Acupuncture can be a truly rewarding career. Here, we have compiled resources to tell you a bit more about this ancient practice, where you can earn a certificate or degree, and what it is like to work in the field.
On this site, we list programs where you can learn acupuncture and turn it into a career. Some of our listings are schools devoted to acupuncture and alternative medicine, and some are certificate or degree programs at regular colleges. We hope that you will be able to find the right program for you and start down the path to a rewarding career!
Acupuncture has been practiced in China for at least 2,000 years (some say it is more like 3,000 years). One of the tenets of Oriental medicine (traditional Asian medicine and healing) is that our bodies require an uninterrupted flow of what is know as Qi or Chi -- life energy. Qi runs through channels (called meridians) and connects our organs. When Qi becomes blocked or unbalanced, a physical or mental ailment may result. Acupuncture is one way to un-block a patient's Qi and restore them to proper health.
Acupuncturists learn how to diagnose the ailments of a patient and how to treat him or her using very thin stainless-steel needles inserted into specific points on the surface of the skin. The insertion of these needles triggers certain biochemical/physiological reactions in the body that promote healing.
As acupuncture has grown in popularity, governments have recognized it as a valuable form of medicine and they seek to regulate it as such. In most states in the US as well as in many other countries, training and certification are required in order to have a practice. Most states require students to complete 3-5 year program at an acupuncture school and then pass a state board exam in order to become licensed. You can also be certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (practitioners with this certification can use the title Dipl.Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture).
Modern science has proven the effectiveness of many treatments that have been practiced in other countries for centuries, and as a result, more and more insurance companies are covering alternative treatments. In some states, an acupuncturist can even be chosen as your primary care physician. Acupuncture is particular effective at relieving or treating chronic muscle pain, stress, PMS, and other common symptoms.
Some practitioners own their own business or work for a small practice; some work in tandem with chiropractors or centers for Oriental medicine.