Acupuncturist

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The term “acupuncture” describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

Practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of the key components of traditional Chinese medicine. In TCM, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, while yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle. According to TCM, health is achieved by maintaining the body in a “balanced state”; disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians. Qi can be unblocked, according to TCM, by using acupuncture at certain points on the body that connect with these meridians. Sources vary on the number of meridians, with numbers ranging from 14 to 20. One commonly cited source describes meridians as 14 main channels “connecting the body in a web-like interconnecting matrix” of at least 2,000 acupuncture points.

Tasks include:

  • Insert needles to provide acupuncture treatment.
  • Maintain and follow standard quality, safety, environmental and infection control policies and procedures.
  • Adhere to local, state and federal laws, regulations and statutes.
  • Identify correct anatomical and proportional point locations based on patients’ anatomy and positions, contraindications, and precautions related to treatments such as intradermal needles, moxibution, electricity, guasha, and bleeding.
  • Maintain detailed and complete records of health care plans and prognoses.
  • Analyze physical findings and medical histories to make diagnoses according to Oriental medicine traditions.
  • Treat patients using tools such as needles, cups, ear balls, seeds, pellets, and nutritional supplements.
  • Develop individual treatment plans and strategies.
  • Evaluate treatment outcomes and recommend new or altered treatments as necessary to further promote, restore, or maintain health.
  • Collect medical histories and general health and life style information from patients.
Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data is specific to New Hampshire State.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
220
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
264
Jobs Percentage Change: 
20.0%
Total Annual Openings: 
8
Growth Outlook: 
Very Favorable
June 2013 Entry Level Wage: 
$23.41
June 2013 Mean Wage: 
$34.35
June 2013 Experienced Wage: 
$40.19
Salary Range: 
$80,000+
Education Requirements: 
Programs: 
Time to Complete: 
2 years

Education Levels:

School Type: 
Out of State School
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
Yes
Coding License Required: 
Yes
Certification(s) Required: 
Yes
List of Required Certifications: 
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) - Certification in Acupuncture
Certification Requirements: 
To be certified, you must pass three examinations: Foundations of Oriental Medicine; Acupuncture with Point Location, and Biomedicine. Completion of an academic program or apprenticeship in acupuncture is required to be eligible to take the exams. You must also complete the CCAOM Clean Needle Technique (CNT) course.
License Required: 
Yes
License Requirements: 
To be licensed, you must have current, active National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certification; hold a baccalaureate, Registered Nurse, or Physician Assistant Degree from an accredited institution or meet the waiver requirements spelled out in the Application for Waiver of Degree form, and pay the required fees and file the official licensure application.
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
Private Medical Practice or Private Company
Types of Interaction: 
Direct Patient Interaction