Acupuncturists perform therapy with tiny needles in order to relieve pain and stress. This acupuncture is applied to various parts of the body that are believed to help remedy certain ailments; some common treatments are for migraines, weight loss, allergies, and back pain. Acupuncture may also be recommended as part of treatment plans for pain relief for cancer patients.
Prior to carrying out services, acupuncturists evaluate their clients' needs and preferences to develop treatment plans which adhere to company policies and applicable laws and regulations. It is important that they are confident in creating individual plans for each patient, and strong people skills are important in order to communicate well and resolve all concerns. There are both part-time and full-time positions available, and some are on-call while others are freelance. Although the work is often carried out on an individual basis, multiple acupuncturists may tend to one customer on occasion, so the ability to work well on teams is also important.
Some marketing skills may be required in order to promote services to new customers and to offer further services to current clients. Sometimes, acupuncturists work in facilities which only provide acupuncture services, while those who work in spas may also be involved in massages and physical rehabilitation. State licensing and national certification are generally required prior to being hired, and they are often obtained through acupuncturist schooling. Entry-level positions are widely available.
Assess clients' soft tissue condition, nerves and blood vessels to determine appropriate acupressure sites.
Place small needles into predetermined sites on a patient's skin to relieve pain or stress.
Confer with clients about their medical histories and any problems with stress or pain in order to determine what acupuncture techniques would be helpful.