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What Does it Take to Become an Acupuncturist?

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

Acupuncturists complete years of extensive training.


The current hour requirement in Connecticut to apply for an acupuncture license is a minimum of 1905 hours of didactic and clinical training, 660 of which are clinical.

The number of years of schooling to become an acupuncturist is similar to that of becoming a medical doctor. The major difference is the approach in treatment learned. Training to become a medical doctor focuses on drugs and/or surgery to address a diagnosis.


An acupuncturist studies how to detect weaknesses or imbalances in the body, and subsequently works to unblock and free anything trapped that prevents healing, thereby restoring and increasing energy, creating internal harmony again.


As a practitioner, I take my time with patients, giving them my full attention. The initial visit, which includes the consultation, health history, nutritional evaluation, and treatment, lasts an hour and half on average.


Whole vs. Fractions

In conventional medicine, conditions are split up and looked at by different professionals, rather than one person examining at the patient as a whole. This presents a problem. For example, I had a patient come to me with shoulder pain. Upon treating the shoulder directly, it did not relieve the pain. This patient also had digestive issues we were concurrently working on. Once the digestive issues cleared, the shoulder pain went away. Acupuncture sees connections conventional medicine does not, and treats the person physically, internally, and emotionally all at the same time. I don't know another medicine that does this.


The roof analogy

Imagine walking into a room, and up in the left corner, you see evidence of water damage. The paint is peeling, the wood is beginning to rot, and you can feel the wall has softened and become vulnerable. You call in two contractors.


Contractor one says: I will scrape the peeling pain, cut out the rotted wood, and brace the wall. Then, I'll put on a fresh coat and it will look great.


Contractor two says: It's important to look at the roof, see where the water is coming from. If that isn't fixed, even if we make the wall and ceiling look better, the problem is still there, behind the surface. The water will continue to leak in, and then you could have a worse situation on your hands, like black mold, that could cause you additional symptoms, perhaps respiratory issues, that you wouldn't relate back to the wall because you don't see the damage happening after covering it up .


Which contractor would you choose?

Do you want a solution or bandaid?


In the above example, you may have caught the message: covering up a problem, either by a drug, fad diet, and sometimes even surgery, does not address the root cause, does not answer the question: why did this problem arise?


The body miracle


Self contained in your own body, that same body you walk around in every day, sleep in, go to work in, exercise with - is the ability to heal. The body has the contractors to fix you - if they are allowed to do their job. Blood pressure can be lowered, weight can melt off, allergies can disappear, hearts can heal. Your body just needs the chance to do it.


Why didn't I try acupuncture sooner?


Many of my patients say this. If you've been suffering with a medical condition for a long time, and/or have accumulated additional symptoms, you owe it to your body and yourself to hire another contractor. After all, while you may be able to change houses, you only get one body to live in.


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