Choosing an Acupuncturist – What You Need to Know

Today, acupuncture is acknowledged as a respected field of medicine. That said, as with any medical professional, choosing someone that has the appropriate history and credentials is key to the healing process. The best acupuncturist will take the time to understand your body and has experience treating the disorder you’re dealing with. They’ll also want to empower you when it comes to sustaining health and wellness. Following are a few things you need to know when it comes to choosing the best acupuncturist.

Determine Your Treatment Goals

Decide in advance what your expectations are and discuss them with your acupuncturist. Is your goal to try acupuncture to better balance your mind, spirit and body, or are you dealing with a specific complaint or injury? Are you looking for an acupuncturist to work with in conjunction with your traditional medical professional? You can see an acupuncturist for issues that include infertility, allergies, migraines, insomnia, anxiety and more says Samantha Jacobs of CT Acupuncture.

Once you’ve determined your goals, there are a few questions you should ask when choosing an acupuncturist.

Were They Trained and Licensed to Oriental Medicine Practices?

In the U.S., rigorous training standards are in place for acupuncturists. In most States, countries and provinces, formal training and certification are required to practice, include a 3 to 5-year Master’s degree in Oriental medicine, earned through an accredited acupuncture school. This also required an additional practical and written exam in order to become licensed. These professionals typically have a minimum of 1,800 to 2,400 hours of education and clinical training.

If you live in an area that doesn’t require licensing, choose an acupuncturist that is certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. This organization’s members have earned a degree in Oriental Medicine from an accredited school, or have 4 years of apprentice experience under their belts. They are also required to pass written and practical testing. Acupuncturists That successfully pass the examination are qualified to receive the Dipl. O.M. (Diplomate of Oriental Medicine) or Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture).

Determine Your Specific Acupuncturist’s Characteristics

Since there are several types of acupuncturists, it’s important to consider what you’re looking for in one. For instance, you may prefer acupuncturist that has been trained in Oriental medicine over someone with an MD. You’ll also want to find out if they have experience treating your specific condition, how long they’ve been practicing, etc.

Ask About Treatment Styles

Acupuncture (and Herbology if you’re interested in it) encompasses a number of distinctive styles. For example, Japanese acupuncture involves finer and fewer needles that are inserted at shallower depths while Korean acupuncture primarily involves points on the hand.

Ask for a Referral

Ask somebody you know who has had successful treatments with acupuncture for a referral. This will be especially helpful if they had acupuncture to treat a condition similar to yours. You can also ask your health care provider for a recommendation.

Choosing an acupuncturist that you’re happy with is an important process and the success of treatment depends on it.