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Q:  I've read the BAC fact sheet about Moxibustion.
I have a couple of questions regarding Moxibustion to treat a slight muscular ache in R/H shoulder of a male px, 70kgs, 54yrs old.
What is this specic training a practionerer must have undertaken to be considered compent under BAC guidelines and how does a patient verify qulifications?
How many points would be a recomended treatment for Direct Non Scaring Moxibustion?
Could there be any side effects or damage to muscle or nerves (ie: neck or spine) surronding shoulder if too many points are treated in 1 session?
If patient complains of strong pain deep in shoulder joint half way through treatment should the practioneer stop?
A:  All members of the BAcC will have undertaken training in the use of moxa as a part of their undergraduate training. The most accessible assembly of documents can be found on the website of the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board

notably the SETA and SPAS documents which outline the basis of what an accredited college must provide students who graduate with automatic eligibility to join the BAcC subject to health and criminal record checks. These spell out what student must learn, although the precise method if training will vary from institution to institution. All students usually practise on each other when training, and tend to be the harshest of judges. No-one whose competence was in question would be allowed to proceed to graduation. A patient can verify qualifications by contacting the BAcC who can say where and when a practitioner trained. If necessary, the patient could then contact the teaching institution directly.

There is no recommended number of points. The usual deciding factor is the patient's tolerance of the treatment and the amount of heat being generated. Most practitioners would err on the side of caution to avoid burning a patient. There are no accounts or records of which we are aware on secondary damage to muscles and tendons as a consequence of moxibustion. The only adverse effects of which we are aware are burns. By its very nature moxibustion will always cause a small number of burns each year, and the practitioner's main challenge is to reduce the risk as much as possible. We do not believe it would be possible to completely eradicate all risk. We have never seen case reports suggesting that moxibustion has caused the problems you mention, and as you can imagine we do monitor all reports of adverse events across the world very carefully. 

If someone complains of a pain arising during a session it would be a matter of professional judgement whether the treatment was stopped then and there. By their nature some treatments can cause pain to increase slightly, and there are occasions when the effect of treatment on the body's energies can cause a dull aching sensation, called 'deqi', to arise. This is very much sought after in Chinese styles of treatment, although Japanese styles tend to be more conservative. A practitioner might judge that this was evidence that treatment was working. Of course, it someone directly asks the practitioner to stop, then stop they must. To carry on in the face of requests not to continue might be construed as assault, and would certainly indicate a withdrawal of consent without which treatment cannot take place.

If you are dissatisfied with the standards of treatment which you have received, this page from our website

details how you may go about making this known and seeking a more formal account of what has happened to you.

We hope, however, that any side effects which have arisen through treatment are transient and have already started to resolve while this reply has been in transit.

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