Choosing a good acupuncturist is one of the most important parts of your healing process. Many times, we will trust an “expert” better than we trust ourselves, especially where our health in concerned.
However, a good acupuncturist wants to empower you in your own health and wellness– they want you to understand your body and your disorder and take ownership of it. That is where you will be able to find true health and well-being.
The following tips will help you to choose a good acupuncturist
– First of all, you want to make sure that your acupuncturist has proper credentials. Even though it’s “natural” medicine, acupuncturists are regulated in the state they are practicing in.
Nearly every state in the USA has license requirements, that include regulations on education, training, ethical standards, and much more.
You should find an acupuncturist that will be willing and able to show you their license or give you a license number that you can use to check with the state.
You should also keep in mind that chiropractors, medical doctors, and physical therapists must have special training in order to offer acupuncture and should also be able and willing to show you their credentials.
– Your acupuncturist should have malpractice insurance.
Of course, due to the low instances of injuries/harm caused from acupuncture, these professionals pay some of the lowest premiums for malpractice insurance in the country. Though it’s not required for them to carry it, doing so can benefit both parties- practitioner and patient.
– Your acupuncturist should have a clean and safe treatment room.
The USA requires that acupuncturists have sterile, one-time-use, disposable needles- so make sure this is what they are using.
Additionally, the treatment room should be clean and the treatment table and pillows should be properly cleaned and covered between patients.
Also, standard medical practices apply- clean hands, no blood/bodily fluids on surfaces, no dirty rooms, and no needles strewn about.
Sharps containers should be used to dispose of needles and there should be biohazard collection containers in case they’re needed.
The above three tips cover the very basic, bottom line things to look for. Now, we’ll discuss those that are less obvious, but still very important things that you should look for when choosing an acupuncturist.
– Your acupuncturist should spend a significant amount of time with you. In our “hurry” society, it’s difficult to get quality time with your health professional.
For the most part, visits to healthcare providers are about 15 minutes. However, when it comes to your acupuncturist, you will get at least an hour, maybe more.
They should spend some time talking with you and helping you to figure out some things you can do to take care of yourself.
The needles may be in for just a few minutes or for a while and the acupuncturist may stay or may leave the room. Show up for your appointment on time and don’t feel rushed. The time is just for you.
– Your acupuncturist should be willing to listen to what you have to say.
They’re not just listening to what you’re saying, but also what you’re not saying about your health and the way you’re feeling. They listen for what’s under your disease or symptoms.
They will want to get to the root of your problems, not just the surface. They will want to ask you questions that will help both of you figure out the cause of your imbalance.
– Your acupuncturist should ask you interesting questions about your entire life.
The answers you give will help you to put together the pieces to create the big picture of what is going on and what is causing our imbalance to help you to find your own direction to achieve healing.
You may think that some of the questions seem strange and even irrelevant. However, you are more than just your disease or symptoms- you’re a whole person. So, just answer the questions you’re asked so that an appropriate plan for treatment can be created.
-Your acupuncturist should answer the questions you have as well- it’s not a one-sided thing.
You should be comfortable asking them anything from their training to why they’re putting a needle in a specific spot. You can even feel free to ask them questions about how you can better help yourself.
– Your acupuncturist should respectfully call you on your bullshit.
They have been trained to pay close enough attention that they can tell when you’re BS-ing and when you’re being honest. This way, they can help you to get moving in the right direction to better health.
Some patients will fib a little because they’re afraid they’ll be punished or they’re embarrassed about something they did or didn’t do. However, they’re not judging you, they’re simply trying to help you.
– Your acupuncturist considers the “whole you.”
They’re looking at the big picture- not just your illness or the symptoms of that illness. They’re going to take the time to learn more about you and to get to know you better- and help you to know yourself better.
– Your acupuncturist should be completely honest with you.
You should know that your acupuncturist isn’t a fortune teller or a magician. However, they should be able to tell you how long it will take you to notice that your symptoms are subsiding and that you’re feeling better.
You should be aware that healing will definitely take some time and you must have a little bit of patience. They will recommend other modalities of treatment if they feel it will be beneficial for you and your health.
– Your acupuncturist will not take complete responsibility for your wellness.
After all, you are truly the best expert regarding you and your personal health. Though your acupuncturist is invested in your well-being and does care very deeply about you, ultimately you must be the one to take responsibility if you’re going to improve. They can’t fix you, but they can work with you to encourage healing.
– Your acupuncturist will encourage you to take better care of yourself.
Your personal well-being and health are as unique as snowflakes are from each other. Therefore, in order to get you back to wellness, you must take responsibility to take care of yourself.
Your acupuncturist will make some recommendations for you based on what is going on with your circumstances and symptoms.
Remember that you’re a human and therefore your parts are not replaceable. You’re given one body- you must take care of it.