Acupuncture - Education and Training

The information below will interest you, in reviewing the education and clinical training
or lack of, that other health care professionals have in regard to their training in acupuncture.


The practice of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is receiving unprecedented publicity in this country, and acupuncture is being offered by a variety of health care practitioners calling themselves acupuncturists or performing acupuncture.


Consequently, the general public may be confused over the qualifications of those providing this service.


The only profession that can actually call themselves acupuncturists are those that
have attended, graduated and passed the rigorous examinations in order to receive
the degree (L.Ac. or Dipl. Ac.).


In most states such as Utah, the only profession that can use the title “acupuncturists” are those that have these degrees. (L.Ac. or Dipl. Ac.).


In some states, (such as Utah) chiropractors are allowed to practice clinical 

acupuncture with minimal training.


The educational programs are usually a mere 100 – 200 hours depending on when

you graduated.


Nationally accredited acupuncture schools provide a minimum of 1,905 hours of training

in their educational programs for acupuncture and a minimum of 2,175 hours in their programs

of Oriental medicine.

These hours also constitute the educational requirements for the licensing of Acupuncturists

in most states.


The American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM) has adopted the position that anyone

practicing acupuncture without certification as a Diplomate in Acupuncture (Dipl. Ac.) from the

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), or an

equivalent state license as an Acupuncturist, practices below the prevailing standards of minimum competency for acupuncture.


In speaking to other healthcare providers (Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc.)

regarding this topic of administrating acupuncture treatment, several professionals feel that

performing acupuncture is not in their scope of practice due to the higher standards of education

and clinical training that an acupuncturist must study.


The other set of healthcare providers (Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc.)

who do practice acupuncture, feel they have this right to perform acupuncture because the

education they received may have included more hours of education in their perspective fields

such as medical school, chiropractic school and/or osteopathic school than the amount of hours

that acupuncturists receive in their perspective field.


Again this is comparing apples to oranges.


I point out how the education and clinical training of both professions are completely and vastly

different than the training an acupuncturist undergoes.


These professional’s (Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, etc.) also like to say they are

performing medical acupuncture, clinical acupuncture, meridian acupuncture, scientific acupuncture, etc.


By saying this, they feel they are now entitled to do acupuncture.


I have spoken to several Chiropractors over the years about this, and they feel they should be able

to perform Acupuncture. I mentioned to each of them, if this is the case I should teach a 100 – 200 hour course on spinal manipulation / adjusting to Licensed Acupuncturist’s.


They all disagreed with me.


I feel that since I have been educated and received degrees in both systems of health care

(Chiropractic & Acupuncture), and it is my opinion, that unless a healthcare professional has

received adequate training in acupuncture it poses health risk’s as well as either success or

failure of the clinical outcome of the acupuncture treatment.


The question to ask yourself is, do I want a healthcare professional performing acupuncture on myself

and/or my loved ones who has not been adequately trained.

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