Acupuncturists treat a variety of physical and emotional problems by inserting fine needles into specific pressure points on the body, to stimulate the energy flow in the body.
You could be:
discussing your client’s lifestyle, health issues, exercise levels, diet and emotional wellbeing
making a diagnosis and deciding a course of treatment after discussing the client's complaint and symptoms
inserting fine needles into certain specific spots to treat a problem such as arthritis, back problems, eczema or addiction to smoking
using modern equipment such as electro-acupuncture or lasers
advising on diet and exercise
advising your client to see a doctor and keeping records of treatment.
Most acupuncturists work for themselves. They charge a fee for each session with the client. The better known they are, the more they can charge.
Fees on average are about £25 to £40 for a 30 to 60 minute session, with regular patients getting a special deal for a block of sessions. Out of this income the acupuncturist has to buy equipment and pay for premises.
You could work in a clinic, health centre or hospital.
You might work from your own home or visit clients at their homes.
able to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds
sensitive, understanding and sympathetic
a good listener and communicator
practical, careful and well organised
logical and able to solve problems
reliable and able to inspire confidence in patients
good with your hands to use fine needles.
Once you have gained your qualification, training is on the job, with short courses to keep you up to date.
If you have a qualification accredited by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB), you can apply for membership and have your name entered on the British Acupuncture Council (BAaC) register. This is voluntary but is likely to help your career.
Many acupuncturists go on to acquire additional skills in similar fields such as Chinese herbal medicine.
The British Medical Acupuncture Society runs training courses for registered healthcare professionals. These include doctors, dentists, vets, nurses, physiotherapists, midwives and podiatrists. These courses assume a certain level of medical knowledge.
You might find work in the National Health Service (NHS) but most acupuncturists run their own businesses.
With experience you might be able to increase the size of your business.
You might train in more than one complementary therapy – perhaps in a related area such as Qigong.
You might combine your work with teaching or research.