An acupuncturist is a person who practices acupuncture and other modalities related to acupuncture. He/she can insert needles, attach the needles to an electrical stimulator (e-stim), prescribe herbs, perform cupping and massage, and counsel on dietary changes.
What degree does an acupuncturist hold?
Here in the United States, a person who holds an acupuncture has a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). He/she will have had gone through four years of studying herbs and Chinese medicine and other related aspects, including but not limited to courses in Western medicine such as research, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and a few others.
The acupuncture schools are credentialed and students will have put in a rigorous 5000+ hours of lecture and clinic time, in addition to time put in to studying the materials.
Upon completion of an acupuncturist’s education, he/she will then have to sit for the state board or nationals exam before he/she can legally practice acupuncture.
Does an acupuncturist hold a license to practice like other professionals?
Individual acupuncturists may hold a state license or national license or both, in which case, it requires renewals every two (state) or four (national) years with appropriate continuing education courses. However, there are a select few states that do not require an acupuncture license to practice acupuncture in that particular state.
State/national testing is rigorous especially the California State licensing.
Acupuncturists are well trained!
As you can see, acupuncturists are well trained in their field of study. You can rest assured that when you go in to get a treatment, the practitioner is more than qualified to assist you in your health and healing.
However, just like any other health professional, it’s always good to find one that best fits with your personality and with what you are looking for and with whom you can trust!