Different styles of acupuncture
There are many schools of acupuncture and oriental medicine in the Uk which train people in the general theory and clinical applications of acupuncture; what these schools have in common is the central importance they place on the traditional principles of diagnostic and treatment drawn from the classics of Chinese Medicine.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine ) encompass the entire body of knowledge, clinical experience and commentaries accumulated through at least two thousand years of traditional Chinese medical history and recorded in such medical classics as the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Nei Jing), the Classic of Difficulties (Nan Jing) and many, many others. These classics and the principles they codify form the foundation of all styles of acupuncture in usage today.
TCM can also refer to the more recent official state-sponsored standardisation and implementation of Chinese Medicine in the People's Republic of China after Mao Tse Tung.
Some practitioners had training in countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam and will tell you that they practice japanese, korean or vietnamese acupuncture; in all instances, the foundation in the classics remain the same, but diagnostic and therapeutic techniques may differ.
In Europe, the more recent introduction and development of acupuncture were strongly influenced by famous acupuncturist or scholar such as N'Guyen Van Ghi, Jacques Lavier,
George Soulie de Moran to name but a few.
in the Uk, Jack Worsley and Michael Van Buren developed specific style of acupuncture according to 5 Elements (Worsley) or Stems and Branches (Van Buren)
Other schools in this countries are directly linked to Chinese Universities and teach the more modern understanding of TCM, but well anchored in the knowledge of the Classics
These schools all have in common a lengthy training (usually 3 years) with comprehensive clinical experienced gained in the school teaching clinic or in during short stay in TCM hospital in China.
A number of universities in the UK teach also full time acupuncture courses along a similar model as the colleges
Western Medical Acupuncture is the form of acupuncture that is practiced predominantly by conventionally trained healthcare practitioners in western countries particularly the UK and Sweden, though Chinese acupuncture concepts are still widely used by these professional groups in other countries.

Here is the definition of WMA by Adrian White on the British Medical Journal: "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. "

Western medical acupuncture has evolved from Chinese acupuncture, its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of qi, and regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete "alternative medical system". It acts mainly by stimulating the nervous system, and its known modes of action include local antidromic axon reflexes, segmental and extra-segmental neuromodulation, and other central nervous system effects.
Western medical acupuncture is principally used
by conventional healthcare practitioners, most commonly in primary care. It is mainly used to treat musculoskeletal pain, including myofascial trigger point pain. It is also effective for postoperative pain and nausea.
Practitioners of Western medical acupuncture
tend to pay less attention than classical acupuncturists to choosing one point over another, though they generally choose classical points as the best places to stimulate the nervous system.
Acupuncture techniques: Physiotherapist, Osteopath and Chiropractor attend limited acupuncture courses and learn techniques such as dry needling for the treatment of limited and specific musculo-squelettal disorders.
A physiotherapist training in acupuncture for example consist of a basic 80 hours course, compared to a traditionally trained acupuncturist who will do a three year full time course.
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