top of page

History of The British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture


To understand what Western Acupuncture is about, one needs to know a little about the more traditional therapies of Acupuncture that still exists today.


Over three thousand years ago, the Chinese were apparently treating many illnesses by first taking the patients radial pulse, as done by a GP or nurse. The difference being that, the Chinese claimed to be able to feel six pulses on each wrist, each associated with one of the twelve organs of the body.


They were feeling for the energy factor, the strength or weakness of the pulse for the particular organ, which would perhaps indicate excess or deficient energy, causing a malfunction of an organ and thus relate directly to the external symptomology.


By using certain needle techniques they reported that it was possible to transfer an excess of energy from one organ to another which may have become deficient. This would create a ‘balanced’ energy, which would exhibit itself in the disappearance of outward symptoms, which had caused the original problem.


Western Medicine was some what critical of this philosophy and it had some cause to be so. It had been shown that varying diagnoses had been applied to the same patients having a problem. This inconsistency was unacceptable and could not be incorporated into Western diagnostic techniques.


Today, we have to acknowledge that the methods used in Western diagnosis, i.e. blood tests, X-rays, MRIs etc, are the only way we can be reasonably sure our treatment is appropriate and not attributed to guess-work, which the ancient pulse diagnosis would be seen as in this modern age.


Western Medical Acupuncture does work. Doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners, who have been through our training programme, have proved this over many years. This method is based upon a formulae researched for each of a variety of illnesses and applied only on the basis of a western medical diagnosis having first been made by a doctor. The explanation for how Acupuncture works, is based upon sound physiological mechanisms widely accepted by Science as well as medicine, and a feature of the course.


The British Academy of Western Acupuncture

 Founded in 1976, the Academy is rapidly growing. Such is the growth of interest in the subject that a genuine need exists for a practical and somewhat simplified approach to what has been traditionally a confusing art, steeped in terminology and ideals not accepted by western doctors. The form of acupuncture known as Western Acupuncture is a modified form of the traditional Chinese art, and is essentially based upon the observations of George Nieman, the founder President of the British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture.  The principal aim of the Academy is to achieve and maintain acceptable and high standards of Acupuncture training, especially as, at present, there is no legal control over the practice of Acupuncture.  This, however, is expected to change in the near future as a great deal of work is taking place towards statutory regulation of Acupuncture.  The British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture is one of the four bodies involved in intense negotiation with The Department of Health to introduce legislation.


There are many applications to gain a place on the Acupuncture training course held yearly by the Academy and we maintain an excellent student/tutor ratio to ensure we are focussed on each individual's journey to becoming a competent acupuncture practitioner. Each course or "Academic Year", consists of nine weekends spaced at approximately monthly intervals.  The weekends consist of both lectures and practical tuition.


The majority of students enrol because Acupuncture can relieve many conditions for which conventional medicine is relatively ineffective.  The British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture insists that prospective students should have  knowledge of anatomy and physiology sufficient to be enough to support a degree of clinical diagnostic skills.


Each course concludes with a formal theoretical and practical examination to test knowledge of basic Acupuncture and ability to insert needles with precision and without pain.  Along with the examinations, students are assessed throughout the course to monitor their progress and will be expected to produce case studies proving application of theoretical and practical knowledge.  These marks contribute to the final examination result.  A licentiate certificate qualifying the student as a Member of The British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture is awarded to students who successfully complete all areas.


bottom of page