Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Specialist

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine specialists treat patients using ancient medical remedies. This type of holistic medicine is centered around the concept of Qi energy. Acupuncturists, a type of Oriental medicine specialist, interview, visually examine, and perform other tests on patients to determine what is wrong with them. After determining what is causing the patient harm or disharmony, acupuncturists select the treatment best suited to address the problem. Oriental medicine differs from modern medicine. Modern medical practitioners typically treat disease, while Oriental medical specialists, like other holistic medicine practitioners, address functional problems. When treating patients, acupuncturists can administer acupuncture, cupping, electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, and acupressure. Besides medical recommendations, acupuncturists often recommend dietary changes, herbal remedies, and exercise programs, including qi gong or chi.

Acupuncturists work at hospitals, private medical clinics, community health centers, and other medical facilities. Many acupuncturists establish and manage private practices. In fact, over 90 percent of these specialists run small businesses. Acupuncturists typically work 40 hour weeks, but those running their own businesses enjoy flexible schedules. To accommodate patients’ schedules, they often work nights and weekends. Private practitioners often spend a lot of time performing clerical tasks. Healthcare administrators often manage large acupuncture clinics.

Education and Training

It usually takes 3-4 years to complete a formal training program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Acupuncture students are required to complete at least 105 credit hours, while students in Oriental medicine programs are typically required to complete 146 credit hours.

Most acupuncture and Oriental medicine training programs require 2 years of undergraduate or graduate study, (60 credit hours), to qualify for admittance.

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) administers the sole national certification program for Oriental medicine specialists. Those passing the accreditation test receive a certificate signifying they’re qualified to administer acupuncture and Oriental medical treatments.

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