What Are the Requirements for an Acupuncture License?

There are almost 13,000 acupuncture businesses throughout the country. They give people access to drug-free treatment for various issues. Some insurers will now allow you to access acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture has helped people with many health concerns improve their quality of life. But to get an acupuncture license, acupuncturists must undergo a lot of training.

Read on to learn more about what it takes to get a license to practice as an acupuncturist.

What Is an Acupuncture License?

An acupuncture license allows an individual to provide acupuncture treatments to the public. Currently, 47 states, plus DC, regulate the practice of acupuncture. Only Alabama, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have no Acupuncture Practice Act in place.

Many state license requirements begin with a qualification approved by the ACAOM. This stands for the American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies acupuncturists. It provides:

  • Education
  • Examinations
  • Certification for acupuncturists
  • Certification for Chinese herbology
  • Certification for Oriental Medicine

Currently, 22 states will only issue a license to NCCAOM Board Certified members. There are 26 other states that use NCCAOM exams as part of their licensing requirements.

NCCAOM License Requirements

To gain NCCAOM Certification in Acupuncture, applicants must complete:

  • Three-year Master’s program in Acupuncture including:
    • 660 hours or 22 credits in Acupuncture Clinic studies
    • 705 hours or47 credits in Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture Theory

An alternative pathway to certification is the combination route. This combines points earned through formal education and an acupuncture apprenticeship. International applicants may also be able to use qualifications from other countries.

Applicants also need a Clean Needle Technique (CNT) Certificate. Then they must complete all required board exams. Finally, applicants receive the acupuncture certification needed for certain state licensing requirements.

The NCCAOM also provides certification in Chinese Herbology and Oriental Medicine.

Individual State Requirements

Requirements vary, but let’s take the state of Virginia as an example.

In Virginia, it is unlawful for anyone to practice as an acupuncturist without a license. The Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine issues these licenses. All applicants must provide evidence of:

  • Transcript from a program approved by the ACAOM
  • If studied overseas, evidence from credential evaluation service
  • NCCAOM Certification
  • Employment activity details

Is an Acupuncture License Important?

As we’ve seen, it’s not easy to get an acupuncture license. Acupuncturists need to be well qualified to provide safe treatments. It could be dangerous to receive treatment from someone who has not had this level of training.

Acupuncturists have an in-depth understanding of the human body. They’re skilled in using safe techniques. Unlicensed acupuncturists haven’t met the rigorous license requirements in place in most states.

They may not have studied at accredited acupuncture schools. They could cause harm during their treatments.

Visit a Licensed Acupuncturist at Acupuncture Works

Acquiring an acupuncture license takes years of study, training, and dedication.

Visit Acupuncture Works LLC in Lynchburg, VA. Our acupuncturist Deborah Farley provides tailored treatments to meet your needs.

For more information, call 434-237-0302 or schedule an appointment online today!

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Deborah Farley

Deborah Farley

Licensed Acupuncturist

Deborah Farley is the founder of Acupuncture Works, LLC in Lynchburg Virginia. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine as a Licensed Acupuncturist (L. Ac.) Learn More