The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has found that more people are turning to traditional acupuncture to alleviate symptoms caused by the emotional strains of everyday life.

A recent survey reveals that the tolls of the 21st century are affecting younger people with under-40s seeking traditional acupuncture treatment for emotional issues such as depression, stress and anxiety. 57% of those citing emotional issues are under 40 - a third of who are men - with Londoners representing the highest proportion of sufferers than elsewhere in the UK.

With people working longer hours and dealing with the economic and social pressures of today, many are finding it hard to cope. The BAcC research revealed that the top three emotional issues for which acupuncture treatment is sought are depression (18%), anxiety (13%) and insomnia (10%) with stress following closely behind.

At least one person in every six becomes depressed in the course of their lives. One in 20 is clinically depressed*. Complementary medicines are playing a bigger part in the way patients tackle mental health issues.

Gisela Norman, BAcC member and traditional acupuncture practitioner said: "Depression is actually one of the most common health issues we are approached about. An acupuncture session completely focuses on the patient and hears what they experience. It involves one-to-one time in order to understand them as an individual with their treatment plan specifically tailor made. This, in combination with the needling to lift mood and give much needed relief, can be very powerful."

Conducted across the whole of the UK, the survey reported that depression features in the top five health problems amongst acupuncture patients alongside back pain, fertility, headaches and skin problems.

About the BAcC

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has a membership of over 2,800 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture.

BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in traditional acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.

What is traditional acupuncture?

Traditional acupuncture is an Oriental therapy that aims to improve the overall wellbeing of the patient, rather than treating specific symptoms in isolation. Traditional Chinese philosophy states that our health is dependent on the body's motivating energy - known as Qi - moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of meridians (channels) beneath the skin.

For any number of reasons the flow of Qi can be disturbed leading to ill-health. By inserting fine needles into the channels of energy or Qi, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body's own healing response and help restore its natural balance.

About the research

A total of 2,495 existing and prospective patients voluntarily took part in an online survey positioned on the British Acupuncture Council's website.

British Acupuncture Council