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I have the opportunity to train in acupuncture. Is it hocus pocus or does it actually work?

(24 Posts)
Platesmasher Thu 27-Aug-09 19:33:41

I've been offered the opportunity to train in acupuncture. I'm a physio and lots of physio's are doing acupuncture now.

I'm just struggling a bit with my worry that it's not respected or researched enough, and whether it will actually work.

So i was wondering if you could tell me your experiences good or bad to help me decide whether I let the hospital pay for the training like they've offered.

nigglewiggle Thu 27-Aug-09 19:38:53

There was a program on BBC2 a while ago with a bona fide woman doctor was looking into acupuncture. They did a fully validated scientific experiment and found that acupuncture did help with pain relief, but they couldn't quite say how. What is (or seemed to be) hocus pocus was the claims that it could help you lose weight or give up smoking etc.

I'll try to find out who the doctor was if you're interested.

It sounds like a good opportunity, so I'd go for it.

Platesmasher Thu 27-Aug-09 19:40:40

The course goes into the details of the evidence for it working. Just a bit late then, and i can't be faffed reading the research now, i'm too knackered.
Just looking for some personal experiences.

nigglewiggle Thu 27-Aug-09 19:41:52

This is what I was on about

nigglewiggle Thu 27-Aug-09 19:42:57

X posts - not much to read though wink

tattycoram Thu 27-Aug-09 19:46:29

I'm sure the hospital wouldn't offer to pay for it if there wasn't a good evidence base for it

Platesmasher Thu 27-Aug-09 19:48:43

It's being paid for from gifted to the hospital. Probably gifted from wills etc. Seems like precious money.

nigglewiggle Thu 27-Aug-09 20:21:09

Well it sounds like you're not that interested, so perhaps let the investment go to someone who is.

Platesmasher Thu 27-Aug-09 20:22:48

I am interested. I guess I just need to read the research.

MaryBS Thu 27-Aug-09 20:27:02

The Dr gave me acupuncture after I complained of lower back pains, 6 months after giving birth. It really helped. I think its becoming a lot more mainstream now

(silly question, how do they decide which members of staff get to do it, do they stick a pin in a list of names? )

Platesmasher Thu 27-Aug-09 20:30:26

er no, i'm IT.
because i'm the only in-patient PT for two hospitals.
rural, small scale.

pinkteddy Thu 27-Aug-09 20:34:21

haven't NICE just published something on this?

sabire Fri 28-Aug-09 00:01:53

NICE recommend acupuncture be offered for back pain.


I've had acupuncture for irritable bowel, depression and for sinus pain. For me it's a highly effective treatment which gives me great relief from my symptoms, without side effects. Earlier this year I lost over a stone because of persistent nausea. I would go for an acupunture session and during the treatment I'd feel my whole stomach become warm and soft. After the session I'd start to feel hungry and I'd be able to eat without feeling sick for about 48 hours afterwards. I think it's amazing.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Fri 28-Aug-09 00:31:35

I've been having acupuncture from my chiropractor recently, as well as the usual manipulations, and I think it's helping a bit.
What he did explain to me is that the technique used by himself and most HCPs (and presumably what you might be learning) is more accurately known as 'dry needling.'
It works by targetting and relieving the knots in muscles (trigger points) which can be painful in themselves or can refer pain elsewhere.
This is totally different from what most of us understand by acupuncture; the branch of Chinese medicine which concentrates on getting the 'chi' flowing. Yes, Chinese acupuncture can also help with back pain, but purely because some of the so-called pressure points happen to co-incide with known trigger points, thus easing the pain but not because the 'chi' has been unblocked as they would claim.
Sorry it's late and I'm waffling; you probably know all this but I wanted to point out to anyone who cares to listen that if Chinese acupuncture works it's by accident rather than design, whereas the dry needling carried out by Western HCPs is usually working on known trigger points and has sound logical reasoning behind it.
You don't say which type of acupuncture you're considering, but it might be worth looking in to before you decide to go ahead.

BitOfFun Fri 28-Aug-09 00:47:21

Interesting articlecited by Ben Goldacre on his Bad Science site. It's about back pain, incidentally.

