The use of acupuncture is rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine and establishes a system to help treat chronic pain and illnesses. Students can learn this holistic approach to treating patients by completing educational training. A variety of natural healing colleges can be entered that prepare students for obtaining acupuncture training and careers.
In order to become students will need to complete master's degree programs. The knowledge base and clinical skill needed to become an acupuncturist requires students to have an advance understanding of the field. Students learn how a patient's physical and emotional state affects the use of acupuncture. Training focuses on teaching students to treat the whole patient so everything is healed not just the physical ailments. Professionals place sterile needles into meridians, commonly called energy pathways, to relieve pain. Needles are placed in specific patterns and depths to target different areas of pain and treat diseases. To properly prepare for acupuncture programs students should complete bachelor's degree programs in alternative medicine.
Training inside alternative medicine is focused on giving students a general understanding of the field. Students will have the opportunity to study massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and more. By obtaining this foundational base student's understand the various practices used to heal patients naturally, which includes acupuncture. The basic knowledge of natural healing practices allows students to transition into specialties at the graduate level.
Masters degree programs are study intensive and may take up to three years to complete. Students will be immersed in the history and theories of acupuncture in regards to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Training develops the ability to identify meridian points and classify them according to oriental practices. With today's professionals working with traditional doctors western medicine is also explored. The knowledge gained is essential to careers because many patients use acupuncture as a supplement therapy. Other main areas of training include nutrition and herbal therapy. Common courses that build specific acupuncture knowledge may include:
· Botanical Medicine
· Needle Manipulation
Once students complete lecture-based courses they are required to fulfill a certain number of hands-on-training hours. Clinical hours have students practicing acupuncture techniques on patients while under the supervision of a licensed acupuncturist. Students work through rotations, which have them performing acupuncture procedures for immune disorders, chronic pains, and stress related illnesses. This multi-faceted educational requirement is mandatory and makes students eligible for licensing examinations.
The therapeutics, theories, and practices learned while in school will be tested when students pursue mandatory certification. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine provides certification for acupuncturists. Many states have different regulations that need to be followed so students should ensure the certification they obtain is all that's needed in their particular state. Students that become acupuncturists can continue learning about the field through annual conferences that focus on new research information and acupuncture strategies.