Who can perform Acupuncture?

In New York state, only a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) can administer acupuncture.

To receive a license requires a minimum of 3,000 hours of training in an accredited 3-year Master's-level acupuncture program (Master’s of Science in Acupuncture). The course includes a combination of classroom and clinical training and includes:

  • Safe and effective patient care and diagnosis.
    • Diagnostic techniques of both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine are both taught.
    • Selecting the appropriate treatment with a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs and lifestyle counseling.
    • Application of acupuncture techniques in safe and appropriate ways.
  • Integration of Eastern and Western medical techniques for the purpose of informing the practice of acupuncture, communicating with other medical professional and making appropriate medical referrals when necessary.

After passing the National Board Certification Exam, a license can be obtained from the state. Medical doctors and Dentists who have undergone an accredited certificate program of 300 hours may also perform acupuncture.

Education requirements and standards vary from state to state. In deciding which practitioner to use, it is important to ask the practitioner what kind of training they have undergone. Tsao is a NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) Diplomat in Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. She also served as a clinical faculty member of The Eastern School of Acupuncture and on the Board of Directors of ASNY (Acupuncture Society of New York) for 5 years. She trains extensively with Dr. Richard Bandler, the founder of Neurolinguistic Programming. Learn more about Tsao’s background, focus and philosophy here.

For more information about educational standards see Links & Resources.

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