Acupuncture is a complex science that is thousands of years old and is a therapy that is totally natural and drug free. During an acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted into various points in the body to treat almost any illness or relieve discomforts. It is a treatment that has long been practiced in China and there are different variations of acupuncture that are practiced throughout the world. Though acupuncture has been the subject of active scientific research, it still remains controversial treatment with conventional medical researchers and practitioners. Acupuncture due to its invasive nature of treatment makes it difficult to create studies that use proper scientific controls. The perception of the western world has changed and as people turn towards alternate forms of treatment, acupuncture is no longer dismissed as a folk remedy but is now considered as a scientific and valid form of medical therapy. A chiropractor who practices acupuncture is usually certified to perform acupuncture while a doctor/diplomate of Oriental medicine is a licensed practitioner. A chiropractor is a practitioner of medicine who deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and may use acupuncture as an adjunct therapy to treat these disorders. A doctor of Oriental medicine, on the other hand, is a practitioner of medicine who not only uses acupuncture as a treatment of various ailments but is also versed in herbal medicine. Before a doctor of Oriental Medicine can attain a license to practice acupuncture, the practitioner must graduate from a state accredited school of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, which is a course lasting between 3 and 5 years. It includes graduate level education in both Western and Traditional Chinese medicine. It also requires the practitioner to get at least a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The whole course includes about 3000 hours of classroom and between 1000 and 2000 hours of supervised clinical internship. Diplomates/doctors of Oriental Medicine also have to pass both written and practical exams and are required to complete many hours of continuing education to maintain a license. A chiropractor who practices acupuncture, on the other hand, gets a certification by doing roughly 300-450 hours of classroom training. Chiropractors usually are not required to undergo any exams; nor do they have to complete any hours of internship or continuing education in acupuncture. Most of the certified practitioners of acupuncture use acupuncture as an alternative means to treat their patients. The main difference between the two is that doctors of Oriental medicine are fully qualified to diagnose, treat, and create individualized treatments plans using acupuncture, herbs, and bodywork to assist their patients on their roads to recovery. Chiropractors who have not completed the full training to become doctors/diplomates of Oriental Medicine typically use pre-established protocols and patterns during their acupuncture treatments instead of individualized treatment plans. Receiving acupuncture from either a doctor/diplomate of Oriental Medicine or a chiropractor can be beneficial and help patients during their healing journeys, yet sometimes, if the situation calls for it, patients may wish to consider utilizing the practitioners for their unique specialties. In other words, going to a chiropractor for acupuncture can be like going to a typical grocery store to purchase organic food. Sure, you can find organic food there, but your choices are usually more limited and may not be as fresh as the stores that specialize in organic products. Now you are more empowered when making decisions about your healthcare. Good luck!