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23 Feb 2024

Acupuncture in Physiotherapy: Where do they now stand?

Acupuncture in Physiotherapy: Where do they now stand?

From 1 July 2024, the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy) will be excluding insurance cover for acupuncture and needling used ‘around the thoracic region and/or the thoracic organs’.

Acupuncture and dry needling are two skin-piercing therapies used throughout physiotherapy practices in the UK. Traditional acupuncture is distinct from dry needling, also known as Western or medical acupuncture, in terms of philosophy, physiology, and practice. Whilst both involve skin piercing, acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine principles, with dry needling being more aligned with Western medical approaches.  

Regarding training requirements, post-registration approved training and registration are legally mandated only for prescribing. However, practitioners must ensure they are adequately educated and competent in acupuncture and/or dry needling. Courses should meet UK standards, and practitioners must verify their competence for safe practice. The CSP doesn't set specific educational expectations but emphasizes the importance of ensuring courses provide necessary knowledge and skills. 

Practitioners must disclose their physiotherapy background when using acupuncture or dry needling and maintain standards outlined by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Local Authority licensing and registration are also required for skin-piercing interventions, with variations across regions.  

Acupuncture will still remain within the remit of physiotherapy practice, however, it will not be covered by the CSP PLI (Professional Liability Insurance) scheme, forcing separate insurance to be sought out.   

What do you think the future of acupuncture within physiotherapy will be? 

Click here to read more: https://www.csp.org.uk/professional-clinical/professional-guidance/insurance/acupuncture-dry-needling  

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