Anxiety UK and British Acupuncture Council launch pilot project


Anxiety UK and the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) have launched a joint pilot project which will see members of Anxiety UK being able to access traditional acupuncture through this new partnership.

Throughout the pilot project, data will be collected to determine the effectiveness of traditional acupuncture for treating those living with anxiety and anxiety based depression. This will enable both parties to continue to build a body of evidence to measure the success rate of this type of treatment.

Of those who have received traditional acupuncture from BAcC members, 74% reported anxiety was primary reason for seeking treatment while 62% said it was a secondary reason.

Additionally, research carried out with BAcC members by the University of York found that traditional acupuncture is just as effective as talking therapies and more effective than drugs for depression.1

Anxiety UK’s Chief Executive Nicky Lidbetter said: “This is an exciting project and will provide us with valuable data and outcomes for those members who take part in the pilot and allow us to assess the benefits of extending the pilot to a regular service for those living with anxiety.

“We know anecdotally that many people find complementary therapies used to support conventional care can provide enormous benefit, although it should be remembered they are used in addition to and not instead of seeking medical advice from a doctor or taking prescribed medication.

“This supports our strategic aim to ensure that we continue to make therapies and services that are of benefit to those with anxiety and anxiety based depression, accessible.”

Mark Bovey, Head of Research for the British Acupuncture Council, added: “Traditional acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council are trained to treat people on an emotional level as well as a physical level. Feeling anxious or depressed can mean that a part of the body is out of balance and traditional acupuncture can be successful at unblocking the organs that are involved and under duress.

“We’re confident this pilot research programme will allow us to be much better informed and to gather a body of evidence to support the view that traditional acupuncture can be extremely beneficial for anxiety and anxiety based depression.”

The pilot programme is open to any Anxiety UK member not currently in receipt of any other form of therapy.

Further details about accessing the acupuncture pilot can be found here


1 MacPherson H, Richmond S, Bland M, Brealey S, Gabe R, Hopton A, Keding A, Lansdown H, Perren S, Sculpher M, Spackman E, Torgerson D, Watt I. Acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS Med. 2013;10(9):e1001518.


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