Medical acupuncture

“Western medical acupuncture is a therapeutic modality involving the insertion of fine needles; it is an adaptation of Chinese acupuncture using current knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, and the principles of evidence based medicine” (White 2009).

Medical acupuncture tends to be practiced by statutory regulated health professions such as GP’s, chiropodists, osteopaths and physiotherapists etc, who have an interest in acupuncture. Many use acupuncture primarily for the management of pain without application of traditional theories.

Medical acupuncture is largely based on the latest understandings of the mechanisms involved in acupuncture, consequently this form of acupuncture currently less integrated in its approach to traditional acupuncture. However as research develops this could potentially change.

Medical acupuncture uses many of the same points as traditional acupuncture combined with trigger points, which are similar to the traditional ashi points. However, less attention is given to point selection with the assumption that acupuncture points have an optimal effect on the nervous system (White 2009).

Traditional acupuncture theory maintains the view that different points have a number of different functions. This is bared in mind during point selection.


Medical Acupuncture Traditional Acupuncture
Other names often associated: Modern acupuncture, dry needling technique, periosteal needling. General acupuncture, clinical acupuncture, modern acupuncture, chinese acupuncture.
Main regulatory bodies: British Medical Acupuncture Society. British Acupuncture Council.
Training required Must be a regulated health profession:-to be an accredited member a certificate of basic competence must be completed.

– Mandatory CPD requirements.

– to be an accredited member degree in acupuncture or equivalent is required.
– Mandatory CPD requirements.