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A practitioner of acupuncture; a formally designated acupuncturist is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
There are currently approximately 5,000 acupuncture practitioners in the US, and 30 schools that offer training in acupuncture; the curriculum consists of 2,400 hours of instruction taken over 3–4 years; some acupuncturists are MDs; many belong to the Am Academy of Medical Acupuncture.


(ak′yŭ-pŭngk″chŭr) [ acu- + puncture]
A technique for treating pain, producing regional anesthesia, treating acute or chronic illness (such as hormonal, immune, or orthopedic), or preventing disease by passing thin needles through the skin into specific points on the body. The free ends of the needles are manually twirled, heated by moxa or moxibustion, or connected to a weak electrical current. They are then typically left in place for about 20 min. Although acupuncture has a variety of uses in Asia and Europe, in the U.S. it is principally considered a treatment for local pain. It is often used in combination with other therapies, including massage, meditation, and herbal remedies. Research suggests that acupuncture relieves pain by stimulating the release of endogenous opioids, other neurotransmitters (such as serotonin), and by directly affecting afferent nerve fibers. Acupuncture has also been found to be effective in veterinary applications. In the U.S. professional proficiency in acupuncture is attained by passing an examination administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.acupuncturist (-chŭ-rist)


It is important that the acupuncturist use sterile or disposable needles and that care be taken to prevent puncturing adjacent organs.
References in periodicals archive ?
In states with no licensing requirements, find an acupuncturist with certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, online at www.
In fact, Johnson feels that becoming a practitioner of dry needling has helped her develop a greater appreciation for when acupuncture is a better treatment, and regularly refers dancers to acupuncturists.
It is necessary to regulate the practice of acupuncture to ensure that only licensed acupuncturists can perform this alternative practice," Vargas said.
Domingo: Being both a specialist in physical and rehabilitation medicine and a certified medical acupuncturist has helped me assess my patients not only from a western physician's point of view but also from an eastern medicine practitioner's point of view.
In contrast to the herbal medicine/naturopathy professions, other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner professions, including chiropractors, acupuncturists, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, have made the decision to be, and are now registered with, the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
Acupuncturists are currently unregulated, though there are ongoing efforts to bring in measures so that acupuncturists have to be registered.
When I went to the acupuncturist, he asked me about my lifestyle and diet, that didn't happen when I visited my GP and I think that could be another reason that people don't go to an acupuncturist because there is a fear of what they will have to look at in themselves.
Your acupuncturist will also work with you to help you make lifestyle changes.
If you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin) it is important to tell your acupuncturist, as there is a risk that bleeding could occur.
Once the clinic reopens in the new space by May I, Adich said he plans to add more acupuncturists and massage therapists.
PATIENTS have alerted me to the fact that there exists amongst the physiotherapy profession an inaccurate stance regarding acupuncture practised by fully qualified traditional acupuncturists.