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Practitioners whose educational focus is in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine receive approximately
80% of their training exclusively in this field, and undergo an extensive clinical internship averaging 3 years. Other healthcare practitioners may use acupuncture, which is one of the many therapies of Oriental Medicine, as an adjunct to their primary practice. While all of these practitioners also have training in western medical sciences, this information is designed to illustrate the varying levels of acupuncture training generally undertaken by healthcare professionals.  


        Amount of Training
In Acupuncture Practitioner

1363 hours to 2000 hours in
Acupuncture (or 2000-3000 hours in Oriental Medicine)
Licensed Acupuncturist
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Comprehensively-trained Acupuncturist
Oriental Medicine Practitioner
Oriental Medical Acupuncture

Typically a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) or Registered Acupuncturist whose primary training is in Acupuncture and/or Oriental Medicine, and has: 

(a) obtained a 3 to 4-year master’s level degree or diploma from a school
approved by ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine), and

(b) is awarded the Dipl.Ac. (Diplomate in Acupuncture) or Dipl.OM (Diplomate in Oriental Medicine if Herbally trained as well) designation upon
successful examination by the NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) which is the national standard used for licensing in most states. **

-Used for a broad range of health issues, including chronic disease, pain, internal medicine, rehabilitation, and prevention based on Oriental medical theory. 

300 hours or less

Medical Acupuncture
Meridian Balancing/Therapy
Chiropractic Acupuncture
Naturopathic Acupuncture

Typically a medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or chiropractor who uses acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy; the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that medical doctors have 200 hours of training to know when to refer to a more fully-trained Acupuncturist or Oriental Medicine practitioner.*** -Most commonly used for pain and basic ailments.

Around 100 hours or less

Detox Tech
Chiropractic Acupuncture
Medical Acupuncture

Typically a detoxification technician or chiropractor (detox techs should be under supervision of a Licensed Acupuncturist, see above, and are limited to 5 points on the ear) -Most commonly used for pain management or addiction & detoxification through auricular acupuncture. 

For a list of approved schools and colleges, contact the U.S. Department of Education or:
www.ccaom.org, www.nccaom.org,  www.acaom.org 

*Many Acupuncture & Oriental Medical schools exceed 2000 hours. 

**Acupuncture/Oriental Medical practitioners are able to obtain a D.A.O.M. doctoral degree from an ACAOM-approved clinical
doctoral program. Some states also designate the licensing title (non-degree) as D.O.M. or D.Ac, or Acupuncture Physician.  Licensed Acupuncturists may have also obtained an O.M.D., Ph.D., or D.Ac. for non-extensive post-graduate training (from unaccredited programs). Thus, it is important to ask where such a title was received. 

***Some medical doctors and chiropractors are trained and licensed in both western and Oriental medical acupuncture. Ask
your physician about his or her credentials.
Acupuncture should only be administered by a practitioner who has specific training in this field, due to risk of improper needling, inadequate understanding of Oriental medical diagnostic procedures, transmission of disease, imbalancing of energy, or ethical violations.

Produced by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM).


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     You have come to learn, to grow, and to make a useful contribution to the evolutionary process.  That is why you have come here.  If this is not clear to you, study and contemplate until it is.  Then be about your appointed rounds - learning more, growing more, and serving more.  This is way to experience life as it is meant to be lived.
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     Eat nourishing foods, schedule time for recreation and rest, open your mind and consciousness to all good.  Live the kind of life you know to be ideal, even if others you know do not.  You will be doing the right things and you will set an example for others to emulate."
                                                         Roy Eugene Davis
                                                         An Easy Guide to Meditation

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