Interested in Acupuncture?
The ancient, comprehensive system of medicine is the ideal way to treat a variety
of ailments through a holistic and natural approach. But before you head to that
local establishment with the sign that reads, “Acupuncture,” keep in mind that…
Not All Acupuncturists Are Created Equal!
To receive the best possible care, it is crucial that you work with a licensed and
fully qualified acupuncturist.
Acupuncture is one of the fastest growing health fields in the United States and
many health and medical practitioners have latched on to its popularity by offering
acupuncture services to their patients.
For non-licensed acupuncturists, to obtain a certification in acupuncture, a doctor
or health professional undergoes an abbreviated 300 hours or less of training,
often under the tutelage of a single instructor with much of the training done at
In fact, there are physical therapists practicing acupuncture with a mere 24 hours
Acupuncture is an art and science with nearly 2,000 years of clinical history. The
complex principles based on meridians, energy, and organ systems, cannot be learned
in an abbreviated course. It takes years to become proficient in the intricate practice,
learn a whole new set of diagnostic criteria, perfect the precise needling techniques,
identify the myriad of meridians and acupuncture points, and learn the fundamentals
of Eastern medicine. The doctors and therapists that get certified to practice acupuncture
often have no clinical experience and have not treated actual patients prior to
receiving their certification in acupuncture. They don’t need to take the national
certification exam and have no continuing education requirements.
Unfortunately, more than 50-percent of those practicing acupuncture, practice
with this crash course training and lack of experience.
A licensed, qualified acupuncturist has accrued more than 2,000 hours of education
in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. A graduate program in acupuncture and Oriental
medicine takes three to four years of schooling, hundreds of hours of supervised
clinical practice, evaluations, and a well-rounded education centered on the knowledge
of a number of expert professors. It’s not a course taken on the weekends that relies
on videos, books, and minimal interaction with trained professionals. A licensed
acupuncture practitioner has completed their master’s level education, on-site at
a nationally accredited college or school of acupuncture or Oriental medicine. They
must treat at least 250 patients before licensure and have passed the national certification
exam through the NCCAOM. In addition,
to maintain a license, the practitioner must engage in regular continuing education.
Licensed acupuncturists will have the abbreviation L.Ac. in their title. Some have
further qualifications and are Nationally Certified Practitioners of Oriental Medicine
or Diplomates of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. O.M.).
Would you allow an individual who only completed 300 hours of medical school to
perform a procedure on you? Probably not. This is akin to being under the care of
a doctor or therapist certified in acupuncture, as opposed to a licensed acupuncturist.
Your health and wellbeing are a priority, so don’t be afraid to inquire as to an
acupuncturist’s qualifications. Browse through our extensive directory to find a
professional near you. We only feature experienced, fully licensed acupuncturists
known for providing quality care. Put your mind at ease and avoid the guesswork
by searching our network of practitioners who meet the highest possible standards.