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People Used to Ask – Does Acupuncture Work?

Basic Acupuncture.

It has been 25 years now, since Acupuncture became recognized as a licensed profession in the U.S. and many people have used it or know someone who has used acupuncture to treat some health problem. Perhaps they were helped with back pain, tension headaches, insomnia or recovery after a sports injury. What used to be considered alternative to western medicine is now frequently used as complementary, as more patients and physicians have become familiar with acupuncture™s proven results for common conditions.

The most frequent question now is – How do I find a good Acupuncturist in Somewhere, USA? Of course, the very best source is a personal referral from someone you trust, but if your loved one in a distant place is searching for help, here are some useful facts.

Currently 46 states license Acupuncturists. There are about 55 ACCAOM accredited colleges of Oriental Medicine in the U.S. and a handful of non-accredited programs. The average Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) studies acupuncture for 3-4 years of graduate level education and must complete a supervised internship of 600-700 hours. They must then pass the NCCAOM national examination to demonstrate professional level competency and patient safety. California has its own similar licensing exam. To become a L.Ac., Idaho requires graduation from an accredited program and a passing score on the NCCAOM exam. This state also allows Chiropractic and other physicians to practice after approximately 200 hours of training. Idaho designates these physicians as Certified Acupuncturists.

The NCCAOM (National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) has been recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education as the standard for professional competency for 25 years. To find a professional acupuncturist by location, check out their website at

Most states have a professional acupuncture association, so other useful websites are: .and . Another very reliable site is (the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).

Most acupuncturists are happy to answer any questions about their qualifications and experience treating a specific condition. Although no one can diagnose by telephone, don’t hesitate to ask for a short consultation to determine that they are the right practitioner for you.

Tess Hahn, Ph.D., OMD, L.Ac.

Diplomate, Acupuncture (NCCAOM)

Former Chair, Idaho State Board of Acupuncture


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