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Licensed vs “Certified”


Dry needling is one of the hotter issues in the acupuncture field. If you have an interest in acupuncture, or you have been receiving acupuncture treatments, this is a topic worth knowing.

Dry Needling is a term used to describe acupuncture done by non-licensed Acupuncturists or rather, Certified Acupuncturists. The difference between a Licensed Acupuncturist and a Certified Acupuncturist is the experience. Licensed Acupuncturists have done at least 5,000 hours of schooling along with dedicated clinic time and significant needle training. In the school that I attended, as students, we spend a year following a Licensed Practitioner and another strictly supervised year in a clinic.

We also had the option to go outside of school and learn even more technique and theory from other Licensed Practitioners.

For those of us that have spent time and effort to learn this practice, it is who we are. For Certified Acupuncturists, acupuncture is just another thing for them to add to a long list of other services. They are not versed in technique and theory. Their interest is to take advantage of a trend.

Certified Acupuncturist's training consists of less than 200 hours of learning. Often, it is less than 100 hours. A quote from the attached article is from a Certified Acupuncturist: "I went to two very long weekends," said the physical therapist News 13 spoke to in South Carolina. "There was hands-on training. There was practicum work. There was research involved."

This physical therapist said he was confident in his skill level after only 54 hours of training.

Five thousand hours, including a year of supervised clinic work, and additional independent study for a Licensed Acupuncturist versus 54 hours over "two long weekends." Who are you going to put your trust in?

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