An acupuncturist is a doctor who practices the Chinese practice of using acupuncture needles to penetrate parts of the body as a form of healing. An acupuncture council is an organization devoted to representing professional acupuncturists. Since Chinese acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular, councils are often formed to identify traditional, and best, acupuncture practices. Councils also provide a space for acupuncture practitioners to come together and discuss the practice.
Acupuncture councils are often formed by combining existing acupuncture clinics. In England, the British Acupuncture Council was formed in June 1995 by the uniting five existing acupuncture groups: the British Acupuncture Association and Register, The Chung San Acupuncture Society, The International Register of Oriental Medicine, The Register of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Traditional Acupuncture Society. Members of an acupuncture council like this one, typically represent the general practice of acupuncture. It is a duty of all doctors involved with this council to live up to high standards of ethics, discipline and codes related to the health and safety of both patients and doctors. Groups such as the British Acupuncture Council also promote education in the field by providing information on acupuncture schooling and by researching the latest trends and developments in Chinese medicine.
All members of each acupuncture council undergo extensive acupuncture training so they understand diagnosis and treatment of all types of acupuncture, including infertility acupuncture, facial acupuncture and traditional acupuncture. Classroom instruction and practical application are necessary before becoming an acupuncturist, and these same regulations apply to anyone wishing to join an acupuncture council. Some councils have accreditation boards, which monitor the training of all council members.
Another goal of acupuncture councils is to provide low-cost insurance to acupuncturists. The council can generally keep premiums low by several acupuncture practitioners working together. American Acupuncture Council is an example of one group whose goal is to monitor insurance rates and keep them affordable. It was established in 1972 and is one of the oldest and largest providers of acupuncture insurance in the world. Insurance for this council is underwritten by Royal and Sun Alliance, the oldest insurance provider in the world.
Acupuncture councils such as the American Acupuncture Council also take on malpractice claims of any kind, including injuries and death that result from treatment. The councils understand that a doctor’s reputation is extremely important to financial success, so all acupuncturists are encouraged to join a council for defense, management, and ethics instruction. Above all, the benefits of an acupuncture council include the fellowship between doctors and the advancement of acupuncture in the world of medicine.