The British Acupuncture Council's statement in regards to the WHO call for the integration of traditional medicine into National Health Systems

The British Acupuncture Council was delighted this week to learn of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) call for member countries to integrate traditional medicine into their national health systems.

We welcome the prospect of traditional medicine, specifically acupuncture, playing a vital role in primary healthcare. Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of traditional medicine which has been used in China and other eastern cultures for thousands of years to restore, promote and maintain good health. Its benefits are now widely acknowledged all over the world and in the past decade traditional acupuncture has begun to feature more in mainstream healthcare in the UK.

The British Acupuncture Council is particularly keen for its members to work responsibly as part of the wider multidisciplinary primary care team. We are currently working on guidelines which will help to demonstrate how complementary medicine professionals can play a constructive role in referring patients who may not visit another healthcare professional to seek further help.

There are few health problems that acupuncture has not been used to treat. The World Health Organisation has compiled a list of diseases and conditions of which it considers treatment with acupuncture to be appropriate. The list includes, among many others, respiratory problems, issues related to the mouth and eyes, gastrointestinal complaints and neurological and musculoskeletal disorders."

Mike O'Farrell, chief executive of the British Acupuncture Council

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