Dr Mike Cummings

Mike is Medical Director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS). This is a full time post that involves running the BMAS London Teaching Clinic (LTC), co-ordinating and lecturing on BMAS courses in Western medical acupuncture, acting as an associate editor for the Medline-listed journal Acupuncture in Medicine, and representing the BMAS at various academic and political meetings. Mike is an Honorary Clinical Specialist at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, which is part of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he supports acupuncture services.

His principal academic and clinical interest is musculoskeletal pain, and in particular, needling therapies in the treatment of myofascial pain syndromes.

After completing his medical degree at Leeds, and several hospital jobs in the north of England, Mike joined the Royal Air Force for a six and a half year short service commission. A substantial portion of the workload for a general duties medical officer (GDMO) in the RAF is musculoskeletal medicine. Mike came across acupuncture by accident whilst working as a GDMO. He followed his interest in musculoskeletal medicine and acupuncture on retiring from military service, and finally found himself occupied full time in the field of acupuncture (see start of the piece).


  1. Cummings TM. A computerised audit of acupuncture in two populations: civilian and forces. Acupunct Med 1996;14(1):37-39.
  2. Filshie J, Cummings TM. Western medical acupuncture. In: Ernst E, White AR, editors. Acupuncture – A Scientific Appraisal. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, 1999:31-59.
  3. Cummings M. Teasing Apart The Quality And Validity In Systematic Reviews Of Acupuncture. Acupunct Med 2000;18(2):104-7.
  4. Cummings M. Piriformis Syndrome. Acupunct Med 2000;18(2):108-21.
  5. Cummings M. More on BMA's approval of acupuncture. Acupuncture techniques should be tested logically and methodically. BMJ 2001;322(7277):46.
  6. Cummings TM, White AR. Needling therapies in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: a systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2001;82(7):986-92.
  7. Cummings M. Commentary: Controls for acupuncture – Can we finally see the light? BMJ 2001;322(7302):1578.
  8. Cummings M. Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – electroacupuncture by another name? A comparative review. Acupunct Med 2001;19(1):32-5.
  9. White A, Cummings M, Hopwood V, MacPherson H. Informed Consent for Acupuncture - An Information Leaflet Developed by Consensus. Acupunct Med 2001;19(2):123-9.
  10. White AR, Filshie J, Cummings TM. Clinical trials of acupuncture: consensus recommendations for optimal treatment, sham controls and blinding. Complement Ther Med 2001;9(4):237-45.
  11. MacPherson H, White A, Cummings M, Jobst K, Rose K, Niemtzow R. Standards for reporting interventions in controlled trials of acupuncture: The STRICTA recommendations.STandards for Reporting Interventions in Controlled Trials of Acupuncture. Acupunct Med 2002;20(1):22-5.
  12. Peuker E, Cummings M. Anatomy for the acupuncturist – facts and fiction 1: the head and neck region. Acupunct Med 2003;21(1-2):2-8.
  13. Cummings M. Referred knee pain treated with electroacupuncture to iliopsoas. Acupunct Med 2003;21(1-2):32-5.
  14. Cummings M. Acupuncture for low back pain in pregnancy. Acupunct Med 2003;21(1-2):42-6.
  15. Cummings M. The terms 'acupuncture' and 'placebo' should be adequately defined in clinical trials. Complement Ther Med 2003; 11(2):123-124.
  16. Peuker E, Cummings M. Anatomy for the acupuncturist – facts and fiction 2: the chest, abdomen and back. Acupunct Med 2003;21(3):72-9.
  17. Cummings M. Myofascial pain from pectoralis major following trans-axillary surgery. Acupunct Med 2003;21(3):105-7.
  18. Peuker E, Cummings M. Anatomy for the acupuncturist – facts and fiction 3: the upper and lower extremity. Acupunct Med 2003;21(4):122-32.
  19. Cummings M. Acupuncture and trigger point needling. In: Hazelman B, Riley G, Speed C editors. Soft Tissue Rheumatology. Cambridge: Oxford University Press; 2004. p. 275-82.
  20. Cummings M. Myofascial pain syndromes. In: Hazelman B, Riley G, Speed C editors. Soft Tissue Rheumatology. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2004. p. 509-22.
