Acupuncture is one of many therapies that constitute what is known as Oriental medicine, also referred to as east Asian medicine (EAM), or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This is a complete medical system, with its own diagnostic theories and treatment protocols that have been in continuous use for thousands of years. Other treatment methods in this system include: dietary and lifestyle practices, exercise such as Tai Qi and Qi Gong, and clinical Chinese herbology.
Licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.) in Virginia, as well as nationally, are highly trained practitioners whose graduate education is in Oriental medicine and who undergo extensive and comprehensive training at schools that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (See: http://acaom.org), which establishes policies and standards that govern the accreditation process for acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs.. The current professional standard for education in this field is a 4-year masters degree, which includes clinical training with supervision for the entire program, after which graduates are required to pass national board exams (See: http://nccaom.org, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) before applying for licensure.
For national Oriental medicine education and certification requirements, see: www. nccaom.org.
In Virginia, Licensed Acupuncturists are licensed under the Board of Medicine. Continuing education units approved by NCCAOM are required to maintain acupuncture licensure in Virginia.