What are the Different Acupuncture Courses?

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  • Written By: Kerrie Main
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and uses the insertion and manipulation of needles into different parts of the body to help with pain relief and other therapies. It has been practiced for many centuries and has been studied by those in modern medicine since the late 20th century. Many municipalities around the world have regulations that govern the use of acupuncture. In the United States, each state has individual requirements, but all certified acupuncturists must take the exams and obtain certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). To pass the certification, several basic acupuncture courses are needed, such as courses in needles, anatomy and energetics, techniques and point therapeutics.

One of the most basic acupuncture courses involves learning the different meridians on the body. There are approximately 12 primary and eight extraordinary meridians, which are believed to be invisible channels that circulate the body’s life force, or Qi. Some acupuncture schools focus greatly on the learning of Qi movement, and others ignore it and emphasize the technical and scientific aspects of the practice.


Learning the anatomy and energetics of acupuncture points can be done through several acupuncture courses. The lung, large intestine, stomach, heart and small intestine meridians usually are taught together. Some classes focus on the bladder, kidney and gall bladder meridians at the same time. More advanced acupuncture courses teach the liver, governing and conception meridians together, along with group points such as the front and back points.

Many acupuncture courses teach the many uses for different types and sizes of acupuncture needles. They are in lecture, classroom and lab formats to cover both the theory and practice of using needles. The focuses of these courses are needle insertion, manipulation and withdrawal, as well as how to select the proper needle for each point. Learning how to clean and the rules for disinfection are also covered in these acupuncture courses.

Once the entry-level acupuncture courses are completed, the curriculum moves into advanced techniques and practices such as cupping, electro-acupuncture, acupressure and moxibustion. Diagnosis courses also are available and teach the student how to determine which of the patients' organs are affected. There also are courses to learn methods of combining different aliment treatments in one acupuncture session.

Research should be conducted before choosing an acupuncture school and acupuncture courses. The teacher and overall school philosophy will determine which courses are offered. Some acupuncture schools also offer classes in overall alternative medicine, different types of traditional Chinese medicine and herbal medicine. Future acupuncturists should learn their geographic area's individual rules and regulations for certification before choosing courses.



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