You’re looking for an acupuncturist. You launch your browser and type Acupuncture or Traditional Chinese Medicine Philadelphia into the search field. Enter. Pages and pages of results load as you wonder: what should I be looking for?
Since licensing requirements vary widely by state, the average consumer is faced with a bit of a research project when shopping for qualified practitioners. After all, if someone is going to stick needles in you, chances are you want this person to be thoroughly trained and certified by an esteemed professional organization.
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is the premier certifying organization recognized by the Oriental Medical profession. A non-profit established in 1982, the mission of NCCAOM is to establish and promote standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. NCCAOM certification is a professional distinction; it is also a standard by which consumers can confidently measure the credentials of acupuncturists or OM practitioners.
Your search may turn up a number of qualified acupuncturists, but what about Chinese herbs? The question is worth asking. Chinese herbology works hand-in-hand with acupuncture, and the responsible herbalist possesses a broad knowledge base, extensive training and well-honed skills. In Pennsylvania, less than 8% of licensed acupuncturists have undergone the educational and Board certification rigors to be licensed in Oriental Medicine. This means that the majority of practicing acupuncturists have not demonstrated a command of Chinese herbology for a recognized Board of professionals.
Selecting a practitioner with a NCCAOM certification in Oriental Medicine ensures that you will be treated with the most comprehensive clinical expertise and the highest level of professional integrity. Oriental Medicine is more than needles and herbs. Mastery of the curriculum requires years of advanced coursework and clinical practice. The Diplomate of Oriental Medicine has demonstrated competence in nutritional principles, biomedicine, herbalism and Oriental medical theory in addition to acupuncture. OM certification expands the acupuncturist’s diagnostic and treatment resources, allowing her to create the most comprehensive, individualized healing plan for each client.
Sharon Sherman holds a NCCAOM certification in Oriental Medicine, placing her nationally among the highest trained in the science of acupuncture and the Traditional Chinese Medical model, as well as the prescribing of Chinese herbal remedies.