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Acupuncture Schools and Programs

Acupuncture is a fascinating alternative to conventional western medicine that draws on centuries of knowledge from the East. Consider studying acupuncture massage and earning a certificate to become a professional acupuncturist.

How to Become an Acupuncturist

In medical acupuncture, the therapist usually uses needling as a treatment--inserting small needles, usually between four and 20, into specific points around the body. It's a painless procedure addressing the body as a whole. Alternately, a trained acupuncturist may employ acupuncture acupressure. In addition, a medical acupuncturist may address the patient's diet and exercise habits, and may recommend herbal treatments or prescription medication. An acupuncturist understands that all functions of the body are interconnected and may ask the patient questions that may seem irrelevant to the specific complaint, as physical energies flow in one complex system.

Acupuncturists: Career Training

Most acupuncturists are self-employed, and self-employment requires a whole set of business skills. Insurance, office space, equipment and all the other costs would be your responsibility.Training can last from a few months to several years, depending on the level of expertise you want to reach. However, complete training involves a may reach the master's degree level. To get started, you may want to consider earning a certificate in acupuncture. Acupuncturists are licensed by the individual states, and each has its own standards. Mostly use an exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). NCCAOM has three routes for certification, involving formal education, apprenticeship, or a combination of the two.

Careers in Acupuncture

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an acupuncturist is $45,000 after a year of practice. You might make $100,000 annually after five years, and the long-term earnings can be handsome. While the Bureau of Labor statistics doesn't project the need for acupuncturists specifically, it tells us that employment for professionals in health care is expected to grow a great deal between 2006 and 2016.

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