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How do I Choose an Acupuncturist?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Guillaume Baviere, Sorin Georgescu, Photok21
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2020
    Conjecture Corporation
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People all over the world turn to alternative medicine such as acupuncture to obtain relief from various ailments. Because the practice of this form of healing is often not governed by the same laws and regulations placed upon practitioners of western medicine, the task of choosing the right acupuncture practitioner is somewhat more involved than simply looking in the telephone book and making an appointment. There are essentially three factors you must investigate before seriously considering any practitioner of this traditional Chinese medicine as one of your health providers: training, certification, and scope of practice.

While the ability to practice acupuncture does not always require compliance with national health regulations, it is not unusual for professionals who practice TCM or traditional Chinese medicine to establish educational programs that provide thorough training on this type of healing art. As the popularity of acupuncture has grown, many nations now have groups or associations of professional acupuncturists that have implemented this type of study program. Learning how and where the acupuncturist in your local area received his or her training will provide you with a chance to research that program and determine if it is considered to be a good one.

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If you live in the United States, there is a good chance that the acupuncturist has undergone formal training that is recognized by the national and state level governments. It is not unusual for many states to require practitioners to hold a degree related to Oriental Medicine in some manner; they may also be required to complete a state sponsored board exam before receiving the proper credentials to practice acupuncture. When this is the case, you will see the certification displayed in the office, as well as noted in advertising related to the services offered by the acupuncturist.

Even countries where this level of formal training and government examinations is not present, there is usually some sort of certification process that must be completed before opening a practice. The certificates make it clear the acupuncturist has the basic skills and knowledge to provide this type of health care. In any event, make sure any acupuncturist you consider has certification that meets any government requirements and also helps to assure you that the individual has the skills needed to offer competent care.

As a last consideration, determine if the acupuncturist is proficient with the type of treatments you require for your particular set of health woes. As with other types of medicine, acupuncturists may provide general health care services or specialize in a limited number of applications. Taking the time to review the types of healthcare provided will make it easier for you to decide if a particular practitioner will be in a position to treat your ailment and help you recover your health.

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