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A Tribute to Professor Hugh MacPherson

British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture - A Tribute to Professor Hugh MacPherson

The Chair, teaching staff and committee of the British Academy of Western Medical Acupuncture, are sad to report news of Professor Hugh MacPherson, whose family have recently announced he is critically ill.

Hugh was primarily a senior mathematical academic at the University of York, who began his interest in Acupuncture over 30 years ago in the UK.

Since then Professor MacPherson has gone on to blaze a trail and recognition for the profession, not only in the UK but in China and many other countries worldwide. In terms of Government grants alone he has personally secured more than 2 million pounds to support Acupuncture research in the UK.

Many colleagues will remember Hugh’s incredible MRI brain research project at the University of York televised nationally some years ago, which revealed that Acupuncture could influence the nervous system in response to needle treatments – and so discounting the placebo effect. Since then Hugh went on to make many more television and media programs to highlight and gain recognition for Acupuncture.

Professor MacPherson has been a friend to the BAWMA over the years, inviting the Academy to be part of a university Acupuncture research project, which was published in the British Medical Journal Open in 2009.

Many BAWMA members will warmly remember his visit to a previous AGM where he delivered a brilliant lecture utilising global mathematical statistics to demonstrate the Acupuncture is a valuable therapeutic tool in the delivery of modern Healthcare.

As colleagues and fellow Acupuncturists we send our thoughts, fond memories and sincere wishes to Hugh and his family at this difficult time.

Professor Hugh MacPherson

After completing a PhD in applied mathematics at the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 1979, Hugh trained in Chinese medicine, becoming a registered acupuncturist in 1983.

He became clinical director of the York Clinic for Integrated Healthcare in 1986, and founded the Northern College of Acupuncture in York in 1988, acting as the college's principal from 1988 to 1997.

Between 1997 and 2003, he was the research director of the Foundation for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine, York. He then worked at the University of York, first as a senior research fellow, and in 2016 as professor of acupuncture research. He has been researching and writing about acupuncture since 1992 and published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on the subject.

He has appeared on a number of radio and television programs, including BBC Radio 4's The Other Medicine, BBC Two's Alternative Medicine: The Evidence, BBC Three's Kick Ass Miracles and BBC Two's Trust Me, I'm a Doctor.

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