What is an Acupuncturist?
To become a licensed Acupuncturist in the State of Florida, a candidate must attend an accredited institution of higher learning that will provide a program that encompasses over 3,114 hours of education, 900 of those hours being clinical training and the remainder didactic(classroom). There is a requirement that a candidate must complete a minimum of 350 patient treatments under the guidance of a clinical supervisor prior to graduation. The clinical supervisor is a Florida licensed Acupuncturist. Upon completion of the program, candidates will receive both a Bachelor Degree of Professional Health Studies and a Master Degree of Oriental Medicine. A candidate will need to both take and pass National Board Exams which is a requirement to apply for Acupuncture licensure in the State of Florida. Upon the succesful completion of the exams, licensure is obtained and National Board Certification can be granted by the National Certification Commision for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. National Board Certification is the highest educational qualification for the Acupuncturist.
In the State of Florida, an Acupuncturist is considered a Primary Care Provider. Under Florida scope of practice an Acupuncturist may provide such services as Acupuncture, Auricular Acupuncture, Acupoint Injection Therapy, Nutritional Counseling, Lifestyle and Stress Counseling, Moxibustion, Cupping, Gwa-Sha, Tui Na, Qi Gong, Acupressure, Reflexology, Electro-Acupuncture, Herbology, Laser Biostimulation, Preparation and Administration of both Herbal and Homeopathic Therapies, Qi Gong, Aromatherapy, Iridology, Magnet Therapy, Office Analysis of Hair and Saliva, and Thermography.
At this time, services provided by a licensed Acupuncturist are not covered under the federal medicare program or medicaid. There are other medical disciplines in which under their scope of practice act are, with the appropriate post graduate training or certification, allowed to administer acupuncture to patients, however this is termed "medical acupuncture" and these professionals do not have "licensed Acupuncturist" status or designation under Florida Law. Therefore some of these disciplines will not be able to perform the full scope of services that a "licensed Acupuncturist" has under Florida Law. There certification is not part of or recognized by the National Certification Commision for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. When considering Acupuncture services a "licensed Acupuncturist" with National Board Certification by the National Certifcation Commision for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is your most qualified professional.