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LSBU academic discusses the rise of acupuncture on BBC World radio

London South Bank University's course director for Acupuncture, Ian Appleyard discusses the rise of traditional Chinese Medicine on BBC World radio.

To what extent has Western medicine looked Eastward?', 'What happens when science comes up against other belief systems?', were amongst the questions discussed at the Wellcome Trust's event 'The Parts and the Whole' and in the BBC interview.

Despite its growing popularity in the Western world, acupuncture is yet to become fully integrated in the UK health system.

Ian Appleyard, Course Director, Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture

Acupuncture was first brought to the Western world in the 17th and 18th century and since then has become an increasingly used method to treat a range of chronic health conditions.

Ian explains: "In the UK, acupuncture operates fairly independently. Unlike China, the UK doesn't have too many acupuncturists who work inside a hospital, and there are ways in which acupuncture could be better integrated into our national healthcare system."

How does Western medicine co-exist alongside traditional medicine?

Since its arrival in the Western world, acupuncture has been subject to much debate.

There is growing acceptance in Britain that medical professionals should incorporate non-conventional practices like acupuncture and Ian explains that more doctors are choosing to learn the trade: "Some doctors, although fully trained in Western medicine, start to delve into a variety of alternative medicines. Some chose to undertake weekend courses in acupuncture and use it in a rather mechanical way, whereas others will take the time to do three-year programmes."

"There is much greater acceptance of acupuncture now than when I first became interested in acupuncture 20 years ago; this is primarily based on positive patient reports to local GP's."

Ian Appleyard, Course Director, Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture

LSBU in collaboration with the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine (CITCM) offers a three-year BSc (Hons) Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture and a four-year M.CMAc Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture Masters programme. The course provides students with a strong foundation in the theory and application of acupuncture, as well as extensive clinical experience and grounding in Chinese language and culture.