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Human VS Animal Acupuncture Education


Hello to anyone who reads this!

I have been interested in learning animal acupuncture. So far though, what I've seen is this: If a person desires to learn human acupuncture they do not have to have any prior medical training of any kind - Yet if a person desires to learn animal acupuncture they must be a licensed veterinarian. Is this just the few schools I have looked into or is this truly the case, that education and subsequent practice of acupuncture on animals is far more restricted than education and subsequent practice of acupuncture on humans? I mean I've not seen it anyplace that a person must have an MD in order to become a licensed acupuncture practitioner for humans yet it appears that if you desire your patients to be animals, you must have the equivalent of an MD, a DVM.

If I am wrong in this, please let me know and if you can, point me toward places without this requirement. At this stage of life I really don't feel up to attempting DVM education and all it entails (cost, years, intense competition for entry, multi prerequisites that I do not have such as organic chemistry, and more).

Thanks for any info.


There are a number of points that are incorrect as far as I understand things. In most states you do not need to be a vet to practice acupuncture on animals, you can do this as a licensed acupuncturist. There is an additional certification known as a "certified animal acupuncturist" which you can take which may or may not be required within your area (your states acupuncture board would be the people to ask). That certification is for licensed acupuncturists only, not vets. If you are a vet you are, in some states, entitled to practice acupuncture with or without proper training much like MD's are allowed to practice acupuncture on humans in some states with no or very limited training related to Chinese Medicine.

So your best route (both financially and clinically), minus laws specific to your state, would be to become a licensed acupuncturist and then pursure appropriate certification in working with animals. That said, becoming a licensed acupuncturist is not, in most cases, all that different in many regards from going to medical school. Most accredited acupuncture schools require classes in organic chemistry, bio chemistry, microbiology, etc. as prerequisites in addition to your undergraduate degree if you didn't take them already. And the expense is still quite high - in most cases it is a 4 year masters program with most schools being private and having relatively high tuition rates. Certainly nowhere as comprehensive in western medical terms as an MD or DVM, but far more comprehensive in Chinese Medicine theory and clinical applications which is crucial for it to be properly applied.

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