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Press releases

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published the Guideline on Low Back Pain and Sciatica that had been produced in draft form in April 2016 as NICE guideline [NG59].

We note with concern the final recommendations published today.

The exclusion of acupuncture from its place in the 2009 guideline we believe to be both a mistake and a retrogressive step.

The British Acupuncture Council wishes to make three clear statements regarding this decision.

Migraine Awareness Week - 4th - 10th September 2016

*In the UK 1 in 7 people at any one time experience a migraine attack.

A migraine is a complex neurological condition, which can affect the whole body and can result in many symptoms, sometimes without a headache at all. Migraines can be easily overlooked or mistaken for other conditions and can affect people in many different ways.
A migraine can involve recurrent attacks that can last up to three days and sufferers may also experience double vision, nausea and vomiting. Migraines are often thought to be caused by emotional strain, stress, hormonal imbalances, and lack of food and/or sleep or by a reaction to some foods or medications.
Research has shown that traditional acupuncture can be very beneficial in the treatment of migraines as it tends to lessen the frequency and severity of attacks. NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommends acupuncture for headaches and migraines.  Migraines can manifest in very different ways and a fully qualified acupuncture practitioner will want to know, among other things exactly where the pain is located, what the nature of the pain is and whether the patient has any accompanying symptoms. An individual diagnosis and treatment plan is then tailored to the patient based on this information and on their general health history. 

As a leading cause of disability  and one of the main reasons for work-related sickness, lower back pain is estimated to cost the UK economy over £12 billion per year .

In the UK the condition is responsible for 37% of all chronic pain in men and 44% in women  but in a bid to cope with the condition, a study by the British Acupuncture Council reveals that 74% of people use painkillers as a quick fix to relieve discomfort.

‘Painkillers often mask the problem and don’t address many of the underlying causes of lower back pain, says Alison Savory, a qualified member of the British Acupuncture Council. ‘With traditional acupuncture we look at the root of the condition as well as the symptoms in order to try and promote longer term health and wellbeing. Many of my patients find the therapy extremely beneficial.’

With 2.3 million acupuncture treatments carried out each year, traditional acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies practised in the UK today. Based on ancient principles which go back nearly two thousand years, acupuncture involves gently placing extremely fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body to trigger a healing response.

We are pleased to announce that Paul Hitchcock will be our new chief executive, joining us in July. As well as his current NHS role Paul brings valuable experience from his time as director of the Allied Health Professions Federation (AHPF), which looks after professional healthcare bodies similar to the BAcC. We hope you will join us in welcoming Paul to the BAcC at this time of great change and opportunity.

Anxiety UK and the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) have launched a joint pilot project which will see members of Anxiety UK being able to access traditional acupuncture through this new partnership.

Throughout the pilot project, data will be collected to determine the effectiveness of traditional acupuncture for treating those living with anxiety and anxiety based depression. This will enable both parties to continue to build a body of evidence to measure the success rate of this type of treatment.

Of those Anxiety UK members who have received traditional acupuncture from BAcC members, 74% reported anxiety was the primary reason for seeking treatment while 62% said it was a secondary reason.

BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

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Press Contact

Katie Osborne

Tel: 07990 922615