The Nitty-Gritty Details
- Licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.): The state of Illinois regulates the practice of acupuncture, and gives me the title of ‘licensed acupuncturist’. The Illinois acupuncture practice act gives me the right to practice acupuncture, as well as adjunctive techniques related to traditional Chinese medicine, such as moxibustion, cupping, guasha, and Tui Na. Illinois requires that an acupuncturist graduate a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), and pass board exams given by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Illinois licensure also requires completion of the Clean Needle Technique (CNT) course offered by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM).
- Certified Chinese herbalist (dipl. OM, NCCAOM): There is no licensure for herbalists in Illinois (or most other states), so technically, anyone can call themselves an herbalist. However, the NCCAOM gives diplomate status to herbalists who complete rigorous training in Chinese herbal medicine and pass national board exams. This is the highest possible endorsement for herbalists in Eastern medicine. I earned the diplomate of Oriental Medicine, which includes both acupuncture and herbal medicine.
- Certified shiatsu practitioner (AOBTA C.P.): Practitioners of shiatsu, and other forms of Asian bodywork therapy, are certified by the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA). Illinois requires this certification for Asian bodywork therapists, rather than a license, as for massage therapists.