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Poll Results for the following Question:

Should naturopathic physicians be allowed to perform acupuncture?



Total Respondents: 439


Note: These comments are reproduced as written by visitors to this Web site.
They have not been edited for content, grammar, or spelling.

 amazing you posed this as a 'yes' or 'no' question. naturopathic physicians should be allowed to perform acupuncture if they are trained to do so.

is your publication regional or national?
is it print or online only?
No i think acupuncture should be done by those who have fully studied chinese medicin not by natropaths or other phyiscians who have taken a seminar on the subject.
i don't think natropaths are license in all states either and that could lead to really unqualified people doing something they should not do.
i am currently seeing an acupuncturist to treat low energy and other issues and chose them for the schooling they have. if i wanted another treatment i would go to someone qualified to offer it.
i have taken my son to someone who called herself a natropath but she offered little more than the information i found myself on the internet and in my own library.

No I don't feel anyone without the full knowledge of the foundation of Chinese Medicine, Channel theory, as well as point location should practice the Art of Chinese Medicine. It is to the patient's benefit to see a practitioner who has gone through the full scope of schooling and completed the Board exams for Chinese Medicine. I do feel that naturopathic doctors are an invaluable source of health care in our communities, and do not wish to lessen their scope of practice, unless it is to the patients benefit and safety.

Yes yes, if they go through the schooling like L.Ac do!
No Well, I think they should go to acupuncture school, just like any Lic. Ac. would. I had a chiropractor who did a little acupuncture/Chinese medicine, and after studying TCM myself, I am realizing that he really didn't have a deep understanding. I'm glad he never needled me.
No Anyone with the proper education and license should be the standard for all acupuncture practioners.
No Until I know more, my answer is 'no'. Although I am certified in Therapeutic Touch and consider myself a member of the Healing Arts community, I am not well informed re: the qualifications to become a Naturopathic physician. As a member of the general public, who has recieved acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathic and other alternative and complementary medical consults and treatments, I would want to know the training and qualifications of a naturopathic physician, just as I would of any physician, whether naturopathic, tradition or of western tradition such as an orthopedist, surgeon, etc... before allowing them to practice in their specialty.

Part of the task before us is simply that of education. Keepign the information in front of the public, continually informing them of licensure, requirements, choice... and trust the 100th monkey will tip the balance.

Yes I put yes, but I think there should be a limit on how far they can practice acpuncture in relation to how much they've actually learned. For instance, If they only recieve 300 or so hours of training as do doctors, they should be limited to external injury treatments and maybe auricukar acupuncture.
No As a Naturopathic Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist, I believe that only those practitioners who qualify according to the guidelines established by the NCCAOM should be allowed to practice acupuncture. Furthermore, I am alarmed at the MDs who are practicing acupuncture with minimal training. There should movement toward a further restriction of practitioners of acupuncture to those who qualify to be licensed or certified.

Yes Anyone who has acupuncture fall within their scope of practice should be allowed to practice acupuncture. Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and certainly done without University-level education or any National Certification Exam. All practioners that have acupuncture within their scope have far more initial training than many previous generations of acupuncturist. Further, with experience all practioners become better, more highly skilled, and more effective. Let's not be academic elitist.

No Not unless they receive full training.

No No one should be allowed to practice acupupncture just on merit. Doctors, dentists, podiatrists, chiropracters, naturopathic physicians, ets. should all be required to pass the national and state boards if they want to practice acupuncture. They should also be required to have a certain amount of AOM education and training, depending on what courses in their medical training could be "transferred" to an AOM curriculum.
 Anyone who wishes to perform acupuncture should have to pass the NCCAOM board exam to be called an acupuncturist(including MD's, ND's and DC's). In Connecticut where I practice Naturopaths and Chiropractors who perform acupuncture mostly do not have the level of training that a board certified acupuncturist has. It would be like me taking several hundred hours of classes and calling myself a Naturopath or Chiropractor. Would you want me to prescribe supplements or adjust your neck?

Yes My Naturopath knows more about human anatomy, physiology and pathology than any other doctor I have ever encountered. His treatments are right on and not only gets rid of the symptons, he treats their cause.

