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

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

prescription drugs(1).  


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

-who-on-acupuncture/ http://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/who-official-position/



1. California Acupuncture Board. Retrieved from: www.acupunctureboard.ca.gov