Traditional Chinese medicine has become increasingly popular in America. Where it may have once been viewed as a trend, or a high class, little-known treatment, it is now wide-spread and available to the masses. From the cities to suburbia, treatments like acupuncture, herbal therapy, yoga, qi gong, and tai ji are popular, accessible and accepted by modern day Americans. Part of the success in this field is the abundance of convenient and safe private practices. Thousands of people a year decide to begin their education in Oriental medicine in the hopes of becoming a licensed acupuncturist or herbalist, with the ambition of opening their own local private practice.
The process of diagnosis in acupuncture is a very personal experience. There is an extensive interview between the acupuncturist and patient in which the tongue and pulse are examined and many specific questions are asked. Acupuncture treatment is completely individualized for each patient – it is contingent on their specific histories and preferences. Many patients of acupuncture get the treatment on a regular basis, and thus, are very familiar with their specific acupuncturist. This comfort level between practitioner and patient is one of the appeals of small private practices, for both parties. The convenient location and small, cozy feel of private practices attract many first time experimenters of acupuncture, as well as keep many veterans returning. Most students of Oriental medicine confess to wanting to begin their own private practice in which to create a harmonic environment of their own for future patients.
Recently, there has been an increase in Western doctors that decide to also get licensed to practice acupuncture. Todd Zwillich writes in his article, Doctors Embrace Acupuncture that one of the doctors he interviewed is “one of approximately 4,000 medical doctors who have spent 7 weeks and more than $5,000 to complete formal acupuncture training at the University of California, Los Angeles.” Zwillich explains that according to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, most of the doctors that later pursue acupuncture are from primary care and pain management specialties (which is one of acupuncture’s main uses). In their own private practices, M.D.’s can decide to pursue their license in acupuncture to integrate Oriental medicine into their practice and to offer an even wider range of treatments to their patients.
While larger spas and wellness facilities also have their benefits, the personalized atmosphere and friendly discourse that often occurs in private practices is a large part of acupuncture’s appeal. The treatment is meant as a relaxation as much as it is a medical pain-relieving or energy-aligning practice. Visit your local practitioner’s office today for more information, an initial diagnosis, or an effective treatment!