What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a commonly used adjunctive therapy to the chiropractic adjustment. Acupuncture comes in a variety of forms that range from needles in the skin, to just applying pressure to specific points on the body with a thumb or finger. The points that you apply these different modalities to are called acupuncture points, and these points are located on meridians throughout the body. Meridians are pathways throughout the body that energy travels along and a dysfunction at one of these acupuncture points can cause a disruption in that energy flow. A practitioner of acupuncture will then be able to apply their preferred treatment modality at the site of this dysfunction.
For a little background on acupuncture accreditation, let me first explain what it takes to practice acupuncture. Each state has a different requirement in order to practice acupuncture. Most require 100 or 200 hours of class in order to practice. These seminars are offered in weekend blocks that each credit you with 25 hours of accreditation. So, after four or eight weekends of class, you will have earned the requirements needed to practice in your chosen state. After each 100 hours, the student is required to take an exam, which signifies the completion of that 100-hour chunk.
My future in acupuncture
I am now a mere 25 hours into my acupuncture studies, but boy did I enjoy my first weekend! In just one session I added a number of tools to my “tool belt,” including treatments for: allergies, low back pain, shoulder pain, sinus congestion, and attention problems, to just name a few. I can only imagine what more I am going to learn in the next 75 hours of class I will take to finish my first 100 hours. My plan moving forward is to get the 200 hours I need to practice in my state, and then, most likely, continue forward to become a fellow in the Acupuncture Society of America. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, and am confident that the rest of my education in acupuncture will be just as enjoyable. My closing thoughts on my acupuncture studies are ones of encouragement. I encourage my fellow students and practitioners of all backgrounds to look into acupuncture. Whether it’s for enhancing your own “tool belt,” or just for expanding your referral network. Either way, you’ll come out more knowledgeable about an ancient, but up and coming alternative health care modality.