In the UK, the best source of information about acupuncture research is the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre (ARRC). The ARRC was set up by the British Acupuncture Council in 1994 and is currently hosted by the centre for complementary healthcare and integrated medicine (CCHIM) at Thames Valley University. We are fortunate that Mark Bovey, who is the co-ordinator of the ARRC, is also a member of our teaching staff.
Articles and research
As a growing profession in the UK, it is important that we contribute to the education of our prospective patients, the public, our peers and other healthcare professionals. We encourage staff, students and graduates to write about acupuncture and Chinese medicine and add to the knowledge available.
Our acupuncture degree students learn about research and reflective practice and write a dissertation in their third year. Many of our staff and graduates also undertake research or write for journals and other publications, and we are delighted to share some of that work with you here.
Exploring acupuncture outcomes in a college clinic
Jackie Shaw, Penelope Bidgood and Nasrollah Saebi
This is a fascinating article about research conducted in our own college clinic to evaluate the outcomes for patients. Jackie Shaw, the lead author, is a member of our staff.
Acupuncture for headaches
Mark Bovey is a member of our teaching staff, an acupuncture practitioner, research manager for the British Acupuncture Council and coordinator of the Acupuncture Research Resource Centre. He is the author of a number of acupuncture research articles and has been co-investigator on studies with fertility and Parkinson's disease.
A feasibility study of acupuncture for the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder
Jonathan Pledger is principal here at the college, Chinese medicine lecturer and clinical supervisor. He is a CICM graduate as well as being a shiatsu therapist. He carried out this fascinating piece of research into the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder.
The origin of shen
Sandra Hill traces the concepts and meanings of the most intangible of the three treasures.
Acupuncture and moxibustion in the management of non-cancer-related lower limb lymphoedema: three case studies
Beverley de Valois
Beverley de Valois is a CICM graduate who specialises in investigating the use of acupuncture to improve quality of life for cancer survivors. In 2007, she was awarded a PhD by the University of West London for her research into using acupuncture to manage tamoxifen side effects in women with breast cancer. She combines research work and lecturing with private practice in west London and in 2011 she was elected a fellow of the British Acupuncture Council in recognition of her contribution to the acupuncture profession in the UK.
"I love the teaching at CICM, it is varied, interesting and extremely inspiring and the teachers all have a wealth of experience to draw on.”
“CICM was suggested by an acupuncturist I know and recommended for its high-quality tuition and professional approach. I knew I wanted to explore a degree course and after my open day experience I knew it had to be CICM.”
"I recently joined CICM and there are so many things I love about the place. The teachers are genuinely helpful and want us to do well. The place has a calm, harmonic feel and studying has already had a tangible benefit to my lifestyle and health."
"I was an electrician before I started studying acupuncture. It might not seem like it but there are overlaps between them, you look at a circuit and work out where the problem is coming from and then rectify it. The difference is with acupuncture I’ll help people to get better!"
"Since embarking on this course, I have been astounded every day by the passion that this subject has sparked in me. I realised very quickly that I was in the right place, doing the right thing. I can only describe it as finally finding my place in the universe and becoming part of something much bigger than myself."
"I wanted to become an acupuncturist as I prefer to use natural remedies which are in line with my faith and cultural background. I have witnessed the profound effects treatment can have on patients. CICM has an excellent reputation and I love the whole package here, especially the staff and supportive teachers."
"I appreciated the integrated style of TCM and the five elements as being the most profound way to reach and help people. This was the best possible start to a long acupuncture career that I could possibly wish for."
"My years at CICM will always hold a special place in my mind. It was like entering Hogwarts. The subjects are mind-expanding, the teachers and tutors really passionate and always keen to answer questions and give guidance. It has transformed me as a person and changed the way I see people, emotions, relationships, disease and health."
The teachers are really supportive and make every effort to tailor how they teach to suit the different styles of students. I like to question things and look at things from different angles - and the teachers have always supported me by being there to answer things by email after class, recommend further reading, or even being there to support me when I set up a Chinese medicine society for the college.
The course covers a huge range of topics, angles and perspectives, and whilst so much of it is new, unfamiliar and challenging at times- especially the 'hands on practical aspects- I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing, or anywhere else I’d rather be doing it. CICM is a hub of connection, commitment and energy, and something I am honoured to be part of.
All of my teachers are practicing therapists with a library of information and experience to reinforce their words and the lectures. I have gained a lot of insight into myself and I often find myself reflecting on what we learned in class and applying it to life. I am recommending the course to everyone I know!
As I was in my late forties I was concerned that I was too old, however the Open Day dispelled any doubts that I had as the age range of students and staff spanned from 18 to 80. The beautiful building was a joy to explore and I felt immersed in the world of Chinese Medicine. It was a cocoon of learning in the heart of Reading and only ten minutes’ walk from the train station.