A Career in Acupuncture
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and safest medical treatments in the world. It is used to restore a patient’s health or to promote and maintain health. Being an Acupuncturist is fascinating and rewarding and the career attracts people from all walks of life. So what’s it like?
Traditional East Asian medical cultures believe that Acupuncture works by helping to restore balance to the body’s vitality that they called ‘Qi’. Contemporary research has now established that Acupuncture promotes, among other things, endorphins, purinergic signalling, mu opioid receptor bindings, electron transfer and autonomic balance. This is why it is currently used as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with other forms of medicine to help treat a wide variety of acute and chronic health conditions including migraines, chronic pain, arthritis, back pain, digestive problems, sports injuries, infertility, hormonal issues, anxiety, depression and stress-related problems amongst many others.
Besides addressing the presenting symptoms, treatments are aimed at treating the whole body system using both an holistic and heuristic approach.
What’s it like to be an Acupuncturist?
For some, Acupuncture is their first career, but many people switch to a career in Acupuncture after following a very different career path, whilst others have been pursuing a similar career in healthcare and decide to branch out.
Most Acupuncturists are self-employed, which provides a great deal of flexibility with your working hours and family life. Many Acupuncturists work out of GP practices or complementary health centres alongside osteopaths, chiropractors, or physiotherapists. Others set up their own practice and work from home. An increasing number of Acupuncturists now provide Acupuncture services in the NHS.
An Acupuncturist will begin a patient’s consultation by finding out about their current health issues. They’ll take a detailed health history. A range of diagnostic methods and Chinese medicine theory are used to assess the patient’s overall condition and to select a few of the most beneficial points out of hundreds of possible Acupuncture points for the treatment. Then, fine needles are inserted into these chosen points. Sometimes other tools such as moxibustion and cupping are used alongside the Acupuncture needles.
Chinese medical theory, of which acupuncture is a part, takes a unique holistic view of health and disease. This ancient perspective is a fascinating way to understand a patient’s physical and emotional condition. Our course covers classical Acupuncture theory in great depth and ICOM has become renowned for its exploration of the theory of Stems and Branches. This offers a unique way of understanding the cycles of energetic change through time and their possible effect on the individual.
No two days are the same for an Acupuncturist. Seeing the beneficial effects of a treatment to one’s patients makes it an enormously rewarding and inspiring career. Each patient is different and so the learning never stops. Acupuncturists who are registered with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) must also engage in continuing professional development CPD to keep their knowledge and skills fresh, and to keep in touch with developments in research and with the acupuncture community.
Acupuncture is growing in popularity and is increasingly recognised as safe, efficacious and cost effective in treating many acute and chronic ailments. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) now recommends Acupuncture as one of the alternatives to prescription drugs to treat chronic primary pain.
For those who have a desire to be of service to others and are interested in maintaining health and promoting healing without the use of prescription drugs, a career in acupuncture is well worth considering.
Why not come along to our next Open Day where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat to our staff and students and ask any questions about pursuing a rewarding career in Acupuncture and the benefits of training at ICOM.