Education counts—know your practitioner’s education and licensure.
This is an important first question to ask anyone before they perform acupuncture on you! All too frequently consumers are led to believe that any practitioner who is trained or certified to practice acupuncture is highly qualified in the art of diagnosis and treatment using the principles of Chinese Medicine. Don’t hesitate to ask a prospective practitioner about their credentials and training. Your acupuncturists creditials should include certificate from the NCCAOM.
Healthcare providers such as physicians, dentists and chiropractors may also practice a form of acupuncture, though they will often receive less training.
L.Ac. with NCCAOM - These Practitioners have completed 3000-4000+ hour Master level formal education program. This is a 3-4 year program including a clinical rotation. The practitioners scope of practice is unlimited within Traditional Chinese Medicine.
M. Ac - indicates the masters level degree earned by an approved educational institution
NCCAOM - National Certification Commision on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Dipl.Ac or Dipl.OM Both signify that the holder is certified by the NCCAOM.
Professional Acupuncturist ( DC, DDS, DPM ) - This limited license is reserved for chiropractor, dentists, and podiatrists with 200 hours of training in acupuncture. They are not considered licensed acupuncturists but can use acupuncture techniques within their respective field. It is dependent on the chiropractic, dental, or podiatric license. The practitioner's scope of practice is limited to the back, teeth and jaws, and feet, respectively.
Medical Acupuncture (MD) - Medical doctors do not need and additional license to practice acupuncture. A 300 hour course is recommended, but some MD's attend advanced acupuncture training programsl.. Acupuncture may be too time consuming to fit into a busy western medical office.