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 unrestricted from practicing needling and other acupuncture techniques including MD's, chiropractors, naturopaths, dentists, podiatrists and physical therapists, and the law specifies no training or competency standards for them to do so.
Other professions' acupuncture technique certification programs (usually identified as FIAMA or AAMA), offer minimal training 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 may state that they are "certified" in acupuncture but they are only licensed in their own field, and not licensed by the state of CT in acupuncture.
To find a qualified licensed Acupuncturist in CT, look for a provider designated by the title "Licensed Acupuncturist" or "L.Ac."
This 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 graduate students at a Master's Degree level and Doctorate level.
Degrees in Acupuncture and/or Oriental Medicine are granted by schools accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Education. On site education with extensive didactic study in eastern medicine with 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.
Physicians, chiropractors, naturopaths, podiatrists, physical therapists, and dentists, who use acupuncture techniques (sometimes designating themselves 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.