Become an acupuncturist: the point on the professional path

Become an acupuncturist

Acupuncture in Italy is a medical act, recognized by the Court of Cassation since 1982. In our country, only graduated doctors and veterinarians can practice acupuncture. Whoever practices it without this requirement commits an illegal act, punishable by law (sentence of the Court of Cassation, 1982). Anyone who has been trained abroad in medicine, will have to take the state exam in Italy in order to practice acupuncture. Basically, at least from us, you can't improvise acupuncturist.

Once in possession of the degree, who wants to become an acupuncturist will acquire a specialized training in the field of acupuncture and related disciplines, through a course of variable duration (usually four-year) recognized by the ECM Commission of the Ministry of Health according to a precise logic of credits training, which will allow him to obtain a diploma, a necessary condition for exercising (as established by the judgment of the Court of Cassation, 1982). In addition to the acupuncture system, the acupuncturist also studies traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese herbal medicine as an integral part of the normal medical degree course.

Acupuncture courses in Italy

How to become an acupuncturist? Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine courses can be counted between Rome, Bologna, Florence, Milan and Brescia. In general, these courses are promoted by institutes, bodies, associations and, of course, by acupuncture schools which, in addition to the classic structured courses, also offer the possibility of masters, congresses, seminars.

The list of acupuncture schools is dense and continues to grow year after year; many of these support acupuncture courses in courses related to complementary techniques or hold acupuncture courses combined with the moxibustion technique. In schools, the technique of needle insertion is learned, a clinical debate is conducted with patients and knowledge is put into practice through specific internships . A recent innovation is the distance acupuncture courses. The offerings of veterinary acupuncture courses are also increasingly widespread.

Acupuncturist training

The World Federation Acupuncture Society (WFAS) brings together over 80 acupuncture associations from 42 countries. In 1976, the World Health Organization gave full recognition to the International Acupuncture Training Centers . These are found only in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing and Korea. Recently, European Advanced Training Courses in acupuncture-moxibustion have been recognized in France, England, Holland, Belgium and Italy.

In our country these are promoted by the AIAM (Italian Association of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Traditional Chinese Medicine) and by the Paracelsus Institute which has offices in Venice, Rome and Palermo.

Two reference Italian realities to which you can ask for more specific information to become an acupuncturist:

- SIA, Italian Acupuncture Society ;

- FISA, Italian Federation of Agopuntur Companies a.

Seriousness and control

Becoming an acupuncturist differs from country to country. In other countries other than Italy, unfortunately, there are no precise legal requirements regarding the education of operators, so anyone can claim to be an acupuncturist, making it difficult to discern the actual value of the licenses and education of acupuncturists. In many countries, no checks are even carried out . Anyone can call himself an acupuncturist. In Italy and in other countries, we repeat, you must have serious professional qualifications, such as a doctor or veterinarian. This is because sterilized instruments and special sterilization equipment are required . The doubt always arises that then, in practice, after completing the course, an acupuncturist may not put these precautions into practice, giving rise to a series of risks linked to acupuncture.

A fact above all: Asia, home of acupuncture, holds 75% of chronic hepatitis patients in the world. It is not a given that certainly concerns only the acupuncture sector, but must be taken into consideration.

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