Massage Therapy Classes: Learning Acupuncture

Acupuncture classes are offered in massage therapy schools that provide a full range of massage therapy programs that include both western and eastern philosophies in the healing arts. While it is still considered an alternative form of health care in the United States, acupuncture has been a staple of Chinese medicine for centuries.

Acupuncture classes teach massage therapy students the skills they need to be able to stimulate specific points on the client’s skin that may provide pain relief and relaxation in other parts of the body. Much like reflexology, acupuncture works on the principle that stimulating blood flow in these points on the skin (known as acupuncture points) will correct the flow of a person’s “Chi” (qi) or overall energy and balance.

To accomplish the stimulation of chi (qi), an acupuncture specialist inserts thin needles into the skin at the specified acupuncture points. Therefore, it is very important for student to learn how to insert the needles, how deep they should be inserted in order to effective, and how to avoid injuring the client. The point of acupuncture is relaxation and balance, not pain or discomfort.

Some massage therapy schools offer acupuncture programs that can provide the equivalent of a master’s degree in the art of acupuncture. While a “Master’s of Acupuncture” is not a recognized degree in the United States, obtaining such a certificate can help students earn a position in traditional Chinese healing clinics, spas, and resorts around the world. Most schools offering this type of advance program will require extensive class work and studies in biomedical sciences, professional development, and other related body work courses that apply to all massage therapy training programs.

Massage therapy degrees require liberal arts classes just as most other degrees in any discipline will require. Schools often require students to complete standard massage therapy studies that include anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, counseling and consultations, ethics, management skills, clinic practices, and other methods (modalities) of massage therapy. Acupuncture master’s degree programs typically involve around 2,000 hours of class a clinical practice time.

These programs typically include elements of Asian Bodywork, Herbalism and natural homeopathic medicines, and traditional Chinese medicine. Research and development are also important aspects of the program because of the evolving world of alternative medicine.

Certification and licensing is required to practice acupuncture. Licensing and certification is governed by a regulatory body in each state and there are national regulatory agencies that set federal standards for practicing in the field and learning acupuncture through an accredited school. Massage therapy schools and institutes that specialize in acupuncture work with students to help them meet the minimum standards set forth by these agencies, as well as prepare students to pass any necessary certification exams and practical licensing tests.