The Resilient Health Acupuncture team frequently fields the same question from clients who are planning to move or travel, or are simply asking for friends and family interested in a holistic approach: what should we be looking for in an acupuncturist?
Our answer: find a Nationally Board-Certified Acupuncturist.
Think about it: there’s a good reason non-certified surgeons aren’t high in demand. No one wants to awake from anesthesia to discover the wrong organ was removed (or something new was added!)
Or in dentistry – not many root canal prospects are overheard saying, “Get me the guy who kind of knows what he’s doing.”
Why should acupuncture be any different?
Or think of it another way: would you trust your neighbor, the mechanic, to insert needles into your skin?
When it comes to our health and well-being, we want to know we’re in good hands. Certifications from governing boards and bodies demonstrate that the professionals we enlist have done their due diligence.
Certification is paramount when you’re seeking holistic help for chronic pain or discomfort, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. But here’s the trick: in Maryland – acupuncturists do not have to be certified to get their license. Unlike in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
Here’s how to spot the difference. Acupuncturists certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) are identified by the degree “Dipl. Ac.” that accompanies their name. This distinction shows that your acupuncturist has met all qualifications necessary to provide the safest and most effective treatment. Certification requires time, effort, and years of study.
If you don’t see that abbreviation – keep on looking.
Here are just three reasons to choose a board-certified acupuncturist.
- They’ve put in the work: A Diplomate of Acupuncture must complete 3-4 academic years of education. Master’s degree-level programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM), the only accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education as an authority. Graduates must pass examinations in Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Biomedicine. Non-certified acupuncturists, however, typically receive only 100-300 hours of training, qualifying them to treat a limited number of points in the body. In addition to a 3- or 4-year master’s level program and clinical study, a Diplomat of Acupuncture has additional certification and depth and breadth of knowledge, beyond a state licensed acupuncturist. Even if an acupuncturist has “Dr.” in their title, still check to see if they are NCCAOM nationally board certified in addition to having a doctorate level education.
- They’re committed to ongoing learning. The field of acupuncture is continuously growing and evolving as new research is published. A board-certified acupuncturist takes great strides to remain current on their profession’s latest advancements and findings so that they can provide you with the most effective care and treatment. Nationally Board-Certified acupuncturists are required to have additional CEU hours above and beyond those of a state licensed acupuncturist.
- Safety is always the first and most important point. Board-certified acupuncturists adhere to strict guidelines to ensure that every treatment offered is conducted in a safe, clean, and comfortable environment. Additionally, acupuncturists who are board-certified have sworn to uphold the NCCAOM’s Code of Ethics. As your advocate, they will always put your best interests first to ensure you receive the best possible care, delivered with compassion, dignity, and respect.
Resilient Health Acupuncture is ready to help you improve your health naturally and effectively with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Schedule your appointment with one of our board-certified practitioners today.