Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical technique that can help you with a variety of health problems. While it may not be as well known as Western medicine, this ancient healing art has been used for thousands of years to help people with physical and mental ills. In the 21st century, acupuncturists use online education, online certification, and online forums to grow their businesses and stay ahead of the curve. Acupuncture is legal in most countries but is still viewed with suspicion by many people. Fortunately, starting a career as an acupuncturist isn’t difficult. You only need practical knowledge and skills to become an accredited acupuncturist—and that means you don’t need to have any formal training to get your hands on a stethoscope and set up your station.
- 1 What is an acupuncturist?
- 2 How to become an acupuncturist
- 3 What are the requirements for becoming an acupuncturist?
- 4 Acupuncture and sports
- 5 Benefits of acupuncture
- 6 Side effects of acupuncture
- 7 The future of acupuncture
- 8 Online education and training as a career option for acupuncturists
- 9 Conclusion
What is an acupuncturist?
An acupuncturist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders involving the human body’s acupuncture points and acupuncture meridians. Acupuncturists use the stimulation of acupuncture points and meridians to treat patients with a variety of conditions including pain, insomnia, stress disorders, food allergies, and many other medical illnesses.
How to become an acupuncturist
To become an acupuncturist, you must first obtain a license from the Chinese Medicine Board of your state or province. States also require that you be a member of a Chinese medical organization. After you’ve obtained your license, you can apply to the American Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ABoAOM) for certification as an acupuncturist. Once you’re certified, you can use the “A” in your name to open various jobs and opportunities throughout the health care industry. You can also become a certified acupuncturist in other countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
What are the requirements for becoming an acupuncturist?
To become a licensed acupuncturist in the United States, you must first complete an accredited 2-year training program. The curriculum for the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is quite extensive and follows the American Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ABAOM) standard. The curriculum consists of lectures given by the ABAOM faculty, clinical experience with patients, and supervised practice with certified acupuncturists. The following components of the curriculum are common to all programs: Clinical Experience—You’ll complete 30 hours of supervised clinical experience, including 30 hours of in-depth observation of patients. Lecturers—You’ll listen to seven lectures each year and interact with the faculty in patient clinical sessions. Clinical History—You’ll study people with a variety of chronic diseases and disorders to acquire general health knowledge and habits. Medication Impurities—You’ll study the various mechanisms by which medications cause side effects and learn how to identify and treat Med-induced Abnormalities. Pain—You’ll study the mechanisms of pain and its modulation to acquire knowledge about the most effective techniques for treating various types of pain.
Acupuncture and sports
Exercising can be beneficial for many people, even those who aren’t truly athletes. Regularly performing exercises that target the body’s acupuncture points has been proven to increase blood flow and intake of nutrients and minerals, improve sleep quality, and increase longevity.
Benefits of acupuncture
Exercising doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favorite activities. In fact, regularly performing certain types of exercises can even be used as a way to balance out your body’s acupuncture points. Acupuncture is also used in many types of sports, including racquet sports like tennis and golf and trace element treatments for athletes.
Side effects of acupuncture
While acupuncture has been used for millennia, modern medical science is just starting to learn about the many benefits that it has to offer. The good news is that the side effects of acupuncture are few and mild. The most common side effect is an increase in blood pressure, but this effect lasts for about 24 hours and then slowly diminishes. Other common side effects include diarrhea, an increase in heart rate, and a feeling of pressure in the chest.
The future of acupuncture
In addition to having few side effects, acupuncture has a bright future ahead of it. It’s one of three proposed “fourth” traditional medical therapies, along with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine, according to the World Health Organization. These therapies have been around for thousands of years, and there’s a reason for that—they work!
Online education and training as a career option for acupuncturists
While there are many online programs that teach the basics of acupuncture, most provide far less instruction than is required for certification. As an example, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) acupuncture program requires students to pass a written examination, but the average score on the exam is only about 70%. Given that many physicians begin their career by doing internship and residency-level surgeries, an adequate score on the written examination is a huge advantage.
In the past, only a medical doctor or a licensed midwife could offer a diagnosis and treatment for your health problems. As medicine has evolved, so has the scope of healing. Acupuncture, while still rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, has been updated to include modern techniques and is now practiced by a vast array of health care providers. You can find practitioners in bars, at spas, and even in your own home. They use an array of techniques, including sensitivity testing, manual stimulation, and medications to help their patients achieve better health. Whether you need assistance with a medical problem or want to try out acupuncture for general health benefits, there are good chances that you’ll find a practitioner in your area.