Acupuncture as a career

Acupuncture is a fascinating, challenging and rewarding career, attracting people from many diverse backgrounds - see below to watch videos of professional acupuncturists talking about why they chose acupuncture as a career, what they like about their work, and offer their advice about choosing the right course.

Working as an acupuncturist

An acupuncturist is a healthcare professional who takes a holistic approach to the maintenance of health and the management of disease, with a focus on improving overall wellbeing. Working as an acupuncturist, you can expect to work with a wide range of people from many different backgrounds. Common conditions treated by acupuncture are headaches and migraine, arthritis, back pain, digestive problems, sports injuries, infertility, menopausal and menstrual issues, anxiety, stress-related problems and many more.

Typically, you would begin with a consultation to obtain your patient's history and current health issues. Every patient is treated as an individual, and you will reframe the information they give you, to work out their diagnosis, point prescription and treatment plan. You’ll discuss their current treatment regime and what they might gain from acupuncture. As an acupuncturist, your treatment involves the insertion of needles into a selection of the hundreds of acupuncture points located across the body. You may also use massage, moxibustion (heat) or other techniques to support your work. Treatment is rarely painful or even uncomfortable – in fact, patients often report feeling very relaxed and sleepy during treatment.

Chinese medical theory, of which acupuncture is a part, takes a unique holistic view of health and disease. This perspective is a fascinating way to understand and treat people’s  physical and emotional problems. Everyone you see is different, and brings their own unique story to you to unravel, in order to help them to a better state of health. Being an acupuncturist is rarely boring, and the work can be very gratifying.

Most acupuncturists are self-employed and work from complementary health clinics, multi bed clinics, GP or other surgeries and from home. being self-employed means you can choose your place of work and what hours you work.

British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) acupuncturists engage in continuing professional development (CPD) to keep their knowledge and skills fresh, and to keep in touch with de-velopments in research and with the acupuncture community.

Acupuncture is growing in popularity and is increasingly recognised as safe, efficacious and cost effective in treating many acute and chronic ailments. Training at a reputable college or university on an accredited course will enable you to gain the skills you need to work successfully as an acupuncturist. For those who have a passion for healing without drug-based treatments and want a hands-on career helping to treat the pain and challenges of many different health conditions, a career in acupuncture may be the best choice.


Karen was a journalist and editor and has been an acupuncturist for just 12 months. She explains what her course involved, her exciting research and how studying acupuncture changed her life.


Annie has been an acupuncturist for 16 years and talks about how she enjoys listening to patients’ stories, and reframing the information they give her to empower them to move back to a state of health. She gives valuable advice about choosing the right course for you.


Tiziana graduated in Australia 8 years ago and talks about her passion for acupuncture, why its important to join the BAcC, how to be successful in practice and why she has the best job in the world.


Mike was a medical social worker and has been in practice as an acupuncturist for 15 years. He talks about his inspiring charitable work with patients in the Gaza strip and how studying acupuncture is an empowering experience.


Caitlin is still loving being an acupuncturist after 11 years in practice. In her previous work as a drugs and alcohol counsellor, she saw the benefits of acupuncture for life offenders in prison. She appreciates her lifestyle as an acupuncturist and talks about her continuing professional development and why she says ‘just do it!’.

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