1. Who Can Perform Acupuncture?
A. Acupuncturists who maintain a valid license issued by the Acupuncture Board and physicians licensed by the
Medical Board of California. A dentist or podiatrist licensed in California may also practice acupuncture, only
within the scope of their respective licenses and if they have completed the necessary training required by
their respective licensing board (1).
2. What is an Acupuncturist allowed to do?
An acupuncturist is allowed to engage in the practice of acupuncture, electro acupuncture, perform or prescribe
the use of oriental massage, acupressure, moxibustion, cupping, breathing techniques, exercise, heat, cold, magnets,
nutrition, diet, herbs, plant, animal, and mineral products, and dietary supplements to promote, maintain, and restore
health pursuant to Business & Professions Code Section 4937(1).
3. What do the Initials "O.M.D." and "D.A.O.M." stand for?
A. The initials O.M.D. stand for "Oriental Medical Doctor", and D.A.O.M stand for “Doctor of Acupuncture and
Oriental Medicine”, this is an academic title (similar to Ph.D.). This title may only be used by those licensed
acupuncturists who possess an earned doctorate degree, from a California accredited, approved and/or
authorized educational institute as set forth in Section 94760 of the California Education Code. These initials must
be used in conjunction with the representation that the individual is a licensed acupuncturist as set forth in Business
& Professions Code, Section 4927 and 4937, the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Section 1399.456,
and Attorney General Opinion No. 87-103(1) .
4. Can Acupuncturists call themselves a doctor?
Title 16, Section 1399.456 of the California Code of Regulations ("CCR") states: "It is unprofessional conduct
for an acupuncturist to use the title "Doctor" or the abbreviation "Dr." in connection with the practice of acupuncture
unless he or she possesses a license or certificate which authorizes such use or possesses an earned doctorate degree
from an accredited, approved or authorized educational institution as set forth under article 4 (commencing with
Section 94760) of Charter 7 of Part 59 which is in acupuncture, Oriental medicine, a biological science, or
is otherwise related to the authorized practice of an acupuncture as set forth is Sections 4927 and 4937 of the Code
5. Are Acupuncturists Required to use disposable needles?
Yes. It is unprofessional conduct for an acupuncturist to use a needle more than once. California Code
of Regulations, Title 16, Section 1399.454(1).
6. What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin, and solid needles are inserted into the body;
that uses specific points to stimulate and promote the energy level. This type of medical technique originated from
China over thousands of years ago and is widely practiced. It has become a key component of Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM), and developed into its own complete holistic health care system. It is a safe, painless, and
effective way to treat wide variety of medical problems.
7. How does acupuncture work?
From the 1970′s, when acupuncture and Oriental medicine first became available in the United States- up
until now, it has become a popular alternative approach in treating diseases and ailments. There is growing interest
in a more natural method that encompasses the body and mind with less side effects and greater benefits in
healing power. Ancient Chinese had a great interest in studying the relationship between nature and the human
body. Over thousands of years of observation and exploration, the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has
developed into a comprehensive natural healing practice that preserves health, and prevents illness. Acupuncture is
a commonly used treatment technique as part of TCM. In TCM, health is achieved by maintaining the body in
a “balanced state." Another important insight used in TCM diagnosis is finding of the “Qi” flow in the human body.
Base on the belief, every living being has Qi that is known as an unseen vital energy flow along the invisible
pathways called meridians. TCM identifies 12 “regular” and 8 “extraordinary” meridians as main energy channels.
This complicated “web like interconnecting matrix," also can be pictured as a freeway system in our body. There are
a number of reasons that cause a blockage in these pathways such as injuries, weather, emotions, or even diet.
After all, the imbalance of yin-yang or the interruptions to the Qi flow are believed to be responsible for diseases.
Along these pathways, there are about 400 acupuncture points to be connected. Acupuncture technique requires
practitioner penetrating the skin with thin needles at specific acupuncture points at specific depths, and angles.
This procedure has presented great results in balancing the yin-yang and unblocking the channels.
According to modern scientific studies, by stimulating acupuncture points, the electrical currents may influence
a change in our bodies that can begin the healing process. Furthermore, it may release the neurotransmitters,
substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain which activate our body’s own pain reduction system.
The release of endorphins, serotonin, nor epinephrine, or gamma-amino butyric acid relieves pain, and
treats many more other medical issues.
8. What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can treat the following symptoms: Addiction, Anxiety, Arthritis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Carpel Tunnel
Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Colitis, Common Cold, Constipation, Depression, Digestion Disorder, Dizziness,
Dysentery, Emotional Problems, Eye Problems, Facial Palsy, Fatigue, Fertility, Fibromyalgia, Headaches,
Incontinence, Indigestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Low Back Pain, Menopause, Morning Sickness,
Osteoarthritis, Pain, PMS, Pneumonia, Reproductive Problems, Rhinitis, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),
Shoulder Pain, Sinusitis, Sleep Disturbances, Smoking Cessation, Sore Throat, Stress, Tooth Pain,
Trigeminal Neuralgia, Urinary Tract Infections, Vomiting, Wrist Pain.
9. What can I expect?
Needles are sterile, generally cause no bleeding upon entry or removal, with little or no pain being felt; however,
slight bruising may be experienced on occasion. The number of treatments necessary will depend upon your
condition, if your symptoms are chronic or acute and your health in general. The needles may vary in size,
depending upon your condition and the course of treatment prescribed. In addition to needling your treatment may
also include a variety of non-needling techniques such as moxibustion (heat), acupressure, herbal formulas, etc. One
advantage of acupuncture treatment is the absence of serious side effects which may result from the use of
10. Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?
Acupuncture is safe to use during pregnancy, and can be helpful in reducing common discomfort associated with
pregnancy such as but not limited to morning sickness, insomnia, edema, sciatica pain. However, there are some
acupuncture points that should be avoided to prevent over-stimulation of blood circulation and energy flow. In
addition, acupuncture is drug-free so the patients can avoid the risk of any adverse side effects.
11. Is acupuncture safe for children?
Yes! The acupuncture is applicable to children of all ages. In some cases, children actually respond more quickly,
with better results than adults to the treatments. However, if the child has an aversion to needles, we may apply
acupressure technique (pressure point massage by hand) to stimulate healing.
12. How many treatment and how often will patient need acupuncture?
The frequency and the duration of the acupuncture treatment depends on each individual's physical health
condition. The severity and history of the symptoms, and patient's health state are all take into consideration.
The treating physician should have a treatment plan for following dates after patient evaluation. A chronic condition
usually takes longer time for healing than acute problems. For example: severe patients may need to return for
follow-up in 2-3 days, and other cases will need to return the next week, or maybe in 2 weeks to ensure the efficacy
of treatment. However, most patients experience improvement in a few sessions.
13. Is there more scientific research and study about acupuncture?
Yes, http://cim.ucsd.edu/clinical-care/acupuncture.shtml http://www.harlemchi.com/world-health-organization
1. California Acupuncture Board. Retrieved from: www.acupunctureboard.ca.gov