No If a naturopath is allowed to needle without education it
raises the question, why do we go to acupuncture school?
What is the point of acupuncture school and of states
licensing the practice of acupuncture if it can be practiced
without education or license by naturopaths? I think that
anyone who wishes to practice acupuncture should be
trained to do so. To do otherwise is to expose the public to
the potential for injury by untrained practitioners, which will
have the effect of reflecting badly on trained and licensed

No ND's can do acupuncture if they are also trained as LAc's.
No may be they are good in western medicin,but they do not have any knowlege about chinese medicine. Therefore the pactients will see no results in treatment becuase they are not proffessionals in that field and will be discourgoured from accupunture beleving that it does not work when in reality it is the proffesional who is not performing correctly not the accupunture not working.

 poorly stated question, i think. many of the programs for naturapathy also offer full acupuncture cirriculums, essentially offering a double degree. of course, this course of study and practice should be supported.
if the question is if naturapaths also be able to do abbreviated programs similar to those offered to medical doctors, the answer would be no.
Yes Naturopathic physicans should be allowed to perform acupuncture, however, they should also be fully aware about conventional medicine so that they can react effeciently to manage any medical emergencies. Acupuncture can be effective if it is properly integrated with conventional care and the provider is properly trained.
 In response to your question: Should naturopathic physicians be allowed to perform acupuncture?;

I assume you are refering to Naturopaths who have not completed essential training to become qualified (by an accredited college) registered and licensed professional acupuncturists.

It needs to be said that the criteria for calling oneself a professional 'Acupuncturist' - and a Naturopath who does a bit of acupuncture on the side and calls that acupuncture, differ greatly.

In our culture it is sometimes forgotten that Traditional Acupuncture is part of a complete system of medicine which has has been proved in the East for thousands of years.

Acupuncture is also an independant system of medicine in itself. In this way it can tackle many conditions as well as 'modern'diseases for which western medicine can usually only offer drugs.

In my view it is irresponsible to use the title 'Acupuncturist' without proper training. (generally not less than three years, maybe two for those with certain qualifications already).

I do not believe that a profession like acupuncture any more than a profession such as Surgeon can be acquired without adequate training.

No-one objects to the current popular interest in alternative and complementary medicine. But just interest and a few hours of lectures and practise does not add up to a competence to practice.

My concern is for the integrity of acupuncture study, training and practise. It deserves the respect of not being used carelessly.

NB: the following is not for general publication but I would like to add;
When I was at college one of our Chinese tutors said this;
"the difference between Eastern and Western medicine is,
"Traditional acupuncture may be appear easy to learn - but is very difficult to practise. Western medicine is difficult to learn but very simple to practise."

What was meant by this is that you can grasp the theory of Acupuncture fairly quickly but applying it to your patients takes much thought and understanding of their individual needs. The western medicine equivalent is, many years may be spent in Medical School, it only takes minutes to write a prescription for a generalised drug.

Thank you.

No Not unless they are fully trained IN ACUPUNCTURE. What I don't get is how every other medical profession in America thinks they can just "add on" acupuncture to their resume, scope of practice, and skill set by just taking a 100 hour course or other minimal training (like chiropractors and MD's do), but acupuncturists have to get a master's degree to practice acupuncture and cannot "infringe" on the other medical disciplines' scopes of practice. I have read that Chiropractors and MD's can practice acupuncture in many states with as little as 100 hours of training. 100 hours does NOT make an acupuncturist. Would the state let me add MD, ND, or DC to my title and practice Chiropractic, Allopathic medicine, or Naturopathy if I only had 100 hours training? I think not.

This double standard needs to end, and our profession needs to be protected from such infringement by other professions. While these other professions may not need to go through the entire master's program in acupuncture to practice it, they should be required to get more than a minimum of training to call themselves "acupuncturist" or perform acupuncture.

