Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an extremely popular form of Chinese medicine that stimulates pivotal points on the body to balance the functions of the body, mind and spirit and restore health.

Discipline

Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese Medicine that stimulates specific points on the body in order to regulate the flow of Qi (vital energy) to balance the functions of the body, mind and spirit and to restore health. Chinese Medicine combines theory (philosophy and principles) and practices such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Chinese dietary therapy, Qi Ging, and massage (Tui Na).

Job Outlook

Employment prospects for complementary health professionals grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to continue growing with 8,000 jobs predicted by 2023 (Federal Government Job Outlook, 2018)

Responsibilities

As a clinical Acupuncturist some of your responsibilities may include:

  • Initial consult with patient involves taking a detailed case history, assessing their health and developing and agreeing on a treatment plan
  • Explain the diagnosis and treatment plan to the patient and respond to their questions and concerns
  • Give treatment by inserting fine needles into the skin at particular locations, to stimulate the energy flow along meridians (energy channels) and the body's own healing response
  • Incorporate additional treatments, such as moxibustion (burning the moxa herb on or near the skin), electro-acupuncture (stimulating insertion points with small electric currents), acupressure (to loosen and relax muscles) and cupping
  • Follow up appointments involve assessing the patients progress through questioning and examination and reviewing the treatment plan if necessary
  • Keep adequate patient and financial records
  • Carry out administrative tasks and business promotion

Working Hours and Consult Fees

As most Acupuncturists are self-employed, your income will depend on factors such as the price you charge per hour, the number of hours you work, the number of patients you attract as well as your running costs and overheads.

In Australia the average Acupuncturist:

  • Works 4 days a week
  • Charges $86.88 per hour
  • Consults with 28 patients per week

Source: Steel et al., (2018). The Australian Complementary Medicine Workforce: A Profile of 1,306 Practitioners from the PRACI Study.

Skills

To become a successful Acupuncturist, you need:

  • Confident communication and interpersonal skills, in order to explain treatment procedures and build a positive rapport with patients
  • An open, non-judgemental approach in order to helping patients to feel at ease
  • Competent marketing, financial and organisational skills, in order to set up and run a successful business

Career Opportunities

Acupuncturist may practice independently as a sole trader, or provide treatment in a multidisciplinary setting.

Acupuncturists often work alongside other allied health practitioners such as medical doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and naturopaths.

Clinical Practitioners

  • Independent – in private practice
  • Multimodality – work in a clinic alongside other natural health clinicians and orthodox practitioners
  • Mobile – hosting client consults in their place of work or at home

Clinical Practitioner niches

Women’s health, fertility, pregnancy, sports medicine, men’s health, chronic disease, orthopaedics, pain management, addiction, migraines and headaches, and digestive disorders.

Content Creator

Using your flair for visual and written communication you can create acupuncture specific content to be used by yourself or companies employing you for:

  • Social media
  • Websites
  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Magazines
  • eBooks
  • Industry publications
  • Marketing collateral

Clinic Owner, Director, Manager, Coordinator or Assistant

Work at any level of clinic management.

Practitioner Educator

Teach and nurture the next generation of Clinical Acupuncturists by:

  • Lecturing
  • Clinic supervision
  • Webinar or online lecturer and workshop presentation

Researcher

Contribute to the body of knowledge on acupuncture by becoming an Acupuncture Researcher. The first step to pursuing a career in research is completing further education with Endeavour College of Natural Health’s Honours program.