Acupuncture is one of the fastest-growing fields in the complementary and alternative health market (CAM) today. Acupuncture involves pricking the skin with needles in order to alleviate pain and to treat certain physical and emotional conditions, and is often used to treat patients with chronic conditions. The goal of acupuncture is to restore the balance of energy flowing through the body.
There were approximately 15,000 acupuncturists in the United States in 2014 according to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Even though acupuncture is just beginning to become more mainstream in America, the art originated in China and has been practiced there for well over 2000 years. Acupuncture is also used all over the world to treat many common health issues.
The complementary and alternative health market is being explored by more and more patients who are increasingly disillusioned with traditional western medicine and the treatments it offers. In fact, acupuncture is often sought after as a complementary treatment by cancer patients who wish to strengthen their immune systems during chemotherapy. It has also been found to relieve nausea and vomiting, to reduce fatigue, and to even help those suffering from depression, among many other common illnesses.
Those wishing to become acupuncturists will often learn herbal medicine, therapeutic massage, and Oriental medicine in addition to acupuncture, often studying for three years to earn a master’s degree, and an additional year or two to earn a doctorate. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific salary information for acupuncturists, The NCCAOM has estimated that the median annual income for those who hold an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) license was $52000. Considering the explosive growth of the field, and the attractive median salary, becoming an acupuncturist can be an enticing option.
While the impressive growth in the field of Oriental medicine and the strong median salary are definite draws, practitioners of acupuncture are often attracted to this career because of the opportunity to help to heal people, often restoring health to those with chronic illnesses.
Whatever your motivation to become an acupuncturist, we have all the information you need to find the perfect acupuncture program for you.