What are the different types of acupuncture?

Dr. Daniel Hsu, DAOM
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
While the basic theoretical principles of acupuncture are fairly consistent, styles of acupuncture differ greatly in terms of technique and diagnosis. There is no evidence that one particular style is more effective than another, but you should understand as much as possible about the treatment being proposed. Below is a general guide:

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture: Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is the dominant style of acupuncture studied and practiced in the U.S.

Japanese Acupuncture: "Japanese-style" acupuncture uses the same meridians and points as Chinese acupuncture but takes a more subtle route, typically using fewer and thinner needles with less stimulation.

Korean Hand Acupuncture: This technique focuses on points in the hand that correspond to areas of the body and to certain disharmonies.

Auricular Acupuncture: This system, commonly used for pain control and drug, alcohol, and nicotine addiction, focuses on points in the ear that correspond to areas of the body and to certain disharmonies.

Medical Acupuncture: When acupuncture is performed by a western Medical Doctor (MD), it is termed "Medical Acupuncture." Acupuncture requirements for western doctors are generally more lenient than for non-MDs. If you decide to go to an MD for acupuncture, choose one who is a member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, as this organization requires a minimum of 200 hours of training. Medical doctors usually use sterilized, stainless steel needles, like other acupuncturists, but also sometimes use injections.

Veterinary Acupuncture: Veterinary acupuncture is an acknowledged and respected field of medicine, requiring formal training and certification. In most states, provinces and countries, veterinary acupuncture is considered a surgical procedure that, legally, may only be performed by a licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.