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Acupuncturists may do some or all of the following

  • consult with patients about their health or any injuries
  • examine patients and diagnose health problems using the principles of traditional Chinese medicine
  • discuss treatment options with patients
  • locate acupuncture points and insert acupuncture needles
  • use and prescribe herbal medicines to treat patients
  • give dietary advice, tuina (massage), moxibustion (heat), cupping (suction), exercise therapy and laser therapy
  • refer patients to other health services when necessary
  • keep patient records.

Acupuncturists need to have

  • knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and its philosophy, theory and practice
  • skill in diagnosing illness and practising acupuncture
  • knowledge of Western medical theories about the human body and how it functions, and treatment procedures
  • knowledge of the Western medical code of ethics and the ability to abide by the code
  • massage skills
  • good communication skills
  • good problem-solving skills
  • organisational ability
  • business skills. 

Acupuncturists need to be

  • empathetic
  • patient
  • gentle
  • responsible
  • accurate
  • observant
  • able to inspire confidence in others.