6 Tips to Find Your Acupuncturist
You finally decide to give acupuncture a try. Now you have a new problem to solve.
How to find an acupuncturist who suits your needs?
We will share 6 tips to find your acupuncturists in this blog.
If you are in the mood for more research, we also have 4 bonus tips to help you navigate deeper.
As a patient myself, I believe the first 6 tips are essential to decide whether you want to book an appointment with an acupuncturist.
1. Check the acupuncturist’s credentials
When you see a western doctor, you want to see a doctor who has passed the board exam and keeps a good standing with their certification.
It is the same for acupuncturists. If you are in the USA, a licensed acupuncturist should pass a national or state board exam.
Before passing the exam, most acupuncturists study for 3-4 years full time and have hands-on and supervised clinical training. After passing the exam, they need to take ongoing training to keep their certification. With such requirements, you will be in good hands.
Where to find a practitioner who passes the exam? You can go to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine website. They have a section to help you find practitioners by location or by name.
2. Make sure their location and clinic hour are convenient for you
As you might be aware, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine treat the roots of your condition. Most practitioners will also suggest lifestyle changes, such as diet to improve your health.
That translates to multiple treatments for a while. Your situation might need you to get acupuncture treatment a few times a week.
So the location and the clinic hours become critical. Is the location convenient for you? Do they have appointments for weekends or evenings?
It is almost like choosing a gym or yoga studio. A convenient location will make it much easier for you to stick to your acupuncture treatment, instead of having more excuses not going.
3. Decide whether you need insurance coverage
Let’s be honest. Not all acupuncture clinics accept insurance. Then, it is on your shoulder to find out whether you will need insurance to cover your acupuncture bills.
If you need insurance coverage, call your insurance company to find out whether they cover acupuncture. Later, give a call to the clinic directly. They should be able to tell you whether they accept your insurance coverage.
If your insurance does cover insurance and you want to have a small bill, you might consider giving the community acupuncture clinic a try. For more details, please check out this blog.
4. Find an acupuncturist you trust and like
As you might think trust and likeness are intangible, how do I judge before I meet the acupuncturist?
Most acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners have a website or social media these days. Check out their social media. Read their blogs.
Do you agree with what they say? Do you feel like following their advice?
Also, if you are seeking fertility issues, would you feel comfortable sharing a lot of health condition details with a practitioner who is not the same sex as you?
Finding someone you like and trust will make it much easier for you to follow their suggestions and improve your health, lifestyle.
5. Seek an acupuncturist who has deep knowledge and experience in your condition
A board-certified acupuncturist should be able to treat general conditions. At the same time, some acupuncturists have a specialty, such as fertility, digestive, or children. It makes sense for you to check what the acupuncturist focuses on.
6. Have a clean treatment environment
No matter if you are going to private practice or a community-style clinic, the treatment area should be clean, quiet, and have high hygiene standards.
It might be difficult to know whether the environment is clean or not before you set your foot in the door. If you find the environment is untidy, leave the clinic.
Below are 4 bonus points for people who would like to do more research
1. Have a basic idea of the practitioners’ modality and style
There are many different styles of acupuncture. Chinese, Korean, Japanese, five elements to name a few.
Some traditional Chinese medicine practitioners will also bring in, cupping, and moxa into your treatment.
Also, acupuncture is just one pillar of traditional Chinese medicine. A lot of practitioners will bring herbal medicine into the treatment.
You will find out the practitioners' modality and styles on their websites. Also, they should be able to explain their practice in layman’s terms to help you understand why you are getting these treatments and what the benefits are.
2. Read the practitioners’ online review
As a lot of practitioners have a website, many provide testimonials and reviews from previous patients.
If you like, you can also try Google reviews and Yelp. Take all reviews with a grain of salt. At the same time, public reviews provide a glimpse into the clinic and the practice. If that’s your cup of tea, read a few reviews and see whether you like it or not.
3. Ask your primary health practitioner's suggestions
If you have a primary health doctor, you might find it valuable to seek their advice. As more insurance covers acupuncture. Your primary health doctor might give you some good advice on acupuncture and oriental medicine.
4. Look for word of mouth
Your own friends and family will always be a good way to start collecting information. Ask around your friends and family, or even on your Facebook page. Maybe to your surprise, you find some of your trusted friends and family have already visited an acupuncturist and get healthier.
You might also be able to get a first-hand insight into how it actually feels and the progress. Just ask away!