Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Is a Licensed Acupuncturist?

There are many reasons why you should only seek acupuncture from licensed acupuncturists.  You wouldn't go to an amateur tattoo artist for a tattoo. You also wouldn't go to a veterinarian if you've got the flu, even if they are well trained in animal biology.  If you are seeking acupuncture, it is important you find one that is a Licensed Acupuncturist or L.Ac.  When you find one, be sure to ask where they received their training, which acupuncture school did they attended, and what is their California acupuncture license number.  With the answers to these specific questions you will be able to discover if they are truly a Licensed Acupuncturist or another physician that merely took a weekend course in how to insert needles.

A licensed acupuncturist uses specific information obtained during an initial consultation and exam that allows them to create a treatment plan for you, the patient. Aside from asking a list of detailed of questions, they will also ask to look at your tongue and check your pulse. These diagnostic checks provide more information on what type of treatment might be required and help us to understand what is going on inside the body. Traditional acupuncture done within the scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic type of patient care.

Other professions may claim to be licensed to perform acupuncture, but you should know that the amount of time and depth of training pales to that of an acupuncturist who has graduated from a school of Chinese medicine with at least a master's degree.

Currently, chiropractors are only required to have 300 hours of training to perform acupuncture, and many have much less. Physical therapists have been performing “dry needling” which is the insertion of acupuncture needles into certain areas of the body. Do not be fooled: dry needling is merely acupuncture being given by unlicensed acupuncturists. Many times physical therapists have as few as 10 hours of training, in comparison to the 1,850 hours it takes to become a licensed acupuncturist. It is worth noting that many other acupuncturists, such as myself, have as many as 3,200 hours or more of training that includes herbal studies and clinic internships. All of those hours also do not account for the time I spent on an internship in Taiwan at a hospital which integrates both western medicine with traditional Chinese medicine.

Even beyond the field of acupuncture, this should be a concern of patients and customers. Know your provider and find out what there background is, even before your first visit.

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