Tips For Choosing The Right Acupuncturist

Most people are used to traditional Western medicine and have a good idea of what to expect when going to a doctor appointment. More and more people want to explore alternative forms of medicine, such as acupuncture, but they have no idea what to accept or how to find an accredited and experienced acupuncturist. If you are interested in trying acupuncture, use the following tips to find the right acupuncturist:

Ask About Education

Despite the fact that many people think of acupuncture as an alternative form of medicine, it has deep roots in Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years. A person needs advanced training in order to become certified to perform acupuncture treatments. When looking for an acupuncturist, you will have the following options:

  • Physicians: There are many physicians who are tying together the philosophies of Chinese medicine with their Western medical training. These physicians must undergo several hundred hours of training in order to become certified to perform medical acupuncture. If you would like your acupuncturist to be an MD or a DO, your best bet is to look for someone who belongs to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.
  • Chiropractor: More and more chiropractors are undergoing additional training so they can include acupuncture treatment in their scope of services for their patients. In order to become a board certified acupuncturist, a chiropractor completes a similar course of training that MDs and DOs licensed in medical acupuncture do. You can find a chiropractor board certified in acupuncture by visiting the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture's website.
  • Licensed Acupuncturist: Licensed acupuncturists hold either masters or doctoral degrees in Oriental Medicine or Acupuncture. Earning these degrees requires thousands of hours of academic and clinical training. Licensed acupuncturists typically must be certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In addition, most states require licensed acupuncturists to pass specific exams in order to be licensed by the state's Board of Medical Practice.

Understand that There are Different types of Acupuncture

Many people do not realize that there are a number of different acupuncture techniques designed to treat different things. While some acupuncturists treat a wide spectrum of conditions, many focus on a specialty, such as helping people with joint or muscle pain, infertility, head aches, or addictions. Feel free to meet with one or more acupuncturist until you find one who is very experienced in using acupuncture to treat your condition.


It is important to know upfront what the cost of your services will be. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of acupuncture treatments at this time, so payment will be due at the end of an acupuncture session. If your insurance company does happen to provide coverage for acupuncture, make sure that you visit a provider who is able to accept your insurance.