  21. Tait J, Cummings M. Education, training and continuing professional development in medical acupuncture – a contemporary overview. Acupunct Med 2004;22(2):75-82.
  22. Cummings M, Reid F. BMAS policy statements in some controversial areas of acupuncture practice. Acupunct Med 2004;22(3):134-6.
  23. White A, Cummings M, Filshie J. Report on acupuncture in patients with valvular heart disease and prosthetic valves – the opinion of COPE. Acupunct Med 2004; 22(3):159.
  24. Cummings M. Low back pain assessment for the medical acupuncturist. Acupunct Med 2004;22(4):189-202.
  25. Stener-Victorin E, Cummings M, Lundeberg T. Comment on: Acupuncture analgesia during surgery: a systematic review by Hyangsook Lee and Edzard Ernst, Pain 114 (2005) 511-517. Pain 2005;117(1-2):237-8.
  26. Oomman S, Liu D, Cummings M. Acupuncture for acute postoperative pain relief in a patient with pregnancy-induced thrombocytopenia--a case report. Acupunct Med 2005; 23(2):83-85.
  27. Dorsher P, Cummings M. Anatomy for Acupuncture. London: Primal Pictures Ltd; 2004. DVD-ROM ISBN 978-1-904369-70-7.
  28. Lindley S, Cummings TM. Essentials of Western Veterinary Acupuncture. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing; 2006.
  29. White A, Tough E, Cummings M. A review of acupuncture clinical trials indexed during 2005. Acupunct Med 2006;24(1):39-49.
  30. Cummings M, Lundeberg T. Acupuncture for tinnitus. Complement Ther Med 2006;14(4):290-1.
  31. Lewith G, Berman B, Cummings M, Filshie J, Fisher P, White A. Systematic review of systematic reviews of acupuncture published 1996-2005. Clin Med 2006;6(6):623-5.
  32. Dorsher P, Cummings M. Anatomy for acupuncture (DVD ROM: ISBN 978-1-904369-70-7). London: Primal Pictures Ltd; 2006.
  33. White A, Foster NE, Cummings M, Barlas P. Acupuncture treatment for chronic knee pain: a systematic review. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2007.
  34. Cummings M, Baldry P. Regional myofascial pain: diagnosis and management. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 2007;21(2):367-87.
  35. Pilkington K, Kirkwood G, Rampes H, Cummings M, Richardson J. Acupuncture for anxiety and anxiety disorders--a systematic literature review. Acupunct Med 2007;25(1-2):1-10.
  36. Berkovitz S, Cummings M, Perrin C, Ito R. High volume acupuncture clinic (HVAC) for chronic knee pain - audit of a possible model for delivery of acupuncture in the National Health Service. Acupunct Med 2008;26(1):46-50.
  37. Tough EA, White AR, Cummings TM, Richards SH, Campbell JL. Acupuncture and dry needling in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Eur J Pain 2008.
  38. Cummings M. Chapter 18: Acupuncture. In: Breivik H, Campbell WI, Nicholas MK editors. Clinical Pain Management: Practice and Procedures. London: Hodder Arnold; 2008. p. 206-19.
  39. Berkovitz S, Cummings M, Perrin C, et al. High volume acupuncture clinic (HVAC) for chronic knee pain--audit of a possible model for delivery of acupuncture in the National Health Service. Acupunct Med 2008; 26(1):46-50.
  40. White A, Cummings M, Barlas P, Cardini F, Filshie J, Foster NE et al. Defining an adequate dose of acupuncture using a neurophysiological approach--a narrative review of the literature. Acupunct Med 2008;26(2):111-20.
  41. Thompson JW, Cummings M. Investigating the safety of electroacupuncture with a Picoscope. Acupunct Med 2008;26(3):133-9.
  42. White A, Cummings M, Filshie J. An introduction to western medical acupuncture. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2008.
