Mueller College of Holistic Studies

Mueller College offers a wide range of holistic health subjects such as massage therapy, hypnotherapy, herbology, reflexology, Reiki, nutrition, and Eastern and Asian modalities.

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Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Overview of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Oriental Medicine is a system of healing based on the concept that everything in the body is interconnected and governed by energy or qi. It includes acupuncture and Chinese herbology primarily, and nutrition and exercise to promote health. Qi flows along pathways called "meridians". Each pathway is associated with a specific system or organ of the body. Pain or illness results when the flow of energy is disrupted. Acupuncture points are specific locations on the meridians. Each point has an effect on the energy passing through it. Acupuncture eliminates the disruption of energy by stimulating the meridians and restoring the balance of energy.

History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The history of acupuncture can be traced back more than 8,000 years in ancient China. The earliest book of Chinese medicine written about 300 B.C. describes acupuncture. In the early 20th century, France was the first Western country to recognize the value of acupuncture. It was not until the 1970s that its knowledge and use began to spread in the United States. The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine was formed in 1981.

Current/Future Situation of Oriental Medicine:

According to the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, there are currently more than 14,000 licensed acupuncturists practicing in the United States. With the growing interest in alternative medicine and the evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for many diseases and conditions, it is expected that there will be a continuing demand for more trained acupuncturists.

Career Descriptions/Places to Work as a Acupuncturists:

Most acupuncturists are self employed. They have offices alone or practice with other acupuncturists. Some may work in hospitals, cancer centers or outpatient clinics. Their schedules may vary to accommodate their client’s needs. Many physicians recommend acupuncture treatment in conjunction with Western medicine for relief of many chronic conditions such as back pain, arthritis, headache, allergies, and asthma. Acupuncture is effective and does not have the side effects common to many drug therapies. It is very helpful in reducing the pain and nausea associated with chemotherapy.

Earnings for acupuncturists vary depending on the area of the country but the charge for a session averages $60 according to the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. A session usually lasts 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the individual case.

Day in the Life as an Acupuncturists:

An acupuncturist first interviews his patient to diagnose the person’s condition. He usually describes the treatment he will be doing so that the patient understands. The most common form of treatment is needling – inserting and manipulating thin needles at specific points on the skin. The practitioner may also prescribe herbs, nutritional changes, and exercise. Most acupuncture treatments use between 4 and 20 needles of varying sizes. The needles are in place for about 20 minutes. There is little discomfort during the treatment; warmth, itching or numbness may be experienced.

The first session with a new client takes between 1 and 2 hours; successive visits are shorter. Some patients feel better immediately; others notice improvement hours later. Usually only a small number of people report no change. Most conditions require several treatments. An acupuncturist will usually treat a few patients each day. It is very rewarding to see a patient’s condition improve and help him regain good health.

Graduate/Professional Quote:

"I see people – including those who have chronic illnesses and feel they have no hope – get better, and I get to be a part of that…it’s inspiring." – Jon Simon

Stat/Fact/Tip of the Day:

The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is recognized by the United States Department of Education. Acupuncture is a three-year master’s level program. Oriental medicine is a four-year master’s level program. Courses include anatomy, nutrition, acupuncture, herbology, and needle technique. Clinical experience is also provided through internships. Each state has its own licensing requirements.

The desire to help people is very important in this profession. Good communication skills are also vital.

Oriental medicine and acupuncture are complementary to Western medicine.

National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance website
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine website
Occupational Outlook Quarterly Online, Summer 2002 Vol.46, Number 2