What are the different styles of acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, and America. Different styles have developed over the centuries based on different opinions as to theory and technique.
Talk to your practitioner about his/her particular style and learn as much as possible about the treatment being proposed. While the basic theoretical principles of acupuncture remain the same, different styles of acupuncture differ greatly in technique and diagnosis. There is no evidence that one particular style is more effective than another, but you should know what you are getting into.
Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCM)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the most common form of acupuncture studied and practiced in the United States.
Japanese Style Acupuncture
Japanese style acupuncture takes a more subtle route than TCM. Fewer and thinner needles are used with less stimulation.
Korean Hand Acupuncture
Points in the hand correspond to areas of the body and to certain disharmonies.
Points in the ear correspond to areas of the body and to certain disharmonies. This system is commonly used for pain control and drug, alcohol, and nicotine addictions.
When a Western Medical Doctor performs Acupuncture; it is defined as Medical Acupuncture. Acupuncture requirements for Western doctors are generally more lenient than for non-MD’s. Choose a physician who also a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.). If there are none near you be sure that the M.D. or D.O. is a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture; it requires a minimum of 200 hours of training for membership.
Today, veterinary acupuncture is an acknowledged and respected field of medicine which requires formal training and certification in order to practice.
In most States, provinces and countries, veterinary acupuncture is considered a surgical procedure that, legally, may ONLY be performed by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine.
Look for a veterinarian with formal training in the practice of animal acupuncture. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine is an art and a science that takes years to master. While any licensed vet can stick needles into an animal, for a positive experience and results, find a veterinary acupuncturist with experience treating a similar condition (with acupuncture) to what your animal has.
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM