What is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?
Chinese Medicine has been practiced for thousands of years, evolving empirically with systematic observation of the human body. A holistic understanding of the universe, based on observation of patterns and movements in nature, has produced this elegant system of diagnosis and treatment.
Acupuncture is the most commonly implemented modality, in which the practitioner will insert very fine gauge needles into specific points on the body to affect physiological functions. Other methods such as electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, gua sha and body work can be included in treatment. Chinese herbs are often the other key to effective treatment, as they work strongly with acupuncture to increase and accelerate the movement from disharmony towards health. Included in a treatment plan are recommendations on diet and lifestyle, nutritional therapy and exercise or meditation; all are considered important aspects of balanced health.
How do I know my acupuncturist is well trained?
The majority of practicing Acupuncturists in the United States have completed an extensive professional training. Most commonly, your acupuncturist will have a Master's Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or a Doctorate level Degree.
A Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)TM has completed four academic years of education at the master’s degree level in acupuncture and Chinese herbology program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). ACAOM is the only accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education as the authority for quality education and training in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. In addition to graduation from an ACAOM accredited program, a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine must demonstrate professional competency by passing NCCAOM certification examinations in Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Point Location, Chinese Herbology and Biomedicine.
Generally, the NCCAOM Diplomate training and competency verification is in sharp contrast to the acupuncture and Oriental medicine training of other healthcare professionals such as chiropractors or registered nurses or even medical doctors who typically receive 100-300 hours of abbreviated training. Certified and licensed acupuncturists and Oriental medicine practitioners are also trained in standard medical history gathering, safety and ethics, and recognition of when to refer patients to other healthcare professionals or consult with other medical practitioners. (Source http://www.nccaom.org/)
Is Acupuncture safe?
When performed by a professionally trained practitioner, acupuncture is an extremely safe and effective form of treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles as a Class II medical device for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that sterile, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. Your practitioner will use a new set of disposable needles taken from a sealed package for every treatment and will swab treatment sites with alcohol before inserting needles. The acupuncturist has completed training in human anatomy, physiology, acupuncture point location and needling techniques to limit the possibility of serious adverse effects.
What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?
Who can be a member of the WAS?
The Wyoming Acupuncture Society is open to any professional acupuncturist working in Wyoming. The WAS is also accepting Supporting Members who are not acupuncturists, but believe in our goals of providing safe and professional medical treatment. If you have an interest in supporting the practice of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Wyoming, visit the Members page to learn more.
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