  43. White A, Cummings M. Does acupuncture relieve pain? BMJ 2009;338:a2760.
  44. Cummings, M. Modellvorhaben Akupunktur. Acupunct Med 2009;27(1):26-30.
  45. White A, Cummings M. Psoas abscess and acupuncture. Acupunct Med 2009; 27(2):48-49.
  46. Kassab S, Cummings M, Berkovitz S, et al. Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;(2):CD004845.
  47. Cummings M. Journal Club: Specific effect of acupuncture on tension-type headache but not migraine. Forsch Komplementmed 2009; 16(3):197-199.
  48. Cummings M. Why recommend acupuncture for low back pain but not for osteoarthritis? A commentary on recent NICE guidelines. Acupunct Med 2009;27(3):128-9.
  49. Cummings M. Myofascial trigger points: does recent research gives new insights into the pathophysiology? Acupunct Med 2009 Dec;27(4):148-9.
  50. Cummings M. Journal Club: On the Effect of Patient-Provider Communication in Acupuncture. Forsch Komplementmed 2010; 17(5):279-281.
  51. White AR, Cummings M. Acupuncture infections. Editorial exaggerates the risk. BMJ 2010;340:c3148.
  52. Brinkhaus B, Lewith G, Rehberg B, Heusser P, Cummings M, Michalsen A et al. How to treat a patient with chronic low back pain - methodology and results of the first international case conference of integrative medicine. Complement Ther Med 2011;19(1):54-62.
  53. Cummings M. Safety aspects of electroacupuncture. Acupunct Med 2011; 29(2):83-85.
  54. Cummings M. 'Forbidden points' in pregnancy: no plausible mechanism for risk. Acupunct Med 2011; 29(2):140-142.
  55. Cummings M. Report of adverse event with electroacupuncture. Acupunct Med 2011;29(2):147-51.
  56. Belivani M, Dimitroula C, Katsiki N, Apostolopoulou M, Cummings M, Hatzitolios AI. Acupuncture in the treatment of obesity: a narrative review of the literature. Acupunct Med 2012 Nov 15.
  57. Cummings M. The development of group acupuncture for chronic knee pain was all about providing frequent electroacupuncture. Acupunct Med 2012;30(4):363-4.
  58. White A, Cummings M. Inconsistent placebo effects in NICE's network analysis. Acupunct Med 2012;30(4):364-5.
  59. White A, Cummings M. Acupuncture's benefits spring from a rational approach. Eur J Intern Med 2013;24(1):e5.
  60. Cummings M. EA to the cunionavicular. Acupunct Med 2013;31(2):128.
  61. Cummings M, Ross-Marrs R, Gerwin R. Pneumothorax complication of deep dry needling demonstration. Acupunct Med 2014;32(6):517-9.
  62. Belivani M, Lundeberg T, Cummings M, Dimitroula C, Belivani N, Vasilakos D, Hatzitolios A. Immediate effect of three different electroacupuncture protocols on fasting blood glucose in obese patients: a pilot study. Acupunct Med 2015;33(2):110-4.
  63. White A, Cummings M. Acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis: study by Hinman et al represents missed opportunities. Acupunct Med 2015;33(1):84-6.
  64. Maric S, Cummings M. Dr Walburg Marić-Oehler. Acupunct Med 2015;33(2):158-9.
  65. Filshie J, White A, Cummings M. Medical Acupuncture – A Western Scientific Approach. 2nd edition. London: Elsevier; 2016.
  66. Cummings M. Western Medical Acupuncture – The Approach to Treatment. In: Filshie J, White A, Cummings M. Medical Acupuncture – A Western Scientific Approach. 2nd edition. London: Elsevier, 2016. p. 100-24.
  67. White A, Cummings M. Safety of Acupuncture. In: Filshie J, White A, Cummings M. Medical Acupuncture – A Western Scientific Approach. 2nd edition. London: Elsevier, 2016. p. 214-32.
  68. Cummings M, White A. A Critical Approach to Randomised Controlled Trials of Acupuncture. In: Filshie J, White A, Cummings M. Medical Acupuncture – A Western Scientific Approach. 2nd edition. London: Elsevier, 2016. p. 279-97.
  69. Cummings M. NG59 used different levels of evidence for conventional interventions compared with those for acupuncture and may not have adequately addressed personal financial COIs of the GDG chair. BMJ. 2017;356. http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6748/rr-6