As acupuncture has become more popular over the years, governments have recognized it as a valuable form of medicine and seek to regulate it. Once you become informed about acupuncture schools you’ll be able to find the right program or school for you and start down the path to a rewarding career as an acupuncturist. Starting out, one needs to learn how and where you can earn a certificate or degree in acupuncture and what it’s like to work in the field of acupuncture.
Acupuncture school education and training requirements can total from 2500 to 4000 credit hours. You want to opt for a school whose program emphasizes courses in traditional Chinese medicine; acupuncture is just one part of traditional Chinese medicine. You can call each school you’re considering and ask to speak to a recruiting counselor to find out the student-to-teacher ratio so you can get smaller classes.
States like California have many acupuncture schools to choose from, while Wisconsin, for example, has only one school; some states have none at all. Choose an acupuncture school that offers an extensive library of materials focused on traditional Chinese medicine. There are just a few acupuncture schools that teach practitioners the five-element Oriental medicine approach to acupuncture, which is often used in conjunction with traditional Western medical practices.
Keep in mind that depending on the school, students may be required to study herbal medicine or may be offered herbal courses as electives. Check with your school – it’s important that you have a wide selection of study resources available to you so you can have all the literature that is essential for a broad learning experience. For naturopathy schools that offer acupuncture programs see online the list of accredited Natural Medicine Colleges in North America.
One good textbook to review in advance of your decision is: “The Foundations of Chinese Medicine” a comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists. Maciocia, 528pp., 96 Illustrated, Harcourt, 1989. Internships in acupuncture take place in acupuncture clinics or clinical settings, usually in the third year. Acupuncture benefits are particularly effective at relieving or treating chronic muscle pain, stress, and PMS just to name a few symptoms.
Talk to the financial aid counselors at the acupuncture school or college you are considering and see if they have any suggestions for scholarships, grants or loans. Acupuncture scholarships may be available; check this out as soon as you make the decision to enroll in a program – don’t wait. Economic burden may be lessened with financial aid in the form of federal student loans.
If you visit an acupuncture practitioner to learn more before you commit to acupuncture as a career, make sure to choose a practitioner who is licensed by a recognized national acupuncture organization. Consider contacting your local organizations and health organizations to see if they know of any scholarships available. Note that each state and each discipline has its own strict rules about how alternative medicine practitioners can be professionally licensed.
And once you’re licensed or practicing acupuncture as a student in training, never attempt to use acupuncture to treat potentially life-threatening symptoms such as extreme shortness of breath or chest pain; refer these patients to their doctor. Make sure to learn about your state’s licensing requirements for acupuncturists and necessity of acupuncture schools before you do anything else. Our advanced medicine today has proven the effectiveness of many treatments that have been practiced in other countries for many centuries; as a result, more and more insurance companies are covering alternative treatments like acupuncture.