Acupuncture, chinese medicine & massage

  1. I am a qualified registered nurse with credentials in massage, reflexology & chinese medicine. What does it take to work in the US hospitals with these skills? Is this kind of complementary therapy available to patients in hospitals and provided by nurses? I am from NZ but have done my studies in the UK.

    Can anyone help?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   nightingale
    As for Massage, some states allow you to practice without your LMT (License of Massage Therapy). I am in Colorado as an RN and practice on my own, in addition to traditional nursing as an Agency Nurse.

    This website will advise which states have regulations for Licensure (LMT):

    http://www.massagemag.com/USCan/laws.htm

    I hope you get other assistance from our posters on your other inquires. Good luck to you and let us know how you are doing.

    night
    Last edit by nightingale on Dec 9, '05
  4. by   Josh L.Ac.
    To practice acupuncture, most states require that you pass the NCCAOM licensing exam. To be eligible to sit for the exam, you either need a master's degree in acupuncture, received a similar degree in another country, or performed an apprenticeship. You can check here:

    http://www.nccaom.org/geninformation.htm

    In some states, MDs/DOs can practice acupuncture with no training, and DCs can practice with 100 hours of instruction. Eventually, we will take over these states and put them back on the path of righteousness. I've seen MDs in China completing their requirements to become certified Medical Acupuncturists. It was downright scary. Even after 300 hours a person would be lucky to determine the right point to use, very luck to correctly locate the right point, and very very luck to needle the point correctly. But apparently being a doctor of western medicine means you can do something like acupuncture without much training. HA.


    For Chinese Herbal medicine, there is more variation from state to state. In enlightened states, herbs can be prescribed by a licensed Chinese herbalist because they are part of the scope of practice of acupuncturists / Chinese herbalists (once again, NCCAOM certification). In other states, they are considered dietary supplements so anyone can sell them, just not prescribe them.




    But for a nurse without a MSAOM (master's of science in acupuncture and oriental medicine), I doubt you could practice except for in a unlicensed state. There were several nurses that went through acupuncture school with me, including a FNP. After speaking with them, I was under the impression that they had to get a master's degree to practice acupuncture as a nurse (rightfully so IMHO...similarly, after acupuncture school I realized my western medical training was very limited, so I decided to become a FNP...so I start school in August 06).

    But that was in Washington state so the licensing requirements might vary from state to state. If the NCCAOM website doesn't help, check the state board of health for the state you plan on practicing in. Good luck.
  5. by   may24
    thank you for your help, I wil check this out. Can I ask what theory did you learn? syndrome differentiation, 5 elements? I am taught by teachers from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, China in London. Its a course run for health professionals and doctors by Acumedic based on syndrome acupuncture. I would like to know what else is being taught around the world and if our teachings vary.
  6. by   Josh L.Ac.
    This list isn't going to be exhaustive since it is from memory...


    For diagnostic theory: Eight Principle, Yin / Yang, 5 Element, Zang Fu, Six Channel, Wei / Qi / Ying / Xue, and Three Jiaos. Clinically, 95% of the time we use Zang Fu diagnosis. After the theory, there are 8 classes of acupuncture therapeutics.

    For point location, styles, and functions: all of the channel points, about 40 extra points, several different styles of auricular acupuncture, Five Element acupuncture, several microsystems including hand / foot acupuncture, and scalp acupuncture.

    For techniques: five quarters of needling practice, cupping and moxa.

    Clinically, we were required to see 400 patients as a primary intern. As a primary, we were responsible for the patient intake, diagnosis, treatment plan, treatment, and evaluation (all of which was under loose observation). We also had 4 quarters of observation shifts but there was no minimum patient number.

    We had the opportunity to perform these shifts at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health (www.bastyrcenter.org), which is an integrated CAM clinic, or at other various clinical sites, including a HIV/AIDS shift at Harborview Medical Center. There was also the opportunity to study 5 weeks in China at either Chengdu or Shanghai. I went to Chengdu and it was great.

    For herbs, most students do both acupuncture and herbs together, and some finish acupuncture then start the herbs. I believe that being an acupuncturist is a prerequisite for the Chinese herbal certificate, but I may be wrong. But in terms of the curriculum, it is all of the theory and diagnosis mentioned earlier plus three quarters of the individual herbs, two quarters of formulas, three herbal therapeutics classes, and eight clinic shifts (each one is four hours once a week for 11 weeks).

    After all of that, we sit for the NCCAOM. But after all of my training, the licensing test was insultingly simple.

    Acupuncture is deceptively simple in appearance, but with herbs there is no illusion; they are very difficult to learn. But comparing the two, I think herbs are more effective overall in terms of what I can treat, how quickly I can treat it, and how effective the treatments are. But acupuncture is great because it has virtually a zero side-effect profile...well, if you know what you are doing.

    I looked at the curriculum of your program in England. If you are unable to practice in your state with your current training, you could probably have at least part of a master's degree program waived or credited with you previous coursework. In addition, you would probably get most of your basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochem) waived if you took them as part of your nursing degree. The nurses that were in my program went part-time for the first year (all the basic sciences were already done), and then switched to full time school, part-time work for the next two years. If you already have some of the acupuncture classes out of the way, you might be able to keep working full time.
  7. by   msweezer
    Quote from Josh L.Ac.
    To practice acupuncture, most states require that you pass the NCCAOM licensing exam. To be eligible to sit for the exam, you either need a master's degree in acupuncture, received a similar degree in another country, or performed an apprenticeship. You can check here:

    http://www.nccaom.org/geninformation.htm

    In some states, MDs/DOs can practice acupuncture with no training, and DCs can practice with 100 hours of instruction. Eventually, we will take over these states and put them back on the path of righteousness. I've seen MDs in China completing their requirements to become certified Medical Acupuncturists. It was downright scary. Even after 300 hours a person would be lucky to determine the right point to use, very luck to correctly locate the right point, and very very luck to needle the point correctly. But apparently being a doctor of western medicine means you can do something like acupuncture without much training. HA.


    For Chinese Herbal medicine, there is more variation from state to state. In enlightened states, herbs can be prescribed by a licensed Chinese herbalist because they are part of the scope of practice of acupuncturists / Chinese herbalists (once again, NCCAOM certification). In other states, they are considered dietary supplements so anyone can sell them, just not prescribe them.




    But for a nurse without a MSAOM (master's of science in acupuncture and oriental medicine), I doubt you could practice except for in a unlicensed state. There were several nurses that went through acupuncture school with me, including a FNP. After speaking with them, I was under the impression that they had to get a master's degree to practice acupuncture as a nurse (rightfully so IMHO...similarly, after acupuncture school I realized my western medical training was very limited, so I decided to become a FNP...so I start school in August 06).

    But that was in Washington state so the licensing requirements might vary from state to state. If the NCCAOM website doesn't help, check the state board of health for the state you plan on practicing in. Good luck.
    where did you go to school?
  8. by   regnurse1995
    The closest thing I got to chinese medicine was to get my ear stapled by a chinese doctor. It was great, but I started reacting to the metal.

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