FAQ For Patients

What qualifications should an acupuncturist have?

Those who can legally perform acupuncture in the state of California are acupuncturists who maintain a valid license issued by the California Acupuncture Board and physicians licensed by the Medical Board of California. Licensed acupuncturists use the initials “L.Ac.” after their name to indicate they are a “Licensed Acupuncturist”. They are also required to display their license in their office(s).

What is an acupuncturist allowed to do?

According to the California Acupuncture Board, “an acupuncturist is allowed to engage in the practice of acupuncture, electroacupuncture, perform or prescribe the use of oriental massage, acupressure, moxibustion, cupping, breathing techniques, exercise, heat, cold, magnets, nutrition, diet, herbs, plant, animal, and mineral products, and dietary supplements to promote, maintain, and restore health”. Some acupuncturists may have other licenses, so this only addresses what acupuncturists do in the state of California.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of health conditions. The number of treatments needed will depend on your condition and general level of health. Acupuncture is a form of treatment developed in China, two to three thousand years ago where (in present times) sterile, single use needles are inserted into the body to elicit a change. From modern research studies there are objective and measurable changes made by acupuncture needles when they are inserted into the body. Subjectively, patients frequently report feeling relaxed and a general sense of well-being.

What to expect at your visit?

Each acupuncturist may have their own personality, and there are several acupuncture styles, coming from rich histories, so experiences will vary in this way. But all will be using needles that are sterile and generally cause no bleeding upon entry or removal. There will be little or no lasting pain at the needle sites; however, slight bruising may be experienced on occasion. Some acupuncturists may also include non-needling techniques such as moxibustion (heat), acupressure, herbal formulas, etc. One of the advantages of acupuncture treatment is the absence of serious side effects.

Consumers guide to acupuncture
and Asian medicine

FAQ For Practitioners

What is CalATMA doing?

CalATMA has frequent webinars that can be found on the calendar. CalATMA also works on legislative issues, and the current issues can be found in the advocacy page or in the blog posts.

How can I get involved?

Getting involved is easy. CalATMA is always looking for volunteers. Sending us an email on our contact form and writing in the description what you are interested in is best. Someone will get back to you letting you know we received your email and further instructions.

How do I join?

Joining is also easy. There are several levels which have an optional Political Action Committee (PAC) donation, all you need to do is go to the Membership page to find out more!

Other acupuncture resources

What are the mandatory reporting requirements for acupuncturists?

HIPAA for professionals

Medical waste generator information link

Medical waste instructions for acupuncturists