A career in acupuncture is one with a myriad of benefits and self-fulfillment. It takes a special person with compassion and a desire for learning holistic medicine to enter into this career field but the rewards are many.
Here is more about acupuncture, what it takes to become a practitioner in this versatile field, what personality traits are desired, and what you will do when working as an acupuncturist.
What is Acupuncture?
A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on the body. It is used to treat pain, as well as being used for stress management as well as overall health wellness.
The practice dates back to at least 100 B.C. and perhaps even earlier.
In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is linked to the belief that disease is caused by disruptions to the flow of energy, or qi, in the body. Acupuncture stimulates points on or under the skin called acupuncture points or acupressure points, releasing this qi. The qi then travels through channels called meridians.
Acupuncture/Oriental medicine known as AOM, has treatments that identify a pattern of energy imbalance and then uses a variety of therapies to redress that harmony. These therapies include Chinese herb therapy, cupping, acupressure, needling, and of course — acupuncture. It is a field that has grown in popularity and continues to grow, with it being one of the most requested forms of treatment today.
Other forms of Chinese Medicine include Moxibustion, Tai Chi, Tui Na, and Qi Gong.
Common Conditions Treated by Acupuncture
There are many conditions treated by acupuncture. From general well-being to common conditions such as:
- Digestive issues
- Sports injuries
- Back pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Stress-related issues
- Menstrual issues
- and many more
What Kind of Person Chooses Acupuncture?
A person who wants a career in acupuncture should have the attributes of a caring, compassionate person. The following are some of the personality traits that are ideal for this holistic medicine career:
- Good listening skills
- High ethical standards
- Interpersonal skills
- Comfortable working with the public
- A sympathetic disposition
- Critical thinking skills
- Clear communication
Many people who choose a career in acupuncture are a certain type of person who:
- Likes working with people
- Likes to help others and cares about their health and general well-being
- Has clear goals and value achievement
- Enjoys more freedom from a rigid workplace
- Have a disposition that is focused on caring for others
The Benefits of a Rewarding Career
The things that you will do as an acupuncturist are many – each with rewarding and fulfilling attributes.
There are many benefits to choosing holistic medicine as a career. There is freedom of choosing a flexible schedule and meeting all kinds of people. Whether you practice within a collaborative setting or choose to run your own practice, the atmosphere is peaceful and less rigid than what you find in a traditional hospital or clinic setting.
Those who start their own practice have the ability to be their own boss and set the hours that they choose, as well as build their business as they see fit.
The income averages around $75,000 per year for an experienced acupuncturist and depending on the practice area, ranges from $40,000 to $140,000.
What Will You Be Doing?
Here are just a few of the fundamental elements of a career in acupuncture:
- Personalize treatment plans including making health and wellness recommendations
- Diagnose ailments according to Oriental medicine traditions
- Keep patient records
- Treat symptoms with a variety of holistic means such as needles, cups, and electrical currents
- Promote an alternative medicine philosophy
- Stay in accordance with all laws and statutes of acupuncture
- Identify correct anatomical and proportional point locations based on the patient’s anatomy and positions, contraindications and precautions related to treatments such as intradermal needles, moxibustion, electricity, guasha and bleeding
What Are the Requirements?
To start a career in acupuncture, you must attend a training program at an accredited school.
- You must have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in the program
- Complete a typical period 9 quarters; 27 months of classes
- You will receive a master’s degree in acupuncture after graduating
- The program focuses on biomedical science and Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Graduates are qualified to take the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) exam
One of the exciting benefits of studying at AIAM is the opportunity to study abroad In China. This is with one of China’s best Chinese Medicine Hospitals and counts in fulfilling your clinical hours requirements. You get to work alongside experts in China in the field of Chinese Medicine.
We have an on-site clinic and are one of only a few programs in the Midwest. Along with learning acupuncture, you are helped with finding employment through:
- On-campus career fairs
- Resume assistance and reviews
- Licensure review sessions for MBLEX and NCLEX
- Mock interview sessions
- Current job postings via a weekly electronic job Flash
- Alumni profiles to inspire you
- An Ohio Board of Nursing and State Medical Board application review
If you would like to consider a career in acupuncture, consider applying for the Acupuncture Program at The American Institute of Alternative Medicine (AIAM).