Can I really learn acupuncture in 100-hours, through an online course, or in a long weekend?
(an open letter from Acupractice Seminars founder, Dr. Jim Ventresca)
The short answer is “Yes.” If you are talented enough to have earned a higher education degree in a licensed healthcare field, you can learn the rudiments of clinical acupuncture in fairly short order.
I’ve taught acupuncture to thousands of chiropractors, medical doctors, osteopaths, nurses, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and other healthcare providers, over the last 30 years. I’ve also taught many students, from first-years to grads. At this point, I think I could probably teach acupuncture to a stone. OK, maybe not a stone… but I am confident in knowing what a healthcare practitioner needs to know to perform safe and effective acupuncture, and how to present that material in ways that are direct and to the point.
I’ve spent countless hours demonstrating acupuncture techniques in classrooms, and watching participants immediately apply those techniques to their classmates. And the thing is, almost every time, almost every participant gets it right the first time. Not every time, but the vast majority of times. And I stay in touch with many of my past students and I know that our programs equip motivated practitioners to provide safe and highly effective acupuncture.
Now, do I expect you to be the best acupuncture provider on your block the first time out of the gate? No, not likely. Do I expect you to know all the theories and techniques a licensed acupuncturist with over 2,000 hours of schooling knows? Again, no. However, I am confident that you will know enough acupuncture to help a lot of patients with a lot of problems, and avoid hurting any of them. If you continue to use acupuncture regularly, I’d put money on you being as good as the next guy–maybe even better–within a few years.
I spent 20 years teaching in acupuncture colleges, about 10 of them as an academic dean, and I’ve been teaching focused acupuncture programs to healthcare practitioners for more than 20 years. I’ve spent decades developing quality classroom and distance learning programs that are safe, effective, and efficient.
With the advances in online learning technology – testified to by the proliferation of online learning in every major institution of higher learning – you can now take much of your acupuncture training from home.
Our programs deliver solid clinical education through use of clear, practical demonstrations and by conveying only theory that has direct clinical application.
Our video demonstrations include live-model demos of all the acupuncture meridian pathways, and the locations of most of the major body and ear acupoints, with many of them being needled on camera. They also detail acupuncture techniques, from clean needle technique to laser acupuncture. These videos have some distinct advantages over live, in-classroom demonstrations. First, everyone gets a close up front-row seat, and second, the videos can be revisited multiple times, to reinforce learning. We use these videos in our classrooms along with live demos, and most of our participants actually prefer the videos to the live demos.
To receive a solid foundation in essential theory, our Online Certification course includes a full semester (45 hours) of well-illustrated lectures. Our courses also contain some in-depth textbook study, relying on two highly respected acupuncture texts: Giovanni Maccocia’s, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, and Ted Kaptchuck’s The Web That Has No Weaver.
There is, of course, a certain transmission one gets from time spent live with a skilled and experienced teacher. I have experienced it myself many times, and recognize the value in it. Still, I believe much of that transmission can be caught through audio and video, especially if there is repeated exposures to an instructor. I’ve had many students express how much they’ve learned from my online classes, and how much of a connection they feel with me, as a result of spending so much time with me online. It’s really quite a phenomenon.
All that said, I know that your patients’ care is of utmost importance to you, and in order to practice acupuncture on them, you’ll need both competence and confidence. While our Online Certification program contains all you need to be a competent acupuncture provider, you may well desire some hands-on time with a teacher. I get it. That’s part of the reason we’ve put together our live Trigger Point Acupuncture weekend intensives. They serve to augment your online training, instill a higher level of confidence, and increase your skill in formulating and providing effective treatments.
I’ve spent my life practicing and teaching acupuncture. I love this medicine. I know it is powerful, and not all that difficult to learn. I would be happy to see all healthcare providers cross-trained to provide acupuncture to their patients. We are working to help you receive that training effectively, efficiently and enjoyably .
I hope you’ll choose to study with us, and I look forward to working with you.
Dr. Jim Ventresca