What does it take to be an acupuncturist?
I am excited to announce that effective November 21st I will be opening a Hebron location on Wednesdays only. The office is located in the business of Sea in the Sky at 269 Church Street in Hebron. Private appointemnts only at this time. Community Acupuncture is available in my main office in Glastonbury.
So what exactly qualifies someone to administer acupuncture treatment in CT? The state of CT allows many medical practitioners such as MDs, NDs, DOs, chiropractors, and dentists to treat people with acupuncture needles. This certification process usually requires a mere 200 hours of training. These practitioners often learn the very basic theory behind acupuncture (if any), basic point location and very basic needling techniques. There is no requirement to pass the state acupuncture boards and there no acupuncture license is required. In contrast, a licensed acupuncturist in the state of CT must earn a Master's degree. We must complete 120 credits in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture which is equivalent to a second bachelor's degree not the 30-40 credits required for most Master's degrees. A licensed acupuncturist must also complete 200 hours of observation, 600 to 800 hours of hands on clinical training including diagnosis and treatment of patients using TCM. This clinical training is completed under the supervision of an experienced licensed acupuncturist. We must then pass three separate state boards and maintain continuing education in acupuncture. Another practice that is becoming popular is dry needling performed by a MD or a physical therapist. Although acupuncture needles can be used for dry needling the similarities with acupuncture stop there. Without a comprehensive understanding of TCM history, theory, diagnosis, and needling techniques dry needling is the equivalent of randomly sticking needles into tissue. This can be helpful for trigger points but this is not true acupuncture and it should not be called acupuncture. Make sure you know the training of your acupuncturist. You will be best served by treating with a licensed acupuncturist.