States vary in their laws and regulations regarding who can perform Acupuncture. In Illinois our laws are not as clearly defined as they should be. You may be surprised to find out that anyone who, within their scope of practice is allowed to put a needle in a body, may be able to "do Acupuncture" on you. This is something that the Acupuncturist's of Illinois have been working hard to change. If you are contemplating seeing an Acupuncturist please read the following to help you make an informed decision that has your health and safety as a priority. The difference in clinical knowledge and practical experience is definitely something you need to know when choosing a qualified Acupuncturist.
"Dry Needling" can be preformed by a Physical Therapist or a Chiropractor. This is the insertion on a needle in a trigger point or sore muscle. To begin with they were certified to do dry needling with as little as 12 hours training. That was prior to 2018. Now PT's are required to complete 54 hours, between In person and online training plus have 200 treatments before certification. Documenting the "treatments" or practical training is left up to the PT applying for certification. That means it can be completely unsupervised while "treating". This lack of practical experience, meaning inserting a needle in the body, is extremely low prior to state certification and can pose a great safety risk. If a person is not properly trained the risk of infection, puncturing a blood vessel or worse is greatly increased.
"Acupuncture by a Chiropractor" can be preformed after an additional 250 hours of training, or less, is achieved in a class room or online course.
Acupuncture by a state licensed, Nationally Board Certified Acupuncturist assures you that your Acupuncture is being performed by someone who has completed Board Exams including Clean Needle Technique. And has up to 3000 hours in Chinese Acupuncture Theory and Clinical Practice combined. Chinese Medicine uses centuries of theory to formulate a protocol that not only relieves your symptoms but gets to the overall cause of the main cause. The skill is not in the needle, it's in the Acupuncturist's many years of training. Except nothing less than a licensed Acupuncturist to perform your Acupuncture.
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