BitOfFun Fri 28-Aug-09 00:48:55

I think the placebo effect is vastly complex and worth a look in itself, btw, but probably what is operational behind acupuncture.

Catper33 Fri 28-Aug-09 04:35:40

I've been having acupuncture lately for a back problem. Initially I was rather sceptical, but it has made such a difference. Here in NZ many physios do accupuncture and use it in conjunction with other treatement forms. My first physio (from the UK) for my recent back problem was not trained in acupuncture so referred me to a colleague (from NZ)as she thought it would be good for me even though that meant she lost me as a patient. My current physio said its pretty much automatic in NZ to do the relevent course whilst undertaking your initial physio training anyway.

Platesmasher Fri 28-Aug-09 08:48:56

Yes, initially it would be western acupuncture.

Thanks for the feedback all.
I'm feeling a bit more positive about it today. Was really tired last night and trying to imagine going away for a week staying it a crappy travelodge and just couldn't face it.

This morning, I'm thinking it might be lovely to get away and really focus on the course.
I've emailed to see if there are any places left as they seem to book up well in advance.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Fri 28-Aug-09 09:05:12

I just wish the NHS wouldn't call what it provides 'acupuncture' - it's not based on Chinese medicine and is a different thing entirely.
Before I had it explained to me, it made me feel the same way I do when I hear about the NHS-funded homeopathic hospital - as I'm sure it does a lot of people.

Platesmasher Fri 28-Aug-09 17:53:23

Well i guess they could call it dry needling.
Would it have the same attraction?

I have posted on a professional forum and got lots of positive feedback. I guess i want to hear from people who've had it.

Thanks for your opinions.

beesonmummyshead Fri 28-Aug-09 22:11:05

I had acupuncture during pregnancy for severe morning sickness (at week 22). I didn't believe it would work. nothing worked. dry crackers didn't work. ginger didn't work. nothing bloody worked. I was sick as a dog, in work, out walking, I looked like a grey junkie. But in my area the NHS paid for maternity acupuncture, so I went (reluctantly and with no belief - but it got me out fo work for an hour).

I was never sick again grin. I went every week until my last few weeks, and during that time, when I was downing bottles of gaviscon to stop the constant heartburn (that ranitidine didn't touch) my acupuncturist treated me for that too (in fact sh looked at my tongue and TOLD me I had heartburn shock. It had no long term effect, but the night after acupuncture I could eat whatever I liked, AND drink hot drinks with no pain at all.

It even cured my (again pregnancy) nightmares.

But sadly did nothing for my acne or water retention (I had a grrrreat pregnancy, can't you tell grin)

I am a reformed believer. It is honestly magical.


FuriousGeorge Mon 31-Aug-09 23:12:30

I had acupuncture after years of fertility treatment/investigations & a consultant telling me that I'd never have children 'naturally' and to consider IVF or adoption.

Within months of starting acupuncture,I was pregnant.Sadly it was ectopic & the consultant was astounded that I'd actually got pregnant ,but said that my already tiny chances of ever conceiving again were even smaller now and it was quite dangerous to even try.

Being bloodyminded,I had one more treatment and was pregnant again the following month.DD1 was born perfectly healthy exactly on her due date.A few weeks after her 1st birthday,I was very surprised to find out I was pregnant again,with dd2.

So,yes,I was sceptical,but it does work.

LylaB Tue 01-Sep-09 18:22:52

Wow! What an amazing gift to receive.

I have had accupuncture on and off for years and I swear by it. Mine was mostly back related, but I know people using it for pregnancy and birth and they have amazing responses.

But I will say (and it's like with anything) - it all depends how good and experienced the person administering the accupuncture is.

Have you thought about going for some treatments yourself to help make up your mind.

Good luck.

Loubilou09 Wed 02-Sep-09 12:10:24

Bloody hell what an opportunity!!!! I would grab it with both hands - google acupuncture courses to see how much it would cost you to do it yourself - about £15K??. It does work amazingly well, I have had it on and off for years and I pay about £45.00 a session for it. You could go private and offer it alongside your normal job and it is allways a fall back for the future. I would love to become an acupuncturist but the cost is prohibitive plus to get on a course you have to have some academic background in a related field (which you have) and I don't have this so doubt I would be accepted.

You are very very lucky to have this opportunity.

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