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Acupuncturist Profile

Acupuncturist Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Acupuncturist. This page details the following Information:-

Finding Suitable Work as an Acupuncturist

Working Duties Expected
Hours and Environment
Working Skills Required
Training Requirements
Salary Expectations
Trade Information
Other useful Acupuncturist Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works directly with the body's energy, or Qi/Chi, which can become blocked by a range of factors.

An acupuncturist assesses the overall health of a patient and plans treatment to redirect the flow of Qi/Chi by inserting fine needles at specific points below the skin.

Acupuncture is a holistic approach to health, focusing on improving the overall wellbeing of a patient, rather than isolated treatment of specific symptoms. It can be used to treat a range of physical and emotional conditions including musculo-skeletal disorders, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, neurological disorders and the relief of chronic pain and allergies.

What does the role encounter?

Acupuncturists provide one-to-one consultations with their patients, using their skills and knowledge to treat a wide range of health problems. The first consultation may last up to an hour and a half to allow the acupuncturist to take a detailed case history before making a diagnosis and beginning treatment. Subsequent sessions can take 45 minutes to an hour. The duration of the treatment programme varies depending on the severity of the problem, some patients requiring only a few sessions, others requiring twenty or more.

Tasks typically involve:

• taking a detailed case history. This can involve questioning patients about their condition and all aspects of their physical and emotional health and history, lifestyle and diet and, sometimes, taking patient's blood pressure and pulse and examining the tongue to aid diagnosis;
• making a diagnosis and devising a personalised treatment plan;
• explaining the diagnosis and treatment to the patient and responding to their questions and concerns;
• evaluating the body's heat distribution, inserting fine needles into the skin at particular locations to stimulate the energy flow along meridians (energy channels) and stimulate the body's own healing response;
• incorporating other treatments such as moxibustion (burning herbs to warm insertion points), electro-acupuncture (stimulating insertion points with small electric currents), acupressure, which loosens and relaxes muscles, and cupping;
• assessing patient progress through questioning and examination and reviewing treatment plans if necessary;
• keeping patient and financial records;
• organising and promoting your practice.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Typical starting salaries - varies throughout the industry.
• Range of typical salaries at age 40: around £30,000.
• Earnings are related to the success of the practice and can be low during the first three to four years as it may take time to get established. Expect between one and four clients a day in the early stages, at about £30 a session (£80 London). In the early stages additional income from other employment may be required to cover living costs.
• Overheads and rental must be accounted for and may take the form of rent or a percentage of income. Once established, thirty to sixty clients a week is possible.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Working hours typically include regular unsocial hours, eg weekends or evening work, visiting clients, etc. Flexibility and mobility is an advantage when starting out. Overheads and room rental can determine the place of work; you may have a private or a shared consulting room. Practitioners need to be at ease with physical contact, variety of workplaces (including patients' own homes), clients and colleagues. Self-employment ultimately offers a choice of working hours and locations. Jobs are quite widely available in urban and rural areas. It is necessary to be very good at the job and self promotion, in order to compete successfully in areas where there are already a number of established acupuncture practices. Part-time work and career breaks are possible. A uniform is not required but many acupuncturists choose to wear white clinical clothing (tunic, trousers etc) to portray a professional image. Travel within a working day can be frequent for mobile acupuncturists but is less likely for those who are practice based; absence from home at night and overseas work or travel is uncommon.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• good communication and interpersonal skills, in order to establish good rapport with clients and explain treatment;
• good organisational, marketing and financial skills, in order to set up and make a success of a business;
• the ability to put patients at their ease;
• resilience.

An open, non-judgemental approach is essential. The work requires maturity and sensitivity to deal with difficult emotional issues. You should also be comfortable with physical contact and seeing clients semi-clothed.

What type of training will I receive?

Ongoing education and training seminars are run by professional organisations and colleges, which members are encouraged to attend. Short courses are available in China, Japan and Hong Kong (with English language interpretation). Workshops are also offered in the UK and doctorate study is available.

As most practitioners are self-employed it is important to maintain contact with professional organisations to benefit from opportunities for training and development. Practitioners wanting to further their knowledge may wish to take a postgraduate course, such as those offered by The College of Chinese Medicine, accredited by The Acupuncture Society in the following areas:

Most UK regions have set up support groups for acupuncturists which can be a way of seeking out professional opinion, networking and keeping abreast of opportunities for further training and development. Supervision is also encouraged.

Career Progression:

Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Over the past 20 years there has been a significant rise in the number of acupuncturists registered with the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC).

There is no structured career progression and success will depend very much on professional and business ability. Numbers of clients tend to increase with experience and reputation and personal interests will often determine career direction.

The development of a practice may be affected by geographic location, size of population and the number of other practices already in the area. Acupuncturists often work in more than one location/setting, which can provide variety.

Experienced practitioners may choose to teach, supervise students, research, write, or practise another therapy alongside acupuncture. It is important to keep up to date with developments in the profession.

What Sort Of Industries Have A Requirement For This Type Of Job?

Although still largely rare, opportunites for part-time work through The National Health Service (NHS) or GP practices is increasing, in areas such as:

• pain management;
• asthma;
• stroke rehabilitation;
• oncology;
• antenatal care;
• psychiatric care;
• addictions;

Limited part-time work may be available in hospices.

Are Their Related Types Of Jobs?

Yes. This list is not exhaustive but here are some similar and associated types of role:

Music therapist

What trade magazines or publications are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Acupuncture: Its Place in Western Medical Science.
Becoming a Complementary Therapist: How to Start a Career in the New Caring Professions.
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive System for Health and Fitness.
Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found by visiting any of the following bodies and organisations the addresses and their respective websites are:

British Acupuncture Accreditation Board (BAAB)
63 Jeddo Road, London W12 9HQ
Tel: 020 8735 0466

British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)
63 Jeddo Road, London W12 9HQ
Tel: 020 8735 0400

Foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine
296 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1ET
Tel: 01904 709688

The National Health Service (NHS)
PO Box 376, Bristol BS99 3EY
Tel: 020 7210 4850

The Acupuncture Society
163 Northwood Way, Northwood, Middlesex HA6 1RA
Tel: 01923 822 972

Other Useful Acupuncturist Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Acupuncturist job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Acupuncturist Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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