Acupuncture NZ

In response to the Dominion article 10/08/2019 namely “ACC Poking Holes in Acupuncture”

We wish to respond to the recent article on the ACC Evidence review of acupuncture that was presented at the annual Acupuncture NZ conference in Wellington on Friday 9 August.

There is often confusion between the meanings of phrases such as a “lack of evidence” and a “lack of benefit”. What this review, like most reviews of healthcare interventions, concluded, was that there were many areas encountered in clinical practice which have not yet been the subject of clinical trials. A lack of evidence doesn’t mean that a therapy doesn’t work – it simply means that not enough research has yet been done.

The review did find substantial evidence of benefit for some common conditions treated by acupuncture, including lower back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee. This highlights areas for future research and continues to support the argument for more research to be carried out.

Of course, research evidence forms only a part of informing clinical practice. Client preference, clinical experience, cultural appropriateness, safety profile, and side effects or adverse effects, are also important in effective clinical decision making.

ACC only provide cover for the treatment of injuries which have resulted from an accident. Whilst many people do seek assistance from their acupuncturist for the treatment of conditions such as period pain, ACC have never provided cover for those.

ACC and the acupuncture profession have had an effective relationship since 1990 when acupuncturists became recognised providers under the Act. The evidence report being released on Monday demonstrates and highlights the strong collaborative approach to working together to improve patient outcomes. It also shows ACC’s dedication to provider engagement and improvement of services.

We greatly value the relationship we have with ACC and our profession will continue to further this relationship in order to provide the best possible care to all New Zealanders who seek our services.

Acupuncture New Zealand
New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Authority