How detailed is Acupuncture Education?
Acupuncture Education is, out of all the medical disciplines, the most safety oriented when it comes to the use of needles.
First, before acupuncturists are permitted into medical school, like other medical professions, they must first have had an appropriate amount of undergraduate education. After acceptance into an acupuncture education program the student goes through classroom education followed with a few semesters of observation and then hundreds of hours of training.
To get my Acupuncture license I first had to do two semesters of classroom education. Then, along with more classwork had two semesters of observing a professor perform acupuncture on real patients. Then, after ample testing, I spent the rest of my education treating well over 400 patients under the supervision of one of the professions, some of whom are “two-fers”, being an acupuncture doctor and a western medicine doctor.
In my university, it takes 10 semesters worth of education to get a degree. Other medical professions require 8 or less semesters.
In addition to this I had to take the national Clean Needle Technique Test. Which has a practical exam and a written exam. I had to take four board examinations ranging from biomedicine to botanical medicine. Finally I had to take a jurisprudence examination for the state to prove I understand the laws of the acupuncture profession.
-Adrian J Abascal, L.Ac.
Other professions, who practice acupuncture without a license take a weekend course to get “certified” in it. The type of acupuncture most often done this way is called “dry needling“. The correct term is “trigger point needling” except in order to circumvent the laws of Texas they made up the term. It harkens back to a time when trigger point needling was performed with empty syringes, or “dry needles”.
Some professions, like chiropractors, are well educated in their field of expertise. However to earn more money, some after a 300 hour course, decide to pick up the needle and do acupuncture without a license. With 300 hours of training they avoid the need of taking the CNT exam (which many people fail) and the 4 modules of the NCCAOM board exams (which many many more people fail). They also, because they are not licensed in acupuncture, are not regulated by the acupuncture board that exists to protect the public. Acupuncturists are constantly suing the Chiropractic board since they started allowing this practice illegally.