Acupuncturists trained in the US attend 4+ years of graduate school, that mirrors western medical school, except the area of expertise is Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our internship and residency is done while we are in school instead of after, and we have over 4000 hours of training. We receive a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine, and in NM, become a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM).
Because we also do extensive training in western medical sciences, along with eastern, we are authorized to practice as Primamry Care Providers in NM, if that is what a patient chooses. After almost 3000 years of development, you can imagine there are many areas to specialize in, and all types of systems of treatment. Here a just a few:
1. Full Body
2. Auricular (ear)
4. Korean (mostly hand)
5. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
6. Japanese (example: Hari)
So keep in mind, if you see any other type of practitioner for acupuncture (MD, Chiropractor, etc.), you are choosing between someone going to a weekend course in acupuncture and someone attending 4 years of graduate school for training. The difference in diagnosis and treatment for the patient is immense when you see a DOM vs others, and usually that means the outcome is going to be much more personalized, true to the nature of acupuncture theory, and longer lasting.
We love what we do, and love passing along the theories and concepts to everyone, so that they become a part of how you live. So please ask a lot of questions of us...that will never offend us, we love to share it.
A Little History in the US...
The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease. Acupuncture may correct imbalances of flow at identifiable points close to the skin. The practice of acupuncture to treat identifiable pathophysiological conditions in American medicine was rare until the visit of President Nixon to China in 1972. Since that time, there has been an explosion of interest in the United States and Europe in the application of the technique of acupuncture to western medicine.
-- National Institutes of Health
Albuquerque, NM Los Lunas, NM