Choosing an acupuncturist, why you should always go for the real deal.

without comments


Choosing an Acupuncturist: Why You Should Always Go for the Real Deal

find a licensed acupuncturist

Are licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac,’s) more adept when it comes to the ancient healing practice than any other practitioner performing acupuncture? Based on the training and education needed for licensure, the answer is yes. There are vast differences in the qualifications among “acupuncturists,” which is why it’s essential to seek treatment from a licensed practitioner.

To meet the acupuncture demand in the West, more and more individuals have jumped on the traditional Chinese medicine bandwagon. It can be confusing to determine who is fully trained and qualified when you’re combing through Google results to find an acupuncturist near you. Potential patients should be wary of those who perform acupuncture with a certification, as opposed to a license. Let’s take a look at how different classifications measure up.

Dry needling, which involves inserting needles into trigger points to relieve muscle pain, can be performed by certified physical therapists in some states. Certification entails a brief training course. In some cases, this training lasts for a mere weekend in sharp contrast with a licensed acupuncturists’ training, which is equivalent to a master’s degree. Would you let a surgeon operate on you after a two-day stint in medical school? Hopefully not. Yet, the majority of these practitioners are equally lacking in knowledge and they still wield needles. While proponents argue that dry needling is not acupuncture and there are differences, the basic premise that needles must be placed at a precise spot for healing is the same.

Supporters of crash courses believe that the treatments are safe and un-licensed practitioners are skilled enough to conduct them. However, a 2006 case study published In Motion, as cited by the Maryland Acupuncture Society, begs to differ. A certified practitioner caused a pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung, in a patient when dry needling trigger points. The study authors concluded that, “while acupuncture is generally considered a safe procedure with low risk of serious complications, such risks are directly related to the amount of training the practitioner has undergone and decrease with increased hours of required training.”

When Guild Insurance Limited, a provider of malpractice insurance for physical therapists, reviewed the liability claims related to the incident they found that over the course of one year the cases of pneumothorax due to dry needling had increased. This was in conjunction with the increase in physical therapists performing the procedure over the same time span.

Dry needling isn’t the only safety issue. Once medical professionals caught on to the popularity of holistic medicine, they quickly added “medical acupuncture” and “chiropractic acupuncture” to their menus. When these terms are used it refers to practitioners who are certified. This is not the same as licensed. A physician or chiropractor only undergoes 300 hours of training or less. Much of this is comprised of home study. Very little, if any, actual patient treatments are required for certification. Medical and chiropractic practitioners do not need to pass the national certification examination or complete continuing education courses.

Because a medical or chiropractic degree hangs on the wall, the lack of training is often overlooked. If a licensed acupuncturist performed chiropractic adjustments after such abbreviated training, it would be disastrous. Of course you would be certain that a chiropractor is more qualified and effective. The same holds true when the roles are reversed.

A study conducted by the Institute of Community Medicine in Norway found that chiropractors and physicians with little training pose a serious risk to patients. The 14-year study uncovered 193 patients who reported adverse side effects from acupuncture. The majority of these individuals consulted certified, not licensed, practitioners. The study’s authors noted that three people died from medical acupuncture treatments due to the doctors’ “inadequate acupuncture education.” Similar to the case related to dry needling, the experts also determined that pneumothorax is the most common mechanical organ injury tied to medical and chiropractic acupuncture. A career in medicine doesn’t mean that a doctor has perfected the exact placement of needles or the depth of penetration.

To decrease the likelihood of adverse side effects look for those three little letters after a practitioner’s name: L.Ac. (A.P. in Florida and D.O.M. in NM) This denotes that they are a licensed acupuncturist who has successfully completed more than 2,000 hours of education in Chinese medicine and acupuncture, which is equivalent to three to four years of schooling. Potential acupuncturists must attend an accredited college or school of acupuncture with master’s level on-site training and engage in several hundred hours of supervised clinical practice. Not to mention, unlike their medical counterparts, they must successfully pass the national certification exam and complete regular continuing education courses. The amount of knowledge garnered throughout the intensive program far outweighs what can be gained in any weekend workshop or home study course.

