It has a place with individuals who, for diverse reasons, cannot use pharmaceuticals and will go to great lengths to avoid surgery. The essential difference between Western medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine is that the former aims to treat the symptoms of a disease, while the latter aims to diagnose the patterns of a disorder and treats it by bringing the body into homeostasis (balance). The use of new technology, based on the energy flow (qi) which runs through the acupuncture channels, is widely used by modern medical practitioners.
Alternative medicine is becoming popular among patients and medical doctors. Physicians are recognizing the effectiveness of traditional medicine with their patients. Some medical doctors are incorporating Acupuncture in their practice. As a result, medical Acupuncture was created, which is practiced specifically by medical doctors. To be licensed in Acupuncture, MD's must have 300 hours of basic Acupuncture education.
A licensed Acupuncturist, who is not a medical doctor, must complete rigorous education requirements, which differ from state to state. However it generally takes 3-4 years of extensive study, as well as, a 1 year internship.
Over 30,000 Chinese medicine doctors graduate annually from 50 institutes throughout Asia. In America there are about 8000 Acupuncturists.