At Celtic Osteopathy our osteopaths practice Western Medical Acupuncture and have all been trained by the British Medical Acupuncture society (BMAS). The BMAS promotes the use of acupuncture as a therapy following orthodox medical diagnosis, administered  by qualified  health care professionals.

Western acupuncture has proven to have short tern relief in the treatment of

  • Chronic lower back pain & neck pain.
  • Tension type headaches & migraines.
  • Tempo-mandibular pain (TMD/TMJ).
  • Post operative pain & nausea
  • Overactive bladder syndrome (electro-acupunture)

In addition western acupuncture has found to be an adjuvant treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain.

Western medical acupuncture is an adjuvant treatment modality involving the insertion of fine needles and is an adaptation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)  & acupuncture. Western practitioners use their professional training and knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology, in accordance with the principles of evidence based medicine to practice Western acupuncture.

The tradition concepts of TCM in relation to Yin/ Yang and the circulation of qi is no longer adhered to in western acupuncture.Conventional western medicine combines western acupuncture to provide a comprehensive and conventional approach to health care within a primary care setting.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture has been recorded in history as far back as the 16 Century.  Acupuncture as we know it today probably originates from China and within Chinese medicine (TCM).

TCM doctors approach health care and how the human body works from a different perspective from Western medicine. TCM take a more holistic approach as to how the body works as one unit and how life forces interacts and impacts on your health and well being, however both TCM and modern western medicine are integrated and practiced within China.The TCM idea of disease and symptoms are hard to reconcile with knowledge from modern medicine.

Aspects of TCM are reflected in the philosophies of Osteopathy, where the founder of Osteopathy A. T. Still, saw the human body as one integral unit where an individual’s biological, physical, cognitive, social and spiritual awareness are all interwoven having a direct impact on one’s health and that by addressing the body and one’s external health as one entity, allows the body to repair and self-heal.

The concept of TCM and acupuncture is  filtering into Western medicine, acknowledging that acupuncture could be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions and for a variety of patients. However, modern medical training  makes it difficult for some Western doctors to accept and embrace the principles of TCM, as the principles of TCM does not fit with the Western view and understanding of how the body works.

Conversely Western scientific research into pain has shown and helped Western doctors understand how acupuncture might work.  Acupuncture has been shown to release natural pain-killing and healing chemicals within our bodies. Once again, conceptualising the philosophies of osteopathy.

For further information on the scientific view of acupuncture please click here to visit the British Medical Acupuncture Society web site  where articles by Adrian White ‘A Reappraisal of Acupuncture’ and by the BMAS director Mike Cummings ‘Evidence for Acupuncture and related research evidence are listed.

Restrictions in current medical research limits the evidence and   appropriate dosage of acupuncture in comparison to a ‘placebo controlled affect’. Western medical acupuncture maintains an unbiased evaluation of its role in a modern health service.



Acupuncture Med 2009;27:33-35 doi:10.1136/aim.2008.000372

British Medical Acupuncture Society2015

Cotton, A. (2013). Osteopathic principles in the modern world. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 16(1),pp. 17-2.4

Still, A. (1899).Philosophy of Osteopathy.1st ed. Kirksville.

British Medical Acupuncture Society