In this episode we take on the question of what are the top five things to consider when choosing an acupunctist?
Today’s Everyday Acupuncture Podcast question is answered by Stacey Whitcomb of the Shift Clinic, in Bellingham, WA.
This is Stacy Whitcomb with Shift Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine in Bellingham, Washington. Today, I’m gonna share with you the top five things to consider when choosing an acupuncturist.
Number one. Let’s start with qualifications. Most states in the United States require an NCCAOM certification, which is the national certification commission for acupuncture and Oriental medicine, which consists of three board exams.
And a fourth. If you wanna sit for the herbal medicine board. Asian medical school is much like Western medical school. In most cases, we earn a four year Bachelor’s degree and then apply to medical schools where we then go on to earn a three to four year Master’s degree.
In contrast to Western medical Docs who go on to earn a four year medical degree. Now, many practitioners continue on to pursue a doctoral degree as. So the only states currently to have no regulations are South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alabama, and then California has their own state exam, which is rather rigorous.
And I promise you no other state envies this. So now you might live in an area that legally allows other medical care providers to do what is called dry needling, which is also acupuncture or even quote acupuncture. So let me ask you this. Would you go to a dentist for a gynecological exam? Yeah, me neither.
So why would you go to a physical therapist, chiropractor or Western medical doctor to get acupuncture that doesn’t even make sense?
Two, let’s talk about referrals, how to find your forever acupuncturist. One, ask your friends seriously or other people in your social circle, who they see.
Usually if your friend really likes a practitioner, then you probably will too second great way is to do a Google search with the words, acupuncture, and then whatever you seem to be ailing from. So the internet is wicked smart these days, and an equally smart acupuncturist who is in near proximity to you will have a website looking for you.
So let the internet do the. Number three, check out the practitioner’s website to see if they’re a generalist or a specialist acupuncture treats the whole person, meaning that if you’re being treated for insomnia, you might notice that like your digestion improves or your arthritis gets better, but some practitioners take a special interest in specific populations.
So they may have more educational training and say something like orthopedic injuries or women’s health number four insurance. So. If you have health insurance and you know that it covers acupuncture, then you might want an acupuncturist who takes your insurance. So the best way to go about this is to call your insurance and find out, and then also ask them if they cover whatever it is that you have going on, physically, that you need help with number five, a consultation, many acupuncturists offer something like a 20 minute consultation.
This is a special opportunity where you can ask all of your questions and the acupuncturist can explain a little bit about what to expect with the treatment.
So there you have it, the top five things to look for when choosing your acupuncturist.