Acupuncture involves the process of inserting very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles into the skin at precisely chosen acupuncture points which elicit a predictable physiological response. This stimulus may also be administered to the points using mild electrical stimulation. After a thorough consultation and evaluation, the acupuncturist will decide where and how many needles will be used to facilitate treatment process, from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
The acupuncturist’s skill at determining the appropriate points to treat is based upon his/her ability to accurately distinguish the presenting pattern, knowledge of correct points to address that pattern and knowledge of the proper type of stimulus for each point. The possession of this knowledge and skills is the key distinction between a professional certified acupuncturist and other health care providers who employ acupuncture only as a modality (stimulating points for their general effect without adjusting their choice of points to the specific patient’s need), from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).