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Beware ‘Medical Acupuncturists’, Warns


Health industry whistleblower ( has issued a public warning to patients of so-called ‘medical acupuncturists’, as opposed to licensed acupuncture practitioners , suggesting that the lower training threshold and lack of specialization can be detrimental to both the acupuncture experience and the health of patients undergoing treatment.

(24 April 2009) - - Health industry whistleblower ( has today issued a stark warning to patients of so-called ‘medical acupuncturists’, urging them instead to opt for treatment under fully licensed acupuncture practitioners.

Unlike the 4-year L.Ac qualification, which requires over 3,000 hours of intense study and research, ‘medical’ acupuncturists are ‘certified’ after only 220 hours of study, some of which is undertaken at home without the benefit of the tutoring of experienced acupuncturists. Indeed, in some US states, medical acupuncturists require as little as 100 hours of training before practicing acupuncture.

Zhu Dan Xi, a spokesperson for said the value of the L.Ac qualification should not be underestimated, and patients should be aware of the potential dangers of receiving treatment from an unlicensed practitioner.

“We hear horror stories on a daily basis from patients undergoing treatment from medical acupuncturists, which just further underpins our belief that 100-200 hours of training simply isn’t enough. In the same way you wouldn’t trust a so-called doctor with 100 hours training, we believe you shouldn’t trust so-called medical acupuncturists either. These practices create a negative perception of acupuncture, and destroy the confidence of patients in what is truly a remarkable healing practice.”

“As a result of the lack of training of ‘medical’ acupuncturists, we’ve seen a rise in recent years in the levels of bad feeling towards acupuncture, with frequent claims of painful and uncomfortable treatments which have little healing effect. As any L.Ac licensed practitioner will testify, this couldn’t be further from the truth with well-executed acupuncture treatments, which can have a dramatic impact on health and wellbeing.”

The World Health Organisation suggests 100-200 hours of study should serve as qualification for research into acupuncture alone, recommending a minimum further 1,500 hours of study prior to practicing as an acupuncturist. The L.Ac qualification, in contrast to the home-study route, offers 3,000 hours of structured study over the course of a number of years, the equivalent of a Masters degree, to produce knowledgeable safe and professional acupuncture practitioners.

About: ( is dedicated to spreading the word about the dangers of unlicensed acupuncture practitioners. Following guidance from the World Health Organization and professional acupuncture practitioners bodies, is designed to help better inform patients of the risks of treatment by under-qualified, under-skilled ‘medical’ acupuncturists.


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