Becoming an acupuncturist
Earn a living in a way that engages you as a whole person and is true to your own values.
As an acupuncturist you will work with people to ease their physical, emotional and mental suffering and make a real difference to their lives. You will find that treating people holistically can catalyse profound change for themselves and their families. At the same time, you can earn a living in a way that engages you as a whole person and in a way that is true to your own values, and have a vocation to be passionate about. By rooting your practice in the traditions and modern developments of Chinese medicine you will have access to:
- A holistic and sophisticated understanding of the fundamental patterns underlying health and disease.
- A philosophy of interconnectedness which sees each person as a part of the wider world.
- An emphasis on developing the personal qualities of a practitioner.
- A rich and flexible approach to diagnosis and treatment.
Claire Huitson - graduate
"I graduated in 2017 and since then I’ve been working with Teesside University, with their students and staff, giving them treatments. I’ve also opened my own clinic in Norton, which has gone amazingly well. I’m so busy that I was originally only going to open for two days but am now opened for four. Word of mouth has been amazing, my Facebook page has really taken off, and I’ve been getting five star reviews on Google too. I really didn’t expect to be so busy so quickly but I’m loving it!"
What does acupuncture do?
Chinese Medicine Tutor Cheng Hao Zhou
"In Chinese medicine, health is seen as a state of harmony and balance. To maintain this we need physical and emotional flexibility, the ability to move with the flow of life. If we lose this flow, our inner vitality becomes obstructed or depleted and we become ill. Acupuncture works to strengthen vitality and unravel the obstructions which cause ill health. As a practitioner it is possible to diagnose subtle imbalances to either treat or prevent disease, and to make sense of illnesses that conventional medicine often has difficulty treating. Acupuncturists use a range of highly effective and deep-acting treatment techniques, including acupuncture, massage, cupping and moxibustion, that relieve symptoms and treat their underlying causes, strengthen resistance to disease and enhance well-being. Also, as balance is restored there is often a sense of “coming back to oneself”, with the recovery of a sense of purpose. Acupuncture can be effective for a wide range of conditions."
What styles of acupuncture do you teach?
College Principal Richard Blackwell
"At the Northern College we don’t teach just one style or approach to Chinese medicine, we celebrate its complexity and diversity. We teach you the structured approach to Chinese medicine which is taught at colleges in China and reflected in much of the literature you will read. Our graduates really appreciate this when they start to practise. We also teach you further traditional models and modern techniques to equip you with a variety of approaches to diagnosis and treatment. This allows you to develop your own style and select the approach best suited to an individual patient, rather than focusing exclusively on one style of acupuncture. Our acupuncture course stimulates your development in many ways. You will experience many new perceptions, thoughts and feelings. It is hardly surprising that at the end of our course students tell us how much they have changed and how positive that has been."
Can I earn a living once I am qualified?
Course Director Lara McClure
"All of your training at the NCA is working towards a goal - the day you successfully complete your studies and start your career as a fully trained acupuncturist. As well as all the practical and theoretical training our acupuncture course includes teaching on business development. During your final year you will create your own business plan which enables you to have a clear direction for your practice once you have finished your studies. You also learn from the experiences of other acupuncturists during your practitioner observation days in years one and two. Once qualified, our graduates work in a variety of situations including setting up their own clinics, working within group practices, multi-bed clinics, GP practices, from home, or offering mobile services. Some of our graduates have established relationships with their local hospitals, NHS clinics and hospices. Graduates who set up on their own and who actively work at building their practices with commitment and determination can be busy within six to twelve months. More typically, most people establish a good steady practice within two years. Most established practices are sustained simply by word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied patients. Once your practice becomes well established you can earn a good living."