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Acupuncture Technician: Education Requirements and Career Info

Acupuncture technicians require some formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and licensure requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Acupuncture technicians generally specialize in detoxification procedures involving pressure points around the ear. Not every state allows them to practice, and those that do have strict requirements. In those states, certification as an acupuncture technician can be obtained after meeting the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association's training and education requirements. Training programs call for 70 hours of classroom study and practical experience. Students learn to use acupuncture, focusing on only a handful of points, to help patients with addiction and mental health concerns.

Required Education Accredited training program
Other RequirementsLicensing in states where acupuncture technicians are allowed to practice

Acupuncture Technician Education Requirements

The training and education requirement for acupuncture technicians is 70 hours, while acupuncturists typically spend 1,500-2,000 hours on training and education. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) issues certificates to individuals who complete 30 hours of classroom work and 40 hours of supervised hands-on acupuncture work in a clinic (www.acudetox.com).

Prospective acupuncture technician students must seek out a NADA-registered trainer under whom to study; training is provided through private and public agencies, schools as well as individual practitioners. Some trainers offer intensive workshops geared toward practicing health care professionals, such as nurses, counselors, clinical social and outreach workers serving the addictions field.

Acupuncture Technician Career Info

Acupuncture technicians are generally detoxification experts limited to working on five points in the outer ear ear known as shen men, kidney, lung, liver and sympathetic. Because these points are on the auricle of the ear, the practice is sometimes called Chinese auricular therapy and acupuncture technicians may also be known as auricular detox technicians. Technicians specialize in issues related to mental health, including addiction, as well as disaster and emotional trauma, while acupuncturists, who have more extensive training, are allowed to diagnose and treat a wide variety of health issues, ranging from internal medicine to chronic disease to prevention of disease.

States vary on allowing non-acupuncturists such as acupuncture technicians to practice acupuncture detoxification, but Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington all have exemptions in their laws allowing trained, licensed acupuncture technicians to provide limited acupunctural detoxification services. In other states, acupuncture therapists may need to pursue licensure as an acupuncturist.

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