to Choose a Chinese Medicine Practitioner
How did you
hear about the practitioner?
Often, one of
the best guidelines to use in choosing a health professional is to
ask for referrals from friends and family who have been treated by
the practitioner. If this resouce is not available, there are many
associations which can direct you to certified practitioners in your
Is the practitioner
certified and how long have they been practicing?
Although all regions
do not require a license to practice traditional chinese medicine,
the practitioner must possess a certificate of course completion from
an accredited institution such as the National Commission for the Certification
of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine, or the NCCAOM
The duration of
practice also plays a role in the overall effectiveness of treatment.
Now that is not to say that a newly certified individual does not possess
the skills to effectively treat a patient, but as in most areas of
life, increased practice enables the physician to have treated a wide
variety of conditions, and symptoms and may allow them a keener insight
into your situation.
How long was
the course of study?
Traditional Chinese Medicine training programs are at least 3 academic
years (full time study) in length. This
is an indicator of the complexity of the practice of Traditional Chinese
Medicine in treating the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects
of the human form.
Does the practitioner
make promises that sound too good to be true?
While herbal medicine
and acupuncture are often highly effective in treating a wide range
of conditions and their symptoms, every person is different and must
be treated as such. As in conventional medicine, a treatment that works
for one does not necessarily work for all.
Does the practitioner
take time to get to know you or are they solely concerned with treating
As a holistic
form of medicine, it is essential that the practitioner become acquainted
with the person first and then, and only then, should the determination
be made as to how the condition will be treated. We are all unique,
with our own set of circumstances and influences that bring our bodies
into a state of imbalance. It is of utmost importance that the practitioner
is aware of these variances, before beginning treatment, in order to
effectively restore balance and harmony in the body.
Do you feel
comfortable with the practitioner?
If you are not
at ease with the practitioner, it will be difficult for you to reveal
personal details about your health and in fact your life (including
metal and emotional states). This type of information is an integral
part of whole body treatment and should not be left out because "you
don't feel comfortable". There are many, many certified practitioners
out there today to choose from, and with a little work you will be
able to find one to suit you and your needs.
Always ask questions
of the practitioner prior to, during, and after treatment. Knowledge
is key in self care, so don't hesitate to make inquiries. Any good
practitioner will be more than willing to fully explain the answers
to your questions in terms you can easily understand.