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Career data updated last on 10/15/2014
Acupuncturist Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine needles into specific locations on the body where nerves are centered to stimulate the body’s own natural healing processes. These locations on the body directly affect underlying organs either by releasing endorphins, neurotransmitters, prostaglandins, or by affecting the circulatory and nervous systems. Acupuncture has been used to treat many disorders such as gastrointestinal, gynecological, psychological, respiratory, and disorders of the bones or circulatory system. There is also evidence that acupuncture is effective for postoperative and chemotherapy nausea and vomiting, nausea of pregnancy, and postoperative dental pain. Acupuncture is more than 2,000 years old with origins in Eastern cultures.
Salary $24.04/hr - $50,000/annually
Significant Points
Work Environment Most acupuncturists can work with other health care professionals, such as medical doctors or chiropractors, or in private acupuncture clinics.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including biology, chemistry, and physics; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language.
Academic Requirements Acupuncturists must graduate from a formal, full-time acupuncture program that meets the accreditation requirement and documentation of at least three academic years. The three years, or 1,725 hours, must meet the curricular requirements of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Acupuncturists can also complete an apprenticeship, at least 4,000 preceptored contact hours in a three- to six-year period, to meet the accreditation requirement. After completing the formal education or apprenticeship, acupuncturists need to obtain certification through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and obtain their individual state licensure.


Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Masters Degree Master's

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