Northern College of Acupuncture
61 Micklegate
01904  343305

About the Foundation



The Foundation started as a small yet dynamic organisation committed to promoting high quality research into our understanding of acupuncture.  Set up in 1990 by Northern College of Acupuncture as a sister research charity, the Foundation for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine (FRTCM), identified the need to carry out robust research into the value of traditional Chinese medicine.

Initially, the Northern College of Acupuncture's teaching clinic collaborated with the FRTCM and Sheffield University on a large pragmatic controlled trial into the provision of an acupuncture service for low back pain. This was the UK's largest ever research study into acupuncture, with major funding from the Department of Health.  Patients were followed up for two years after treatment and the results of the trial have now been published in the British Medical Journal.  This research means that acupuncture is now one of the best evidenced interventions for back pain, and it was a key part of the evidence informing the decision in 2009 of the National Institute for Clinical and Healthcare Excellence (NICE) to recommend that acupuncture for back pain should be made available on the NHS

Dr Hugh MacPherson, the Research Director at FRTCM, is now Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Health Sciences, University of York, giving us an expanded range of new projects exploring acupuncture’s potential for several conditions, including a large study comparing acupuncture and counselling with usual care for moderate to severe depression, and a meta-analysis demonstrating specific effects of acupuncture. The FRTCM has supported several doctoral projects to run alongside this work.  

In 2011 the FRTCM merged with the College to become its research wing.  The Foundation for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine is a research charity with a Patron, a Board of Trustees and Advisors (for details see who’s who). Financial support has come from a combination of core funding from grant-making trusts and project funding from statutory and other sources. Donations from individuals and grant-making trusts have been a valued source of funding for the work of the Foundation.


  • Amy Best
  • Anne & Sonia
  • Denise
  • Karla
  • Mark

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