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How do I Learn About Acupuncture?

By Sarah Valek
Updated May 17, 2024
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Acupuncture uses sharp instruments inserted into the body’s pressure points to achieve pain relief and healing. Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is one of the most widely accepted forms of alternative medicine. There are many ways to learn about acupuncture, whether you're doing self-study for fun or are planning to be a professional acupuncturist.

There are many acupuncture books for beginners. These books point out pressure points on the human body, describe the 12 meridians and provide general information about acupuncture. “Acupuncture for Everyone: What It Is, Why It Works, and How It Can Help You” by Ruth Lever Kidson is a popular acupuncture book for beginners. After reading a beginner’s book, check out “A Manual of Acupuncture” by Peter Deadman, which is one of the most highly regarded textbooks about acupuncture.

Any thorough study of acupuncture must include information on pressure points, meridians and channels, and the proper way to use and sterilize needles. Acupuncture charts and human models can be useful for learning to locate these points. When learning, try to trace your own channels with your finger to make a mental note of where they are.

Some communities offer workshops about acupuncture benefits taught by local practitioners. You can call an acupuncturist near you to see if he or she offers an introductory session to describe the process. While you can learn about acupuncture basics through books and workshops, you must complete formal training and receive an acupuncturist license to become a professional. In most states, you cannot practice acupuncture on another person unless you have a license to do so.

Many colleges, such as Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles and Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago and Wisconsin, offer acupuncture programs and degrees. These programs offer master's level certification and often include lessons on herbalism, breathing techniques and other tenets of TCM. Students may partake in a supervised clinical practice session to learn hands-on about acupuncture. The length of these courses vary by institution and can last three months to over four years.

To obtain licensure, students must take a Clean Needle Technique class as well as pass the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's (NCCAOM) Acupuncture, Foundations of Oriental Medicine and Point Location Modules exam. Most states require students to have well-rounded knowledge about acupuncture practices and have master's level certification before getting a license.

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Discussion Comments
By anon970490 — On Sep 18, 2014

Luckily, the ancient art of Chinese healing through acupuncture can

help you out of that dark place. What’s more, it can do so painlessly

and easily.

The special healing crystals (no needle -- ouch!) are simply taped to

the body at certain specified points in order to jump start the body’s

natural healing process. No actual needles or puncturing of the skin are

involved, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up any blood or

dealing with any painful childhood fears of needles. Actually, you won’t

believe how easy the process is. Once you’ve done it once, you’ll be

wondering why you haven’t been doing it for years!

By anon188722 — On Jun 21, 2011

How can I get a degree in acupuncture, based on my studies and Spanish diplomas, and my professional experiece for more than 15 years? Thanks

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