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Board of Acupuncture FAQs

Frequently asked questions about acupuncturists.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a well known therapy included in the thousands of year old system of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Practitioners may use aspects of the comprehensive system to balance a person' energy systems including, though not limited to:

  • Acupuncture – inserting needles into specific energy spots (acupoints)
  • Moxibustion – warming herbs used for specific reasons
  • Herbal formulas taken internally
  • Herbal plasters applied externally
  • Cupping – applying suction to specific body parts
  • Gua sha – similar to massage using a smooth tool
  • Acupressure manual therapy
  • Stimulation of acupoints with an energy source (sound, light, or electrical)
  • Tui na bodywork massage
  • Qigong energy and breathing practices
  • Dietary and lifestyle therapy

There are many different styles of Acupuncture, and each individual practitioner has his or her own unique way of working with patients. The Acupuncture Licensing Board verifies Licensed Acupuncturists initially satisfy licensing requirements and document continuing education requirements for license renewal to ensure a baseline qualification.

In New Hampshire, what can a Licensed Acupuncturist do?

A Licensed Acupuncturist can legally insert needles into human skin with the selection of points and techniques based upon extensive initial and continuing training requirements. The Licensed Acupuncturist may also perform complimentary therapy within the scope of the license and the person's area of expertise.

There are many sources on the internet for general acupuncture information such as what Acupuncture may treat.

In New Hampshire, what is the typical education of a Licensed Acupuncturist?

In general, a Licensed Acupuncturist completes a 3 to 5 year full time course of formal education. This education, in an accredited formal setting, includes the theory and practice of the comprehensive healthcare system that originated in China thousands of years ago. Coursework in anatomy, physiology, biology, microbiology and an overview of the western medicine clinical methods and terminology complement the acupuncture and herbal training. Hundreds of hours of internship and clinical practice are typically involved. Many programs grant a Masters Degree upon program completion.

To maintain a license in New Hampshire and National Certification, which is a requirement for continuing practice in New Hampshire, the licensed acupuncturist must document their participation in continuing education programs.

How do I find a practitioner?

Many practitioners are listed in the national Web site, the local telephone book, in organizational listings such as the New Hampshire Association for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, or the New Hampshire Board of Acupuncture Licensing listing of licensed acupuncturists.

How do I know if the practitioner is licensed?

The designation L.Ac or Lic. Ac. specifies a Licensed Acupuncturist. All Licensed Acupuncturists in New Hampshire must maintain active Diplomate status with the National Certification Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) by passing a national board exam in acupuncture and taking further continuing education classes. Dipl. Ac. or Dipl. C.H. specifies NCCAOM Diplomate certification in Acupuncture or Chinese Herbology.

If you have questions on whether a practitioner is currently licensed, contact the New Hampshire Board of Acupuncture Licensing.

What if I want to file a complaint about an individual who I think may be inserting acupuncture needles without a valid New Hampshire license?

Contact the New Hampshire Board of Acupuncture Licensing in writing informing the board of your concern with detailed information so that we may respond.

Can licensed New Hampshire acupuncturist treat animals?

No, Acupuncture on animals is considered the practice of veterinary medicine in New Hampshire.

Can anyone other than licensed acupuncturists practice acupuncture in the state of New Hampshire?  

While M.D.s and D.O.s can practice, and N.D.s who have met the requirements of the Naturopathic Board for specialty practice can practice, Acupuncturists licensed by the Board of Acupuncture Licensing have the most extensive training in acupuncture. Chiropractors can use needles as an adjunctive procedure only, but are not to be considered practicing acupuncture.