Over the years, many alternative medical practices have been growing in popularity as people seek effective alternative treatments that are cheaper and treat the root cause of the problem. Acupuncture is one of the more popular Chinese medical practices that is slowly gaining in popularity and is sought by millions of people these days.
One research study has reported that 1 million more people sought acupuncture treatment in 2007 as compared to 2002 which means that demand for acupuncturists will keep growing in the future. It is based on the concept of energy and it is mostly used for pain management. In addition to needles, acupuncturists also use heat, pressure and electrical stimulation.
As far as becoming an acupuncturist is concerned, one needs some certifications and a Masters degree to practice as an acupuncturist in most of the states. There are many schools that have been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in US. This commission is also recognized by the Department of Education as an authority in the field of acupuncture.
Though some accredited schools require a bachelor’s degree to join, others admit students without a bachelor degree. A background in medicine is not necessary to join an acupuncture program and they welcome students from all the educational backgrounds. The program covers courses in diagnosis, treatment techniques, herbal studies, herbal clinical training, integrated acupuncture, biomedical clinical sciences and Oriental medical theory among others.
Students also learn about managing an independent acupuncture practice and communicating with clients. On successful completion of the program, students are awarded a Master’s degree and a Master’s degree is the minimum educational qualification required to practice in most of the states.
In most of the states in US, a license is needed to practice. While a separate licensing examination is conducted for acupuncturists in California, the other states require NCCAOM certification or clearing the NCCAOM examination. NCCAOM stands for National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
To get a certification from NCCAOM, the students need to graduate from an accredited school and also do a clean needle technique course that is offered by Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. A certification exam also needs to be passed by student in the foundation of bio medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine. All the states have their own rules when it comes to licensing and practicing as an acupuncturist.
As far as the time taken for the Masters program is concerned, it takes three years and students can apply acupuncturist in West Seattle for necessary certifications in the final year of the program. There is no data available with
Bureau of Labor Statistics on earnings of acupuncturists but CCAOM reports that acupuncturist earn anywhere from $30,000-$60,000 annually.
The use of acupuncture as an alternative treatment is on the rise. Most of the acupuncturists start their own private practice and take care of all the related aspects such as scheduling, billing, equipment and insurance. If you wish to become an acupuncturist, you can obtain all the necessary information from websites of the above-mentioned institutions.