How to Find an Acupuncture Specialist in Fertility

If you’re trying to find an an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, here are some suggestions:

Research local practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine on the internet, looking for those with a specialty in infertility.

Ask friends, relatives, and those in the medical community for suggestions.

Research the practitioner.  Here are some questions you can ask the TCM infertility specialist:

What are your qualifications and training in alternative reproductive medicine?  How long have you practiced as a fertility specialist?

What is your approach to fertility treatments?

What experiences and results have you had with fertility treatment?

Are you comfortable with my seeing both you and a Western doctor for fertility treatment?  Are you willing to adapt your treatments, if necessary, to support my Western doctor’s efforts?

How do you feel about patients who ask a lot of questions?

Will you be accessible if I call with a question between treatments?

Can you provide testimonials from other fertility patients, or do you have fertility patients who would be willing to discuss their experiences with me?

Not All Acupuncturists are Trained Equally

When looking for a qualified acupuncturist in North Carolina start your search for practitioners who are licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.).  They will have the highest level of training in the field.  You will find a list of licensed acupuncturists at www.NCAAOM.org.  Differences between the training of licensed acupuncturists and other practitioners performing acupuncture are in the chart below.

Some Licensed Acupuncturists Have Additional Training and Certification in Other Areas of Chinese Medicine

“Full service” Chinese medical practitioners can provide Chinese herbal therapy, eastern nutritional counseling and Asian body work, in addition to acupuncture.  These practitioners are Nationally Certified Practitione5rs of Oriental Medicine or Diplomates of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. O.M.).  A list of local practitioners can be found at www.NCCAOM.org.

Comparison of Licensed vs. Certified Acupuncturists
Certified/Physician Acupuncturist Licensed Acupuncturist
Certified physician or chiropractors with 300 hours of training Licensed acupuncturists (LAc) with an average of 2,700 hours of
master’s-level training
Training which is often comprised of home study and video-taped
lectures
Master’s level, on-site training at a nationally accredited
school or college of acupuncture
Minimal clinical experience in acupuncture or no actual patient
treatments before certification
Hundreds of hours of clinical experience and at least 250 actual
patient treatments before licensure
Not required to complete the national certification examination
to prove competency in acupuncture
Required to pass the national certification
exam
in acupuncture
in order to become licensed (NCCAOM)
Not required to regularly complete continuing education courses Required to do regular continuing education to maintain national
certification

Licensed acupuncturists are also much more qualified than medical acupuncturists in performing acupuncture services.  For more information about the differences between licensed acupuncturists and medical acupuncturists, go to www.medicalacupuncturefacts.com/.

Physical therapists are not licensed or trained to conduct acupuncture which includes the term, dry needling.  A statement issued by the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board (NCALB) defines dry needling as acupuncture and that it can only be performed by practitioners who have met the qualifications of an acupuncturist.

Even training among licensed acupuncturists can vary widely.  Some graduate programs include training in all aspects of Oriental Medicine, including Chinese herbal therapy, food therapy and body work and may require as much as 3,500 hours of training.

Lorraine H. Harris has over 3,100 hours in graduate studies in Oriental Medicine with advanced training in infertility, Chinese gynecology, tonic herbalism, and food therapy. She has worked in acupuncture clinics in San Diego and an herbal pharmacy.  Ms. Harris is a licensed acupuncturist in North Carolina and is a Nationally Certified Practitioner of Oriental Medicine.  She earned her Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego.  Her training includes Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Japanese Medicine, auricular acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tui na, qi gong, Eastern nutrition.  She has continued her studies with Jeffrey Yuen and teaches and supervises students at Daoist Traditions.