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On the need for legal regulation of acupuncture practice in the Bulgarian context

Paraskeva Mancheva, Denitsa Grozdeva


In the Western world acupuncture, whose homeland is considered to be China, was introduced by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century, and since then the methods of its application have changed and adapted to the perceptions and expectations of the modern patient. The growing interest in the method presupposes the adaptation of the Bulgarian legislation to the established practice of acupuncture, in addition to the complex therapy.
The aim of this article is to study and analyse the legal framework of acupuncture in Bulgarian conditions.
Material and methods. Documentary-content analysis of enactments, incl. regulations, medical standards and clinical
pathways, in which acupuncture is mentioned or discussed.
Results. Acupuncture does not meet the definition of an unconventional method and its legal status should be reconsidered
in a conventional direction. Specialists who can train and practice acupuncture are in an unnecessarily wide range. The method poses risks to human health and should be performed in accordance with the rules for good medical practice by a trained doctor (certified acupuncturist), who has undergone all levels of training in acupuncture.
Conclusions. The review of the legal framework of acupuncture reveals contradictions between the separate texts in the enactments in which acupuncture is mentioned. In medicine acupuncture is imposed as a conventional method, and perhaps as more – a conventional physical factor, among other natural and reformed physical factors. To this date the practice requires a change in the legislation on this issue by removing acupuncture from the regulation for unconventional methods.


acupuncture; legal regulation

Full Text


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