Acupuncture is an art and a science based on thousands of years of clinical practice. A qualified acupuncturist has honed their expertise in Chinese medicine theory, energy and organ systems, treatment procedures, safety protocols, the endless number of precise meridian and acupuncture points, and needling techniques. This is all in addition to learning a completely new and unfamiliar diagnostic criteria.

After years of education and training in the Western medical model, a physical therapist, physician, or chiropractor will typically follow the path they know, which often runs counter to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. For example, a licensed acupuncturist will take a holistic approach and view the body as a whole to find an underlying cause of their ailment, as opposed to just addressing symptoms. Traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes that the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected. Western medicine views each organ and system separately and targets the symptoms and not the underlying cause. This means that the diagnosis and treatment may be different depending on whether one sees a licensed or certified acupuncturist.

The technique, philosophy, fundamentals, and precision necessary to practice Chinese medicine take years to perfect. Most certified acupuncturists don’t have the knowledge to translate the tenants of Eastern medicine into a holistic, effective treatment. Licensed practitioners know acupuncture and Chinese medicine inside out. They create a treatment that is customized to each individual. Medical and chiropractic acupuncturists often use a one-size fits all approach.

People who receive acupuncture from someone without a license may subsequently develop a negative view toward the practice. Patients often find treatments by practitioners with minimal training to be painful or uncomfortable and in many cases don’t experience any benefits. This is dismaying to licensed acupuncturists. A qualified, licensed practitioner can diagnose a patient, target the acupuncture points most effective for that individual, and perform a well-executed, comfortable treatment. This will offer powerful healing properties, balance the body systems and energy, and improve health and well-being.

Don’t fall trap to “hobbyist” acupuncturists. Experience the powerful holistic, healing practice to gain relief from a large variety of conditions, unlock the flow of your energy, and restore the natural balance, health, and rhythm of the body. The public needs to know that visiting a licensed acupuncturist is a must. It’s a matter of public safety and also ensures that patients are not deprived of the potentially life-changing benefits of acupuncture.

Share Button

Written by Katheryne

January 14th, 2016 at 5:13 pm


without comments


Initial Consultation & treatment 90 minutes £55.00

Follow up treatment 60 minutes                      £45.00

Treatment 30 minutes                                        £37.50


Written by Katheryne

March 26th, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Posted in Cupping

Tagged with

Achoo, Snowdrops and Daffodils, Hayfever and Allergic Rhinitis on its way?

without comments

    Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine support healing naturally, by rebalancing your body, mind and spirit.

E Moon, Gloucester.
‘After suffering from terrible hay-fever I’ve at last found relief through acupuncture. Its also helped me sleep so much better and I feel its improved my overall general health. I look forward to each session’.

Have you read the recently posted article by ‘The Daily Mail’ regarding the relief Hayfever and Allergic Rhinitis sufferers experience? Yes its that time of year again, and generally speaking it is more effective to have treatment sooner rather than later.

Written by Katheryne

March 26th, 2015 at 9:08 pm

without comments

Can needles help hayfever?
Last updated at 14:55 31 August 2004

Acupuncture is being hailed as a treatment for the thousands of people who suffer the misery of hayfever every year.
New research, published in the journal Allergy, shows the ancient Chinese medicine can dramatically reduce symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. Researchers found that when they used acupuncture needles with a Chinese herbal medicine, the number of patients feeling better was double that in a group not given the treatment.
The UK has around 13 million hayfever sufferers. They endure an annual misery ranging from mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, to more severe complications, such as asthma attacks.
One in four sufferers is thought to be sensitive to birch pollen, which contaminates the air in early spring. The birch pollen season usually lasts about a month, giving way to grass pollen allergies from May and June onwards.
Most people with hayfever rely on over-the-counter medicines, such as eye drops and antihistamines, to relieve symptoms. But the discomfort can affect their work, social life and even relationships.
For years, researchers have debated whether alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, have any role in the treatment of allergies. Practised in China for over 3,000 years, acupuncture is believed to work on a range of illnesses by balancing the body’s energy to treat and prevent disease.
Tiny sterile needles are gently inserted into selected points, known as acupoints, on the skin. This is said to balance the flow of vital energy – known as Qi (pronounced “chee”).
The body has more than 300 acupoints and acupuncturists use them according to what the problem is.
To see if hayfever sufferers would benefit, researchers at the University of Erlangen in Nuremberg, Germany, and the Charite University Medical Centre in Berlin, recruited 52 hayfever sufferers aged between 20 and 58.
Half received a sixweek treatment regime that combined weekly acupuncture with herbal medicine every day, while the other half had needles inserted into non-acupoints and were given a non-active herbal formula.
The results showed that 85% of those on acupuncture and herbal medicine reported an improvement in well-being, compared to just 40% in the other group.
A spokeswoman for the British Acupuncture Council said the study proved what practitioners already knew. “Every summer, each practitioner in the UK will treat at least two or three hayfever sufferers,” she said. “The symptoms can be helped quite substantially.”
Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Written by Katheryne

