Besides licensing, if required, you can also be certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; practitioners with this certification can use the title Diplomate of Acupuncture, professional abbreviation is Dipl.Ac. There is much to learn about the ancient practice of acupuncture. Most, but not all, states require students to complete a three to five year program from an accredited acupuncture school and then pass a state board exam in order to become licensed.
The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is the national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit Master’s-level programs in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession; make sure the school you’re considering has this accreditation. You can call each school you’re considering and ask to speak to a counselor to find out the student-to-teacher ratio so you can get smaller classes. Acupuncture schools that offer courses in traditional Chinese medicine often include other aspects of traditional medicine, like anatomy, body therapy, massage therapy, and sciences.
Try to choose an acupuncture school that offers an extensive library of materials focused on traditional Chinese medicine. You want to find an acupuncture school that offers small classes. It’s important to get a complete picture of all the treatments offered by the acupuncture school to acquire the skills needed to be well-rounded and well-versed for your patients.
Acupuncture schools may offer the science and the philosophy of acupuncture too. There are just a few acupuncture schools that teach practitioners the five-element Oriental medicine approach to acupuncture, which is often used in conjunction with traditional Western medical practices. For naturopathy schools that offer acupuncture programs see a list of accredited Natural Medicine Colleges in North America.
Your economic burden may be lessened with financial aid in the form of federal student loans. Before you commit to any acupuncture school or to any acupuncture training you can purchase “Fundamentals of Chinese Acupuncture” by Andrew Ellis, Nigel Wiseman, and Ken Bosson. 484 pp., illustrated, Harcourt, 1991, paperback; this text book is used in many acupuncture schools and acupuncture programs and will give you an idea if you want to pursue acupuncture as a career. You may not need a license to practice acupuncture in your state; get the facts first on which states require licensing.
Consider contacting your local and health organizations to see if they know of any scholarships available. In order to qualify for federal assistance be sure to enroll in a school that’s accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Take a look at acupuncture schools in your home area first; it will considerably cut down your expenses if you can study near your home.
Note each state and each discipline has its own strict rules about how alternative medicine practitioners can be professionally licensed. Acupuncture benefits are particularly effective at relieving or treating chronic muscle pain, stress, and PMS just to name a few symptoms. Another good textbook to review in advance of your decision is: “The Foundations of Chinese Medicine” a comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists. Maciocia, 528 pp. Illustrated, Harcourt, 1989.
Hopefully these tips will help you learn the newest information about acupuncture schools. Acupuncturists can expect to make about $45,000 per year starting out and can double that amount after a few years experience. And once you’re up and running –
licensed or practicing acupuncture as a student in training, never attempt to use acupuncture to treat potentially life-threatening symptoms such as extreme shortness of breath or chest pain; refer these patients to their doctor.