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Salary: $62400 - $104000
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Hourly: $30 - $50
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 6 years
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Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world. It originated in China over 2,000 years ago. Acupuncturists aim to restore and maintain health through the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques, and is considered a part of complementary and alternative medicine practices. Acupuncturists receive training in thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation; Chinese herbology; biomedical sciences; and, extensive clinical training experiences. They also receive extensive training in Chinese medical qigong, which involves breathing patterns, body movements, and posture control. According to the National Institutes of Health’s 2002 National Health Interview Survey, an estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults had ever used acupuncture, and an estimated 2.1 million had used acupuncture in the previous year.

Acupuncture is a treatment that a wide variety of health professionals ( for example: massage therapists, nurse practitioners and physicians) may use in their practice.

Areas of Specialization
Acupuncturists can specialize in either acupuncture, or Chinese herbology. They can also obtain certification in Asian bodywork therapy, which includes Chinese medical qigong and acupressure treatments.


Work Environment

Acupuncturists work in physician offices, clinics, hospitals, and private practice. They will get a thorough idea of a patient’s medical history and symptoms, both physical and emotional. They examine the tongue, the pulse at various points in the body, the complexion, general behavior, and other signs like coughs or pains. From this, the practitioner will be able to determine patterns of symptoms which indicate which organs and areas are imbalanced. Depending on the problem, the acupuncturist will insert needles to manipulate qi (energy) on one or more of the twelve organ meridians. On these twelve meridians, there are nearly 2,000 accupuncture points, with around 200 points being most frequently used by traditional acupuncturists. During an individual treatment, one to twenty needles may be used, depending on which meridian points are chosen. Acupuncturists have to determine how deep the needles are inserted, how long they need to remain, and if additional stimulation is needed, such as herbs, spinning the needles, or using slight electrical currents.

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