No When naturopathic physicians or any other health care provider
performs acupuncture without a full didactic and clinical education in
acupuncture as determined by the NCCAOM they are doing a
disservice to both their patients and to our profession
No Just thinks for a moment why not let Acupuncturist pretend they are naturopathic physicans. Well a Qualified acupuncturist has an insight into disease cauase and effect, organ energy, effects of herbs and medicines on the body. Also an appreciation of the emotional make up of the person and and understanding of latent disease. Put the boot on the other foot can a naturopath take chinese pules, do tongue diagnosis, understand facial analysis, read the body as proficient as a fully trained Acupucturist? I think not! Please do not degredate our wonderful profession. It is bad enough that medical Doctors can do a weekend course in acupuncture and call them selves a Acupuncturist.
Colin Charnley, Cairns Australia, Acupuncturist, TCM, Naturopath, Chiropractor,

No Only with appropriate hours of credentialed training
No Only those who are trained in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine and licensed to pratice should be allowed to preform acupuncture on patients.
No ND's with Acupuncture training, such as dual licensing I would welcome; however without this training additional training damages the image of Licensed Acupuncturist and Oriental Medical Traditions by reducing Acupuncture to only another modality as a posed to a complete medical system.

No Everyone interested in perform acupuncture should meet all requirements that acupuncture students need to complete in order to work as an acupuncture physician.

No Only if they have been trained in acupuncture.

Yes Obviously it depends on their training.

Yes yes, but only if acupuncture training was included as a part of the course of study, and the couse work matches current Masters level requirements.

No I consider acupuncture as such a complex art and science that requires much time to assimilate and comprehend. I don't see how you can integrate all this knowledge efficiently in a naturopathic degree that already explores many other healing methods. Unless we develop a system similar to the one physiotherapists use, i.e treating only musculoskeletal disorders using acupuncture.

No They typically get only 300 hrs of training. I have yet to meet an ND who takes the pulse and looks at the tongue. It is allopathic acupuncture and patent meds to symptoms. Their clients usually come see me when they dont get results.

No Ithink it should depend upon the training.
But as far as I know, they don't get much in naturpath school. More than mds 200 hour course maybe, but not much.

No No wei, man!!!
No i think Naturopaths could practice acupuncture only after completing a fully-accredited course of study, just as i think the same of chiropractors, doctors, nurses, etc.
why should they be any different?

No I feel the same way about naturopaths as I do about western medical doctors, that they should be trained as licensed acupuncturists are trained - with the full extent of Chinese medical theory, point location and indication instruction, and so on.

No Like all acupuncturists, anyone who wants to practice acupuncture should, at a minimum, be required to pass the NCCAOM exam(s). This should include M.D.'s, chiropractors, podiatrists, dentists, etc.
No If practitioners of any other persuasion really do see the acquistion of acupuncture skills as a worthwhile addition to their practice, then surely they ought to be prepared to undertake adequate training (i.e. same as for anyone else, bar exemptions for non-oriental medical subjects for which they have previously completed equivalent courses of study - I DID!). If not, then one must be inclined to question both their commitment and their motives!
No If practitioners of any other persuasion really do see the acquistion of acupuncture skills as a worthwhile addition to their practice, then surely they ought to be prepared to undertake adequate training (i.e. same as for anyone else, bar exemptions for non-oriental medical subjects for which they have previously completed equivalent courses of study). If not, then one must be inclined to question their commitment and their motives!

Yes The naturopathic physicians profession has been practicing acupuncture longer than the acupuncture profession in america and will continue to do so!

Yes Of course they should be allowed...If they have the proper training at at a TCM school. Of course an MD,or chiropractor that performs acupunture should also have the proper training at a TCM school. An D.O.M cannot prescribed drugs or make adjustments just because he/she went to a weekend course to get certified, I do not think an ND,MD,chiropractor or anyone else should be able to perform acupunture just because they have a few courses under their belt.

No if a naturopathic physician has gone through the same amount of educational training as an acupuncturist has in terms of obtaining a master's degree in the field and not just a few days of training, then they should be allowed to perform acupuncture. otherwise, how would these other professions feel about an acupuncturist being allowed to perform their duties with only a few hours of training? acupuncturists work hard for their training and profession and, as a result, md's, chiro's or any other profession should not be permitted to perform acupuncture based on only a few weekends of's an injustice to the profession.
Yes My Acupuncturist is the most knowledgable doctor I have ever encountered. His knowledge of human anatomy, many forms of illnesses and conditions, and treatment plans is awesome.

He is also a responsible practitioner who knows his boundaries and knows when it is time to refer his patient to another Specialist.

