What a journey it has been! Mountains of paperwork and documents! It was all worth it though, and I spent an exciting and emotional morning with friends at York Register Office for the citizenship ceremony where I received my official certificate from the Mayor and Sheriff of York.
As you may have guessed I am Italian by birth, and I am still able to hold an Italian passport alongside the UK one. I have lived in six countries all over the world but haven’t always been able to practise Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture there. The regulations surrounding Acupuncture practise vary widely across the world and within Europe. In Italy, acupuncture is seen as an invasive surgical act and can only be performed by Western Medical Doctors. A big problem here is that the doctors do not have to be TCM trained, they can do a short course in dry needling and then claim to practise acupuncture.
Many of the Scandinavian countries are much more accepting of TCM acupuncture and its role in health care. The Netherlands have no restrictions or regulations around acupuncture, neither does Norway. In Denmark practitioners have no restrictions but must meet a certain level of education to be able to practise.
Belgium passed a progressive piece of legislation back in 1999 to establish four commissions to set professional standards and organise research for homoeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and acupuncture. The country is hugely accepting of complementary therapies, with 1 in 2 Belgians regularly visiting a therapist.
Thankfully, Acupuncture is well recognised here in the UK and is regulated by the British Acupuncture Council. I’m grateful that I have been able to grow such a thriving practice here in York. I see the vital role TCM Acupuncture plays in people’s health, and enjoy working collaboratively with other healthcare practitioners, from doctors and nurses to nutritional therapists, herbalists, and masseurs.
Whatever challenges Brexit may throw at us, I can now safely say my acupuncture is here to stay!
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