Choosing an acupuncturist can be confusing at first but with a little information (please see chart below), it can be simple to find a fully qualified and trained licensed acupuncturist. Presently, under current Connecticut law, many other health care providers are legally allowed to practice acupuncture with little or no training: including MD's, chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists, podiatrists and physical therapists.
Other professions' acupuncture certification programs (usually identified as FIAMA or AAMA), offer minimal programs varying from 72 to 300 hours, or no training at all. Such minimal training and education is far below the national standard for Licensed Acupuncturists. Other health care providers state that they are "certified" in acupuncture but they are only licensed in their own field, i.e. chiropractic or naturopathy etc., but they are not licensed by the state of CT in acupuncture, designated by the words "Licensed Acupuncturist" or "L.Ac."
The chart is a side by side comparison of the differences between a fully "Licensed Acupuncturist" and other health care providers who have some form of training in Acupuncture or Oriental medicine
All professional members of the CSAOM are fully Licensed Acupuncturists in the state of Connecticut.
Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac.)
Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac.) have an average of 2,500 hours of training in eastern medicine, the cornerstone of acupuncture training. Schools now graduate students at a Master's Degree level.
Degree in Acupuncture and/or Oriental Medicine granted by schools accredited by the Dept. of Education. On site education with extensive didactic study in eastern medicine and a secondary focus on western medicine disease process and sciences.
Upwards of 900 hours of clinical experience and up to 250 actual patient treatments performed before graduation and licensure.
Required to pass the National Board Certification examination to prove proficiency and competency in acupuncture and oriental medicine (NCCAOM). Also required to pass Clean Needle Technique examination.
Required to do regular continuing education to maintain national certification with NCCAOM.
Certified, Medical, Physician, other Acupuncturists
Physicians, chiropractors, naturopaths, podiatrists, physical therapists, and dentists, (sometimes listed as Certified in Acupuncture) generally have 72 to 300 hours of training in acupuncture and are not required to have a license in acupuncture to practice in CT. Some states prohibit anyone without a license in acupuncture to practice.
Training which is often comprised of home study, video tape lecture and/or in a few cases, weekend courses.
Minimal clinical experience in acupuncture or no actual hands on patient treatment before certification.
Not required to take any examination to prove competency in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Not required to take Clean Needle Technique examination.
Not required to regularly complete continuing education courses in acupuncture and oriental medicine.