Practitioners whose graduate education is in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine receive approximately 80% of their education exclusively in this field and undergo extensive clinical training averaging 3-4 years. Other healthcare practitioners may only use acupuncture, which is one of the many therapies of Oriental Medicine, as a technique in their primary practice.
A philosophical distinction of Oriental Medicine is its whole person approach of mind, body, and spirit in a comprehensive energetic healthcare system that includes acupuncture, herbs, Asian bodywork (e.g. acupressure, tui na, shiatsu), nutrition, tai chi, qi gong, and meditation.
This chart is designed to illustrate the varying levels of education undertaken by healthcare professionals in acupuncture only and not in related curriculum, such as in the biosciences. Acupuncture should only be administered by a practitioner who has specific education in this field due to risk of improper needling, inadequate understanding of Oriental medical diagnostic procedures, transmission of disease, imbalancing of energy, or ethical violations. Ask your practitioner about his or her education in order to ensure that you receive the most professional acupuncture care available for your optimal health and wellness.
Contact Hours in Acupuncture Education
|3-4 years in Acupuncture school (1500-2000 hours)||Typically an L.Ac. We earn a Masters degree from an accredited school and are required to take national boards given by the NCCAOM in addition to school.||A broad range of health
issues, including chronic
disease, pain, internal
|300 hours or less
|Osteopaths, chiropractors, doctors, naturopaths, physical therapists that use acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for their services. The World Health Organization asks M.D.s to have 200 hours of training in acupuncture to know when to refer to a more qualified practitioner.||Pain, basic ailments|
|100 hours or less in acupuncture||Typically a detox/auricular acupuncture technician or
chiropractor (detox techs are generally limited to 5 points
on the ear)
|Addiction and pain|
Please be educated in choosing your practitioner. Licensed acupuncturists have hundreds of hours more training in acupuncture than any other practitioner. Look for an L.Ac behind their name and make sure they are accredited by the NCCAOM.