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What is an Acupuncture Center?

By D. Jeffress
Updated May 17, 2024
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An acupuncture center is a holistic healing facility that focuses on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The practice of acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny, sterile needles into various body parts, which can relieve pain, tension, and chronic conditions — according to TCM. An individual might choose to visit an acupuncture center to find relief for any number of ailments, from headaches to muscle pain to infertility. Many centers offer a variety of holistic treatments beyond traditional acupuncture, such as aromatherapy and herbal remedies.

A patient who visits an acupuncture center usually explains his or her health problems to the acupuncturist and receives information about the procedure. Depending on the patient's specific condition, he or she may be instructed to sit in a chair or lie on a table in preparation for treatment. The acupuncturist proceeds to insert as many as 200 needles into the skin at predetermined locations in an effort to promote better energy flow. According to TCM, acupuncture sessions restore balance and energy to the body and promote overall wellness.

Many acupuncture centers offer a range of other holistic health treatment options as well. A center may feature chiropractic services, aromatherapy treatments, and herbal medicine. In addition, many acupuncture clinics offer heat, magnetic, or light therapy geared at any number of ailments. People commonly receive such treatments for arthritis, sore muscles, back pain, and even chronic conditions like cancer.

The experts who work in acupuncture centers are required to hold licenses in the majority of states and countries. In order to practice in most regions of the United States, acupuncturists must complete three- to four-year master's degree programs from accredited institutions and pass extensive licensing exams administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Newly licensed acupuncturists often join established practices with other professionals, though some are successful at opening their own acupuncture centers.

It is extremely important to consider an acupuncturist's credentials when choosing a healing center. Licensed professionals have been trained in safe and sanitary practices, and have demonstrated knowledge of laws and ethical medical procedures. The most trustworthy acupuncturists are generally the ones who pursue continuing education to stay up-to-date on practical and technological advances in the field so they may provide the best services to clients. Licensing information and other facts about an acupuncture center can usually be found by visiting the facility's website or speaking with receptionists at the actual center.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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