Welcome to the AAMA's patient resource center

If you’re looking for answers about how medical acupuncture might help you or a loved one, you’ve come to the right place. We hope the information collected in this patient resource section will help. Let’s start with an introduction to who we are and what we do.

What is the AAMA?
The AAMA is the only professional organization in the U.S. that represents licensed physicians, MDs and DOs, who have integrated acupuncture into their modern, Western medical practices.

What is medical acupuncture?
When acupuncture is administered by qualified physicians, it’s called medical acupuncture. These physicians are trained in both Western medicine and acupuncture, which gives them the ability to examine a problem, make a diagnosis, and offer treatment options from both the modern medical and acupuncture standpoint. That means their patients get the best of both worlds: proven, ancient healing techniques and cutting-edge medicine.

What can acupuncture treat?
With thousands of years of tradition behind it and a growing base of modern scientific evidence supporting it, the practice of acupuncture has the potential to help patients with a wide variety of diseases, disorders and symptoms. Read on to learn more.

  • Acupuncture for Diabetes

    A growing base of scientific evidence supports the use of acupuncture as a complementary treatment for diabetes.

  • Acupuncture for Smoking Cessation

    Alongside lifestyle modification and sometimes medication prescribed by a physician, patients report that acupuncture increases their ability to give up cigarettes.

  • Acupuncture for Cancer

    Alongside prescribed medications, acupuncture has shown promise in reducing pain and other side effects from cancer and cancer treatments.

  • Acupuncture for Migraine/Headache

    A growing base of scientific evidence supports the use of acupuncture as part of a treatment plan for patients who suffer from chronic headaches and/or migraines.

  • Acupuncture for Depression

    For many patients suffering from depression and anxiety, acupuncture has proven effective in reducing symptoms.

  • Acupuncture for Pain Relief

    As the U.S. grapples with the opioid crisis, health care providers and patients in pain are seeking effective alternatives. Acupuncture has been found to be very effective for pain relief.

Can acupuncture help your condition?FIND AN EXPERT

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What conditions can acupuncture treat?

    Ultimately, the best answer will come from an experienced and qualified acupuncture practitioner. The practitioner, based on your medical history, condition, and what other treatments you have been or are receiving, can best help you decide whether acupuncture is suitable by itself or as adjunctive therapy. Please search the “Find an Acupuncturist” directory on this website for a physician acupuncturist near you.

  • What is an acupuncture treatment like?

    This is a difficult question to answer because of the wide variations in the styles of acupuncture performed. The acupuncturist you select should be able to describe the session in detail to you before he or she begins treatment. Generally speaking, 3-15 needles will be placed. The needles are very, very thin and are not inserted deeply; the needles should not cause pain. Some patients describe slight tingling or heat sensations where the needles are placed. The needles will remain in place for 10-20 minutes while you lie still and relax.

  • What training is required to practice acupuncture?

    The AAMA holds its diverse membership to the highest standards of training and proficiency among North American physicians (MDs and DOs) practicing acupuncture. Some physician acupuncturists pursue advanced training and credentialing, including a board certification designation DABMA (Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture) and FAAMA (Fellow of the American Academy of Acupuncture), both of which require a minimum of 300 hours of acupuncture education.

    Non-physician acupuncturists may also hold credentials indicating their education and training levels. Some examples are:

    • LAc – Licensed Acupuncturist
    • MAOM – Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
    • DAOM – Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
    • Dipl. Ac. – Diplomate in Acupuncture

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