BBC Documentary on Traditional Chinese Medicine
"The Science of Acupuncture"
What is the difference between licensed acupuncturists and medical acupuncturists?
Licensed acupuncturist in the state of CA attend a 4 year graduate program learning both western and Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine is the practice of both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. The average education consists of over 3000hrs of didactic training. To be licensed in the state of CA, licensed acupuncturists must pass a state board exam. CA has one of the highest qualification requirements to practice chinese medicine in the United States. Each state is different.
Medical acupuncturists are MDs who have taken limited hours of acupuncture training. They take a basic exam which is not over seen by the CA acupuncture board. They do not have any formal training in chinese herbal medicine. The most comprehensive program in the country is offered at UCLA, which is a 400hr video course.
Can other medical professionals practice acupuncture?
There are many chiropractors and even dentists who are "practicing" acupuncture. Due to strong political lobbyists, certain groups of doctors are starting to use acupuncture in their practice. Unfortunately, most of these people have not had any formal training in acupuncture or have only attended weekend seminars. They license themselves and govern themselves with disregard to standards set by the state of CA.
We highly recommend that you visit the CA acupuncture board www.acupuncture.ca.gov and search for your practitioner to verify their license to practice in the state of CA.
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