Acupuncture is a relatively new form of medicine in the United States and has been practiced in China since before recorded history according to Acupuncturecare.com and dates back over 8,000 years. Acupuncture treatments include hitting the proper nerve points on a human body to get the proper energy, or chi, flowing through the body.
There are several acupuncture schools in the United States now that it has become a more widespread practice. Each school should be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, a national agency recognized by the Department of Education for accrediting colleges that teach practioners of acupuncture. Not all colleges that teach acupuncture are accredited by this agency.
Here are some of the best schools to attend for learning acupuncture in the United States and the reasons why I chose them. All of them are nationally accredited. Graduates often are prepared to take their national board exam administered by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine upon completion of their degree.
Florida College of Integrative Medicine
The Florida College of Integrative Medicine has the largest pharmacy in Orlando with over 600 different herbal medicines on hand and has schools for all aspects of Oriental medicine and includes classes in acupuncture, herbology, and Western biomedical sciences. Students must also practice on at least 350 patients before they can graduate.
One of the oldest schools in the country, courses are taught by practicing physicians in the field. Financial aid and scholarships are available based upon need and FCIM also has a work study program as needs of each department are available.
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
The Oregon College of Oriental of Oriental Medicine in Portland, Oregon, offers a Master’s program and a Doctor program, the first college to do so in 2005. A Master’s program prepares student to practice acupuncture and Oriental medicine while the doctoral program is a 24 month intensive study to further advance the education of practitioners.
Established in 1989, OCOM has been around for twenty years and offers students a three year program to graduate with a Master’s. Oregon College of Oriental Medicine is a leader in the health care industry for turning out graduates who are leaders in the field and who participate in research as well as traditional Chinese medicine.
Academy of Oriental Medicine
The Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin, Texas, has been educating students since 1993. Graduates earn a Master’s degree in three years plus three months with a degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In addition to the national board, students are also qualified to take the exam of the California Acupuncture Board to be licensed to practice in California.
Courses cover a wide range of topics in traditional medicine and Western medicine including Native American medicine and healing systems that are not necessarily Chinese in origin. Loans are available for those who qualify and scholarships are also available.
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco has Master’s programs in Traditional Chinese Medicine and a Doctoral track for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The Doctor’s program was started in 2006 and focuses on clinical studies.
Started in 1980, the school offers classes to the general public in four cities. Many students receive some form of financial aid while they attend and have an active student body of almost three hundred students. Programs offer a comprehensive view of medicine and continuing education classes are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.
New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
New York’s version of an acupuncture school resides in the New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Accredited in 2002, it is one of the newer institutions in the United States and offers a Master’s in Acupuncture in a three year program for full time students.
Located on Long Island, the school also offers a four year program that is three years of acupuncture and one year of herbology. Most of the faculty have studied and learned their practice in China, some of whom for more than twenty years and most practice in the United States.