He is who I see first.

Yes I think it would be useful if naturopaths were able to give simple acupunture for uncomplicated conditions...

No The vast majority of naturopaths I have met are very poor clinicians. How can it be possible to learn acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, western herbal medicine, chiropractic type adjustments, minor surgery, homeopathy, and the use of prescription mediciations (western biomedicine) in just 4 years? Western MD's don't learn that much in such a short time.

As practitioners of Oriental Medicine we should all actively oppose any and all licensing of naturopathic physicians in any state where they are not yet licensed. Once they come in they try to do absolutely everything. That's why chiropractors and MDs dislike them. They are nothing but trouble, sorry to say. In theory I think it would be nice to have them around but in practice they just try to take over everything with minimal training.

No No. We attend chinese medicine school for 4 years for a reason. All these other people want in on whatw we do, but it cannot be done by learning some WATERED DOWN version. And frankly, 4 yeras of acupuncture school is JUST THE BEGINNING to a lifetime of learning.

What's with all these folks...trying to "simplify" things?
No again and again I see all these healthcare practitioners (and even
technicians) wanting to and performing acupuncture. With 3400+
hours of direct, supervised training I feel adequately trained to do my
job. How can anyone morally and ethically feel like they can do
acupuncture with a few hundred hours of training? Why is it that we
are denied payment from insurance companies while DC's and MD's
get paid for less than substandard care via acupuncture? This is very
serious medicine we do and shame on those who think they can do it
with a minimum of training! How about I go to a 4 weekend seminar
and start doing chiropratic adjusments? Where is my Fellow in the
International Chiropractic Medicine Association? How about I start
doing surgery and prescribing pharmecueticals after a month of
training? I could learn 100 hours of training, then perform surguries
on 25 people and count that as another 200 hours of training. Those
ideas are ludicrous, yet that's what's being done with our very serious
and very effective medicine. I've read arguments to let DC's and MD's
do acupuncture, and quite frankly, I find them idiotic, moronic, and
greed induced. We are here to help others, we should be doing the
medicine in which we are trained (and I'm talking 1000's of hours of
No if they go to acupuncture school, ok

Yes Some are very well trained in acupuncture and western medical background seems to be much stronger.
Yes I believe they should be able to practice it if they get additional
training in acupuncture...a lot more training! I wish there was a way
for people with medical backgrounds to finish acupuncture education
sooner since they already have western med courses. Instead, one
needs to go through all four years, when there's almost one year of
western med courses. In my situation, I end up having a 1/2 day off a
lot since I already have the western med courses. I'd rather finish

Maybe there should be an accellerated program for folks in this
situation, while not cutting back on any OM education. It seems lots
of MDs etc want to practice with minimal OM training. We should not
compromise the OM content, while at the same time acknowledging
prior experience/education and allowing an accellerated path.

Just an idea!

Yes They should have to complete some sort of class or pass some kind of test, to show they know what they're doing.

No Not unless they go through the same 4-year Asian Medicine program that is the industry standard for L.Acs. in the US. Frankly, I never understood Naturpathic education. They learn a little chiropractic care, a little homeopathy, a little acupuncture, a little herbology, a little bodywork, etc...all within a 4 program. How can they be any good at any of these disciplines? Of course, some NDs, like some MDs I know, have attended/graduated from both a 4 year ND program and a 4 year Asian Medicine program. In cases like this they should absolutely be allowed to practice acupuncture.
Yes Naturopaths have been exempted from acupuncture law requiorements in Florida since the creation of the Acupuncture Practice Scope in 1980......the same as MDs, DOs, DCs, etc. See Chapter 457.118 (circa 1980).

This statutory construction is considered as an
'unlimiting clause'. Although unpopular with the Licensed Acupuncturists this is a reality. If Naturopaths (Chapter 462 licensees)are NOW to be excised out of the unlimiting clause THEN all other healthcare providers such as MDs, DOs, DCs, etc should also be prohibited.

Furthermore, licensed Naturopaths in Florida have presctription rights and minor surgical rights.

Richard Freiberg, OMD, NMD
Pompano Beach, Florida


Yes With proper training.

Yes Many have taken the NCCAOM exam.
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