How Do I Learn About Acupuncture?

Some people find that the local Chinatown is a good place to look for someone who practices acupuncture.
Local practitioners often offer workshops on how to learn acupuncture.
The purpose of acupuncture is to stimulate the flow of vital energy, also known as qi.
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  • Written By: Sarah Valek
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Images By: Guillaume Baviere, Cora Reed, Photok21
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2014
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Acupuncture uses sharp instruments inserted into the body’s pressure points to achieve pain relief and healing. Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is one of the most widely accepted forms of alternative medicine. There are many ways to learn about acupuncture, whether you're doing self-study for fun or are planning to be a professional acupuncturist.

There are many acupuncture books for beginners. These books point out pressure points on the human body, describe the 12 meridians and provide general information about acupuncture. “Acupuncture for Everyone: What It Is, Why It Works, and How It Can Help You” by Ruth Lever Kidson is a popular acupuncture book for beginners. After reading a beginner’s book, check out “A Manual of Acupuncture” by Peter Deadman, which is one of the most highly regarded textbooks about acupuncture.

Any thorough study of acupuncture must include information on pressure points, meridians and channels, and the proper way to use and sterilize needles. Acupuncture charts and human models can be useful for learning to locate these points. When learning, try to trace your own channels with your finger to make a mental note of where they are.


Some communities offer workshops about acupuncture benefits taught by local practitioners. You can call an acupuncturist near you to see if he or she offers an introductory session to describe the process. While you can learn about acupuncture basics through books and workshops, you must complete formal training and receive an acupuncturist license to become a professional. In most states, you cannot practice acupuncture on another person unless you have a license to do so.

Many colleges, such as Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles and Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago and Wisconsin, offer acupuncture programs and degrees. These programs offer master's level certification and often include lessons on herbalism, breathing techniques and other tenets of TCM. Students may partake in a supervised clinical practice session to learn hands-on about acupuncture. The length of these courses vary by institution and can last three months to over four years.

To obtain licensure, students must take a Clean Needle Technique class as well as pass the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's (NCCAOM) Acupuncture, Foundations of Oriental Medicine and Point Location Modules exam. Most states require students to have well-rounded knowledge about acupuncture practices and have master's level certification before getting a license.


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How can I get a degree in acupuncture, based on my studies and Spanish diplomas, and my professional experiece for more than 15 years? Thanks

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