Watching brekfast television this morning, I was surprised to hear there was an 18% chance of having an adverse reaction to acupncture. Some people bruise a little, some might feel a little light headed, but the chance of you having an adverse reaction to acupuncture is 1 in 10,000. So why such a discrepancy? Well, the newspiece was about the increase in license applications to local authorities over the last few years coinciding with more demand for tatoos and body peircings . What’s this got to do with acupuncture?
Here’s the answer; anyone who uses needles must be licensed by their local authority. The licensing laws cover tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis……and acupuncture. And that 18% adverse reaction figure covers all of these practices.
Acupuncture is actually one of the safest medical treatments, both conventional and complementary, on offer in the UK.
Here’s what the British Acupuncture Council have to say.
Two surveys conducted independently of each other and published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. This is far less than many orthodox medical treatments.
One survey was of traditional acupuncturists and the other of doctors who practise acupuncture. A total of 66,000 treatments were reviewed altogether, with only a handful of minor and transient side effects recorded.
A 2003 survey of 6,000 patients of acupuncture produced almost identical figures.
There are very few side effects from acupuncture when practised by a fully qualified practitioner of traditional acupuncture. Any minor side effects that do occur, such as dizziness or bruising around needle points, are mild and self-correcting.
When you receive treatment from a BAcC registered acupuncturist you can be confident that your wellbeing and safety is at the heart of everything your practitioner does. The following assurances are BAcC standard:
BAcC members have completed a first-degree-level training or equivalent in traditional acupuncture including substantial elements of western anatomy, physiology and pathology
your BAcC acupuncturist will record all relevant details of your health condition and your medical history before treatment commences. Occasionally, based on this information, he or she may refer you to your GP for further investigation or medical treatment
your BAcC acupuncturist uses only pre-sterilised single-use needles which are safely disposed of after your treatment
all treatments are carried out in accordance with exemplary professional standards developed by the British Acupuncture Council and detailed in the BAcC Codes of Safe Practice and of Professional Conduct
the treatment room and all equipment must conform to standards laid out in the BAcC Code of Safe Practice and in nearly all cases have also been approved by local authority environmental health officers
BAcC members have full medical malpractice and public/product liability insurance cover.