Listed in Issue 114


ROSTED and WARNAKULASURIYA, Pain clinic, Western Park Hospital and Department of Oncology, University of Sheffield, Whitham Road, Sheffield,, have surveyed the use of acupuncture by dentists in the UK. Abstract: A small number of Chinese medical doctors practise Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Western cities. Use of these services in Britain is extremely limited. Common situations where British patients seek the help of TCM are when medical therapy has failed; in relapsing chronic diseases like asthma or rheumatoid arthritis; and in pain management. Patients often realize that only limited interventions are available for treatment of these conditions in Western medicine. At least one in ten UK specialist physicians are actively involved in complementary and alternative medicine treatments. A large number of Westerners offer acupuncture therapy but lack basic medical training. It is likely that people are reluctant to use these services largely because of hygiene and safety reasons. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that serious side effects are five times more frequent when treatments are provided by non-medically trained therapists compared with professionally registered health care providers.






Rosted P, Warnakulasuriya S. A survey on the uses of acupuncture by a group of UK dentists. British Dental Journal 198 (3): 139-143, Feb 12, 2005.


It should be emphasized that although there are, regrettably, incidents and side effects associated with acupuncture, published research has demonstrated that these are quite rare and that acupuncture is an extremely safe therapy. With progress toward regulation of training of standards within the acupuncture profession within the UK, this safety record will remain high.

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