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General information about the role of an acupuncturist

  • Posted on- Aug 25, 2015
  • 214 Views

Acupuncture focuses on energy, instead of the biological and chemical processes of the human body. This is probably the big difference between Oriental and Western medicine. To generate this energy in patients, acupuncturists use tools not commonly found in Western medicine. In fact, they use an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine to help relieve their clients' symptoms, which involves inserting very fine needles into key pressure points on the body. The objective is to stimulate these points to regulate the body's healing process and restore health and energy. Sometimes acupuncturists use cups, ear balls among other things to relieve pain.

If you are interested in alternative medicine, maintaining wellness and want to help people, a career in the study of acupuncture could be a good fit for you. In order to become an acupuncturist, you will need to have good communication and listening skills along with good coordination and a steady hand.

Acupuncturists treat a variety of physical and psychological health problems like hypertension or anxiety. The practice is also used to maintain general health of the body. As an acupuncturist, you’ll consult with patients about their symptoms, diagnose the issue and treat it using acupuncture needles and other tools. As an acupuncturist, your day-to-day work would include:

  • Taking a detailed history from clients
  • Talking about issues surrounding their symptoms, such as lifestyle, diet and emotions
  • Diagnosing and deciding what action to take
  • Selecting specific points on the body to be treated
  • Inserting needles according to the level of stimulation required
  • Keeping records of treatment given to each patient

Your clientele will include patients with conditions ranging from arthritis, circulatory problems and high blood pressure to migraine, depression and addiction.

While inserting needles will be your primary method of relieving symptoms, you may also use methods such as moxibustion (burning a dried herb above an acupuncture point), cupping (using a vacuum cup on acupuncture points) and electro-acupuncture (electrical energy to treat parts of the body).

Training and development to become an Acupuncturist

Once you have enrolled yourself with a professional body, you will combine practical work placements with studies at university or college. You will study areas such as:
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Common diseases
  • Diagnostic skills and methods
  • Acupuncture points, life energy and health
  • Acupuncture techniques and treatment
  • Emergency first aid
  • Business skills and setting up a practice

Skills and qualities required to become an Acupuncturist

To become an acupuncturist, you will need:
  • A keen interest in biological sciences and complementary therapies
  • Understanding and sensitivity
  • Good communication and listening skills
  • A logical approach to solving problems
  • Self-awareness and emotional stability
  • Good coordination and a steady hand
  • Awareness of when to refer a client to another medical practitioner
  • Commercial awareness - to develop and run a business