Photograph by HairyLime
Not every practitioner who advertises acupuncture is really an acupuncturist. So how do you know if your acupuncturist has the proper credentials to give you acupuncture?
This page will address some very important fundamental issues about traditional acupuncture and facial acupuncture, and give you a list of helpful resources for your research. In a word, acupuncture education is key.
To this end, I have always been very involved with educating the public about acupuncture. If you are researching acupuncture, you may have questions or suggestions for topics that you would like to know more about. Chances are if you want to know more, others will too. Please send me these thoughts and suggestions by clicking Ask Ka Hang. Your input might be a great subject for a blog-post.
There is a trend you should know about if you or a friend is considering traditional acupuncture, and it’s happening here in London. It’s becoming common to find practitioners certified in other specialties performing acupuncture after having done a few weekend courses.
The first question everyone asks when we tell them about this is, “Isn’t there some kind of a law in the UK against this?” The answer is unfortunately no. It is not against the law for a doctor with 5 years of medical school, and very minimal training to set up an office and provide acupuncture. And it is not against the law for a physician certified in another specialty such as family practice, or dermatology to begin performing acupuncture. It is also not against the law for a massage therapist or physiotherapist to offer acupuncture after basic training. With the demand for acupuncture increasing it is likely we will see more, not less of this.
It goes without saying that there are doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists and osteopaths who are also talented traditional acupuncturists and have spent years learning their skills. However, as long as there are no laws against it, it is a case of buyer beware.
Look for this Sign of Protection: Your best friend when considering acupuncture.
Although good credentials can’t guarantee a successful outcome, when you choose a British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) Member, you know that your acupuncturist:
1. Has at least BSc or BA degree level training or its equivalent in traditional acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and western biomedical sciences including anatomy, physiology and pathology (3,600 hours of study).
2. Is registered with the British Acupuncture Council, the leading self-regulatory body for the practice of traditional acupuncture in the UK.
3. Compliant with current UK health and safety legislation
4. Adheres to a strict code of ethics.
5. Fulfills continuing education requirements, including patient-safety techniques.
The treatment should be performed by a registered acupuncturist with training in the specialisation of facial acupuncture (also known as cosmetic acupuncture, facial rejuvenation acupuncture and F. RA). Not many acupuncturists are specially trained in facial acupuncture, so do ask.