve some needles close to where the bursitis is.Because this is quite a broad question, we can't be more specific. There are a number of web-based research resources which will identify relevant papers if you google 'acupuncture, bursitis and the joint concerned', but we strongly suspect that they will tend to say, as many do, that the signs are positive but not conclusive. Not a great deal of research meets rigorous western standards, and the conclusions drawn from it are often cautious. This is not to say that things aren't well researched. Many thousands of studies are conducted in China each year, but they are often premised on the fact that acupuncture works and researching what works better. In the West the policy makers are still troubled by whether acupuncture works or not. We believe that it does, of course!Your best bet is to visit a BAcC member local to you to discuss your specific problem. We trust that they will give you the best advice possible about whether they can help, and if not, what other alternatives there may be.  This remains the best advice we can give, especially the last paragraph about visiting a local BAcC member for a chat about whether treatment may help. Most are only too happy to give up a small amount of time without charge to prospective patients to assess whether acupuncture treatment is the best option.As to your supplementary question, the theories of Chinese medicine tend to describe bursitis in generic terms either as Dampness, a state where the fluids of the body become more viscous and gather in confined areas such as joint capsules, or as blockages due to local obstruction. In both cases the needles stimulate movement in the energy which in turn moves the gathered fluids, but in the case of the former there is usually a systemic element which underpins the local problem. When the bursitis is accompanied by heat and pain there is also an issue about Heat which has to be dispersed. The capitalisation of phenomena like Heat, Damp, Cold and the like is indicative of an entirely different paradigm of medicine which uses terms to describe changes in the microcosm which reflect similar changes on the macrocosm. Chinese medicine abound with illustrations from nature, and in some of the diagnostic systems the annual rhythms of nature are said to be reflected in the balanced nature of the energy of the body. Alterations in this balance are said to reflect what happens in nature if there is too much heat or too much rain.This all sounds a little odd to the western ear, but a system which has survived and continues to provide relief to millions after 2500 years of use must have something more than a placebo effect going for it!
This is a very good question, not least because it does allow for the possibility that the pain in the leg is purely coincidental. We often have to point out to enquirers that with over 4 million  treatments in the UK alone there are going to be occasions when the fact that something happened after a treatment may not mean it happened because of it.

There is a received wisdom in the profession that when we treat successfully symptoms tend to travel outwards, from the trunk to the limbs to the extremities. Indeed, with skin conditions this is almost predictable. The language of Chinese medicine talks about 'invasions' from the exterior to the interior, so when the pattern is reversed it is not surprising that there is a pattern of the pathogens moving to the end of the channels at the fingertips and toes.However, with lower back problems where the discs are worn this can sometimes arise where the treatment brings about a change in the structure of the back through re-educating the muscles, and in turn causes an impingement of the sciatic nerve. This is always a difficult call. The physiotherapists, who undertake as much lower back work as we do, tend to recommend to their practitioners to tread cautiously with lower backs. The body may be sustained in a rather angular fashion by muscles operating at a level of tension which would not be regarded as normal, and when these muscles relax, as they can do with acupuncture treatment, this can allow the spine to settle into a more normal position and cause nerve impingement which the abnormal position prevented.A great depends on whether the original pain persists, and whether the more acute pain in the leg has remained at the same level of intensity since it was caused. If the pain remains  identical and is intractable to treatment then it may be wise to consider postponing further treatment for a while, and looking at more gently options like cranial osteopathy which may be able to help. If the pain is still quite constant but its level is reducing then it may well be worth continuing.The best person with whom to have this conversation is the practitioner. This is very much a judgement call based on a view of the whole energy pattern of the body, and since each individual is unique it is really down to what the practitioner can see in the round. We are confident that the advice you get from them will be practical, sensible and have your wife's best interests in mind.
The British Acupuncture Council works closely with its sister organisation, the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board, which accredits courses the  graduates of which have automatic eligibility to join the BAcC directly without interview. In that sense, the courses which they have accredited, which you can find here what we would regard as 'recommended' courses. Obviously there are other professional associations with their own feeder courses, and other courses operating independently of any professional association structure, but we are not really in a position to comment on them.Of the accredited courses, several are degree programmes which are either housed in universities or have their courses validated by universities, but the acupuncture training is identical in all respects, and it is really a matter of personal choice about obtaining a degree alongside a licence to practise. University courses do tend to cost more, but because they are formally recognised within the higher and further education sector it does mean that grant and support arrangements may be available which would not be automatically possible for a student at a non-university course. This is something which you might need to discuss with the course organisers.Some of the more recently accredited courses have a greater degree of online and distance learning, but there is no substitute for the clinical hours which form a substantial part of each course and which involve in the second and third year of training a greater degree of attendance. We have come across people who have undertaken a year's training and then headed for China to take a three or six month intensive clinical training, often as a way of shortening the length of training and reducing the cost. Our Admissions people have tended to take a rather suspicious view of people trying to beat the system in this way, and often find that the consequence of a rapid training is that people are not really properly ready, in our view, to start in independent practice.This may seem a little protectionist, but our sincerely held belief is that three years of training is the basic minimum to allow sufficient time for reflection and growth in becoming a practitioner. The basic principles of Chinese medicine are relatively easy to learn, but a huge amount of the diagnostic and treatment process depends on experience and observation over time, neither of which can be easily shoe-horned into a short training.There are training courses in Southern Ireland which we understand to be of good quality, and it may be worth exploring whether these may also offer alternatives for you. In any event we wish you good luck in pursuing what we believe to be a truly satisfying and worthwhile career.
We have checked the BAcC database and they show that one of our members is working from the address. Whether they are the only acupuncturist there is something we cannot tell: membership of a professional association or membership of the BAcC is not a statutory requirement, and there are practitioners who choose to operate independently. We think, however, that this is one of our members, and she appears to be working alongside a statutorily regulated chiropractor

If it is  you can rest assured that you are being treated by someone who is properly trained and qualified. To enter the BAcC someone must have completed three years of degree level training at an accredited college, and over the last twenty years the training for UK acupuncture practitioners has developed tremendously. As a member of the BAcC she is fully insured under our group policy, and also required to abide by some extremely high professional standards, especially in matters of safe practice and conduct.It is not unusual for many of our members to work solely with Yellow Page entries, referrals from the BAcC website and word of mouth referrals. Many choose not to have websites, sometimes because the restrictions on what we can say are quite strictly policed by the Advertising Standards Authority, but mainly because they would rather explain what they do and how they work directly. Some female practitioner also feel a little exposed when advertising their services, and we are sorry to say that we have had cases of stalking and inappropriate attention.We are confident that you can contact her with complete confidence. We are not sure what she charges, but think that this is something you would be better advised to discuss with her directly. We are sure that she will also be willing and able to discuss her marketing strategy, but more to the point we are sure that she will be able to offer you the help that you need if acupuncture treatment is the most appropriate way to address your concerns. 

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