..The Intuitive Times
Complementary Therapies


Credentials and Classical Acupuncture

By Daniel Schulman,Dipl. Ac.(NNCAOM) Acupuncture

Back | Next | Contents | Home

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM). TOM is one of the oldest continually practiced medical systems in the world; a system that includes Chinese Herbal Medicine, Traditional Massage and Chinese Dietary Therapy. TOM has its own understandings of the human body/mind/spirit, the origins of illness, diagnosis and treatment. Many think Acupuncture is just a technique for pain control. This is a false assumption. Traditional Oriental Medicine can offer effective treatment for a wide range of women's, children's and men's health concerns. In TOM, all symptoms are interpreted as signs of imbalance in the body. Therapy is always directed at assisting your body in its natural drive back to balance.

A Classical Acupuncturist will assess and treat you using the principles of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Classical Acupuncture works with the many meridians in your body (channels of flow identified by the Chinese over 2000 years ago). Imbalances in the ebbs and flows of these channels can be adjusted at specific acupoints by using needles, moxibustion (the burning of herbs on points), polarity agents and other therapies. The TOM system is truly holistic. Your symptoms are not viewed or treated in isolation, but rather as part of your whole picture.

Traditional Oriental Medicine takes a lifetime to study and master. Good schooling and legitimate credentials are the foundation for this process. In most of the U.S. and in B.C., Alberta and Quebec, Acupuncturists are licensed through procedures which ensure all practitioners have graduated from an approved school and passed an independent competency examination. Ontario is beginning to develop regulations. In Atlantic Canada, you have to be a good shopper because Acupuncture is completely unregulated.

Here are some things to think about. It is important that an acupuncturist be certified by a legitimate, independently governed organization. For example, in the U.S., this would be the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) whose certification is internationally recognized. In Canada, this would be the B.C. College of Acupuncturists, the Alberta Registry or the Quebec Order of Acupuncturists. Sometimes schools certify their own graduates. This is not a legitimate practice in most respectable professions like law and medicine.

Because of the lack of regulation, some Canadian Acupuncture schools have very low standards. When considering an Acupuncturist, determine the school they attended, the hours of instruction involved and if they graduated. The current standard for Classical Acupuncture, in most regulated jurisdictions is 2100 - 2500 hours of full-time instruction over a 3 - 4 year period. In the United States, most schools are postgraduate level. Several schools in Canada now have similar standards.

"Classical Acupuncture" is based in the traditional diagnostic and therapeutic principles of Oriental Medicine. In Canada, many members of other health professions practice Acupuncture. Physiotherapists, Physicians, Chiropractors and Naturopaths can all acquire Acupuncture training that typically spans anywhere from 100 - 500 hours. In these cases, basic Acupuncture techniques have been added onto the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches central to each of these professions. This is quite different from "Classical Acupuncture." If you want to experience "Classical Acupuncture", I recommend you visit a practitioner who has the training I have outlined above.

Daniel Schulman practices Japanese and Chinese styles of Classical Acupuncture in Charlottetown.

Back | Next | Contents | Home