Yes, it's that time of year again - Acupuncture Awareness Week. It's not something that is on everybody's calendar but the amount of evidence for acupuncture's effectiveness continues to grow with more and more studies coming up with positive results.
Towards the end of last year we had some amazing pictures from a CT X-rays, published in the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena. These showed that acupuncture points had unique concentrated areas of micro vessels (i.e. very small blood vessels) not found anywhere else in the body and also had a higher level of oxygen pressure levels. What this means in practice is not clear, but it points to the fact that there is something going on and that acupuncture points do exist. Of course, we have known this for years but proving it within western medicine's stringent guidelines (which are designed to test drugs rather than acupuncture) has been a different matter.
There were also trials to show that acupuncture prevents stroke, benefits the brain, lowers blood pressure and provokes an anti-inflammatory response which is important for the many cases of sepsis (whole-body inflammation which happens after an infection) which occur in hospitals.
Anyone who wants to know more should look at the British Acupuncture Council website for information. The site has a facility to input your post code and find your nearest qualified acupuncturist.
All the acupuncturists at the Albany Street Clinic are members of the British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC) which means that we have undergone a 3-4 year training including clinic hours at an accredited organisation.