Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

How to Find an Acupuncturist

Although Oriental medicine has been practiced more than 2000 years in the East, ear acupit has only been practiced in the West since the 1970’s.  This field, which was primarily an Asian profession initially, has greatly increased in popularity in the past decade and includes more and more non-Asian practitioners.  There is great diversity in training and experience among acupuncturists in the West.  In California, acupuncture schools offer a Master’s of Science (M.S.) degree which is typically 3-4 years in length.  Because the field of Oriental medicine is so deep and complex and because there are many specialties within the field, a few schools recently began offering a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree, which is an additional 2.5 years.  I am researching the various doctoral programs that are now credentialed.

In California, acupuncturists are considered primary care providers and a referral may not be required for insurance purposes.  Acupuncture medical services are covered by many insurance companies, so check the details of your particular coverage.  Your acupuncturist should be a source of guidance and instruction in how to live a healthier life, so be sure you can communicate well with them.

It is important to check out the credentials of an acupuncturist with whom you are considering working.  Below is a list of questions to ask any potential acupuncturist you might be thinking of seeing for treatment:

1.  Where did the acupuncturist get their training? How long was that training?

2.  How long has the acupuncturist been in practice?

3.  Since Oriental medicine is a very general medicine, does the acupuncturist have a specialty?

4.  Is the acupuncturist legally registered or licensed in the state where you are looking for treatment?   In California, this certification is done by the ‘Acupuncture Board’. In other states, the ‘National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’ (NCCAOM) is the licensing institution.

If you are considering working with me at my Lafayette office, you can read about my training and about my current & past work by clicking the highlighted links.

If you would like a referral for a different area, you can try a referral website such as AcuFinder, which charges a fee to acupuncturists who would like to have their name listed (which I personally decided not to do since my referrals come from word of mouth within the local community).

One Comment

  1. Although acupuncture is gaining its popularity and is embraced by many still people are scared to do it. Why not? Needles are inserted in any part of your body. Thank you for the tips on how to look for the best possible acupuncturist. You cannot just trust anyone with your body.

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