Acupuncture Essentials: What is an Acupuncturist?

a woman applying pressure to another woman's wrists

Acupuncture is a special form of medical treatment where specific points on the body are stimulated with tiny, fine needles to help the body naturally heal and address a host of issues, ranging from muscle strain and psychological stress all the way to indigestion and insomnia. When you go to your first acupuncture session, you’ll meet your acupuncture practitioner, who is called an acupuncturist. 

Many individuals may assume that the role of an acupuncturist is similar to that of a doctor or a nurse, but in reality, an acupuncturist’s role encompasses very specific responsibilities. Today, we’re going to examine what an acupuncturist is, what they do for their clients, and what you can expect from your chosen acupuncturist.

What is an Acupuncturist?

First and foremost, a licensed acupuncturist (abbreviated as L.Ac.) is a healthcare professional trained in the practice of acupuncture as used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncturists assess their clients’ wellness, concerns, and goals for future health, and use that information to design a customized care plan to improve the client’s condition. Acupuncturists are unique in that they consider and create a holistic approach towards healing, which addresses the body and mind as a complete unit, rather than looking at and addressing individual symptoms as separate problems.

In New Jersey, an acupuncturist must both hold a baccalaureate degree and graduate from a recognized and accredited acupuncture program. They must additionally be verified to be of good moral character, complete an exam administered by the NCCAOM, and must meet specific legal requirements before they are allowed to open a practice. These requirements are in place to allow you, the client, to feel confident and safe in your choice of an acupuncturist.

What Does an Acupuncturist Do?

An acupuncturist assesses their client’s needs based on concepts unique to TCM, such as the balance of yin and yang and Meridian pathways throughout the body. After they’ve taken the client’s health concerns and goals into consideration, they will proceed to treatment. Treatment will include the stimulation of points throughout the body with acupuncture, but it may also include massage or acupressure.

While acupuncture is arguably an acupuncturist’s main focus, they are trained in many different aspects and areas of TCM, and may draw upon these resources to help facilitate the kind of healing the client is looking for. An acupuncturist will also likely recommend lifestyle changes to encourage more successful healing, such as dietary adjustments, exercise, and herbs that can naturally aid the body. 

What to Expect When Visiting an Acupuncturist

A visit to your acupuncturist is vastly different from a visit to your doctor or dentist. Instead of simply administering service and sending you on your way, your acupuncturist will actively work with you throughout your treatment sessions to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. A typical course of treatment will involve between 4-8 sessions but may vary from client to client.

Acupuncturists are trained to treat individuals of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. If you are accompanying a family member, your acupuncturist will likely take some time to get to know the family as a cohesive unit, so as to best design treatment for each member that will be complementary toward the goals of the group. They may also ask you if you are experiencing any unpleasant side effects from other treatment or medication in order to design an acupuncture plan that can help ease those unwanted ailments

All Points Acupuncture: Your Local Acupuncturist

If you’re looking for an acupuncturist in New Jersey or New York, we invite you to contact our office to arrange an introductory meeting. A core element of successful acupuncture treatment is that you feel comfortable and safe in the environment and the best way to determine that is with an in-person visit. Our focus is on developing a long-term relationship with you to provide you with the support and expertise you need to achieve your wellness goals. We look forward to welcoming you to All Points!

For more information on acupuncture, our clinic, or our resident acupuncturist, give us a call at (201) 843-3633. Alternatively, you can also send us a message online.

July 14, 2020