March 26th, 2015 at 7:21 pm

CUPPING; a safe and effective treatment strategy,

without comments

Cupping skin reaction chartCUPPING

Thanks Katheryne for the most amazing treatment – I must say I was a little sceptical as I had never heard of fire cupping before but I’m amazed how much improvement there has been in my knee! I have even slept better which is a bonus.

Avril Couchman Planterama Design Ltd

Cupping is the use of small round glass jars under suction. The air is removed from the cup by vacumn or heat, and then placed over an area to be treated.

By stimulating localised areas under the cups, or using different tecniques whole areas such as shoulders, back and legs can be treated. Suction locally pulls toxins from deep within the tissues to the surface and due to warmth and increased circulation, muscular tension and spasm are released. The circulation is stimulated so releasing toxic buildup.
The coloration from cupping dissipates from a few hours up to a week or so. Depending on the amount of stagnation this coloration varies from a light pink to dark purple, but it is usually a shade of red. Often tiny raised bumps will appear. Sometimes a clear fluid will be drawn to the surface. The more discoloration that surfaces – the greater level of stagnation and toxicity that is present, having very tight painful muscles for a long time, for example.

Who benefits from cupping?

Generally treatment by cupping is preferred when direct massage would be too painful, and spasm is present. Those involved in sports or fitness programmes with overtight muscles, in areas such as legs, and arms, and individuals who have aches and pains that are better for getting going feel great benefit from cupping.



Written by Katheryne

March 26th, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Dry needling vs acupuncture, is it safe? You decide.

without comments

Dry needling vs acupuncture


A discussion on the merits of dry needling between a sports or physical therapist (osteopath etc) and a qualified acupuncturist.

Written by Katheryne

March 26th, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Iyengar Yoga, Tues 5.15-6.45pm

without comments

Our third year Iyengar yoga class at Gloucester Farmers Club

join us on Tuesday evenings at 5.15pm.

  • Early evening class from 5:15 – 6:45pm –
  • drop-in £10.00.

* when booked as course £42 for 7 weeks

 Iyengar yoga is great for improving strength and flexibility and relieving stress. Suitable for everyone, all levels of fitness and ability including beginners.

Please wear something comfortable – T shirt and leggings are ideal and be prepared to work in bare feet. Iyengar yoga uses mats and blocks etc, but don’t worry for your first class. If you can, bring a small blanket to sit on and don’t forget your signed health declaration form if you haven’t already sent it to me.

Yoga should not be practised for 2 hours after a meal (unlikely at this time of day!), but if you are hungry and tired eat something light – a banana is ideal – at least 30 minutes before the class.

Please get in touch if you have any questions and let me know in advance if you would like to join this class – minimum number required.

Tessa Iyengar yoga teacher

tel: 07899 948774

Written by Katheryne

November 1st, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Posted in News

5-minute guide to Acupuncture

without comments

Written by Katheryne

September 30th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

Acupuncture May Help Ease Symptoms of COPD

without comments

General article discussing the findings of a recent study, indicating that acupuncture improved shortness of breath in a 6 minute walking test for those with COPD.

Discounts available on block bookings.

without comments

Acupuncture and oriental medicine:

For discounts block book four treatments with a consultation,

Initial consultation £55.00 was    £60.00

follow ups                £42.50 were     £48.00


Total £225.00


pay £55.00 for consultation and first treatment, with a deposit of £100.00.



Written by Katheryne

May 30th, 2012 at 3:14 pm