Keith Murray  - Lic.Ac  M.B.Ac.C.

Keith qualified in acupuncture in 1995, from The College of Traditional Acupuncture (CTA) in Leamington Spa. He then went on to do a further two years training with John and Angela Hicks at The College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading, contributing to several books written by The Hicks. Keith also taught at The CTA for 5 years, teaching western science and acupuncture to the undergraduates of CTA/Oxford Brookes University. 

He is now based in clinics at Bradford on Avon and at Lowbourne Osteopaths, Melksham.

How Acupuncture works

Members of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) practise acupuncture based on Chinese medicine principles that have been researched and refined for over 2,000 years.

The first acupuncturists developed a comprehensive system of diagnosis based on detailed observation of the human body. Without the help of modern scientific equipment, the first acupuncturists discovered many now familiar aspects of biomedical science, such as the impact of emotional stress on the body.

Acupuncture regulates the flow of qi around the body through pathways called meridians. In recent years medical scientists have discovered myofascial pathways that follow the meridians recorded by the early acupuncturists, and the concept of qi itself may overlap with developing knowledge of how cells in the body communicate.

What is the evidence?

Evidence of acupuncture’s effectiveness is growing as researchers evaluate the best ways to measure how the body responds to it. To date the focus has been on pain management. Around the world, clinical studies are being conducted to understand how acupuncture can be beneficial for many more conditions. You can read factsheets about the latest acupuncture research at www.acupuncture.org.uk

Can it help me?

Acupuncture is considered to be beneficial for a wide range of conditions. NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends acupuncture on the NHS for back pain, migraines and headaches. The respected Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) recommends acupuncture for chronic pain. Because an acupuncture treatment is designed to affect your whole body, not just your symptoms, you may notice other niggling problems resolve during a course of treatment. Your local BAcC acupuncturist will be happy to discuss how acupuncture can help you in a free consultation over the phone.

Who has acupuncture?

A lot of people have acupuncture to relieve specific aches and pains, such as osteoarthritis of the knee, TMJ, headaches and low back pain, or for common health problems like an overactive bladder. Some pregnant women have acupuncture throughout their pregnancy. Other people choose acupuncture when their bodily functions are out of balance, but they have no obvious diagnosis. And many have regular treatments because they find it so beneficial and relaxing.

What happens when I go for treatment?

A BAcC acupuncturist will use many diagnostic methods to put together an individual treatment plan based on your state of health and lifestyle. They will take a complete medical history, read your pulses, may examine the site of your symptoms and look at your tongue. Acupuncture needles are inserted at points selected to affect your whole body, as well as your symptoms, and you will be left to rest for a while before they are removed. The single-use sterile needles come in sealed packs that should be opened in front of you and are safely disposed of after each treatment.

What does it feel like?

Acupuncture needles are so fine that most people don’t feel them being inserted. It is normal to feel a mild tingle or dull ache as the acupuncturist adjusts the needle to direct qi. Many people feel deeply relaxed during the treatment.in 2001 (MacPherson et al, White et al, both BMJ September 2001) concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000. The needles used are single-use, sterile, and disposable. Responses to treatment can sometimes include tiredness or mild dizziness, and very occasionally minor bruising may occur. However, all such reactions are short-lived.

Is it safe?

Two research studies conducted in 2011 and 2012 concluded that when practiced by properly trained and qualified traditional acupuncturists, such as members of the BAcC, the risk of adverse events from acupuncture is extremely low.

Does it have side effects?

Sometimes a small bruise can appear at a needle site. Occasionally, people can feel dizzy or tired after a treatment but this passes quickly.

Should my doctor know?

If you have been prescribed medication we recommend you tell your doctor that you plan to have acupuncture. Do not stop taking your medication. You should tell your acupuncturist about any medication and supplements you are taking. BAcC acupuncturists are trained to recognise potentially serious underlying health conditions and will refer you to your GP if they consider it appropriate.

How many sessions will I need?

Your BAcC acupuncturist will discuss this with you. Weekly treatments are normal to begin with, reducing in frequency as your body responds. The effect is usually felt within five or six treatments. Occasionally just one or two treatments are sufficient.

Can I get acupuncture on the NHS?

Many BAcC members work within the NHS in specialist clinics and GP surgeries. Acupuncture is recommended for the treatment of back pain, migraines and headaches on the NHS. However, not all GPs refer patients for acupuncture treatment.

Will my health insurance pay for acupuncture?

Most health insurance policies cover the cost of treatments with BAcC registered acupuncturists. You should check with your insurer directly.

 

Conditions

Acupuncture has been successfully used for many thousands of years as the primary medicinal tool for a wide range of conditions. Working on the cause as well as the condition itself, acupuncture has gained a world wide reputation as an effective treatment and can benefit those of any age. Prevention is obviously better than cure and part of the sessions may include lifestyle and dietary advice.

If you would like to know if your condition is suitable for treatment using acupuncture, please contact us. Alternatively you can find out more from The British Acupuncture Council.

The British Acupuncture Council
The British Acupuncture Council is a registering body for professional acupuncturists. Their aim is to ensure the health and safety of the public at all times. This is done by maintaining high standards of education, ethics, discipline and practice. Acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council carry the letters MBAcC after their name.

When you choose to visit a BAcC member you can be sure that your practitioner:

  • has completed a first degree level training in traditional acupuncture including appropriate elements of western medical sciences, or its equivalent
  • abides by the Council’s Code of Safe Practice and Code of Professional Conduct
  • complies with current health and safety legislation
  • is approved by the National Blood Service and is entitled to issue you with a blood donation certificate
  • is covered by full Professional Indemnity and Public/Products Liability insurance
  • updates their practice skills by following an individual programme of continuing professional development.