How to Become an Acupuncturist?

7 minute read
How to be an Acupuncturist

It is often believed that our ancestors had more imagination, more intellect and a clear vision which led to inventions that lets you and I, sitting in the comforts of our home and enjoy a good meal. There were no social media to distract them! Out of the millions of survival techniques, medical practices like Acupuncture is a gift of healing. Acupuncture is an old Chinese alternative medicine that is a part of the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). To become an acupuncturist requires you to dive deep into the cave of knowledge through ancient texts that tell us how effective this healing practice is. 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a pseudoscience that believes in inserting thin needles in the body to release pain and cure the illness. Acupuncture is more so used by acupuncturists to release pain from muscles in your body. Although acupuncture is an alternative medicine, it has gained very underrated popularity throughout the centuries. The research and developments conducted by acupuncturists haven’t yet convinced the audience at large to use it more often. Therefore it is a field full of potential and possibilities for the young generation who can become acupuncturists and conduct deep research and experiments and work towards bringing this needle therapy to the masses.

Skills Required to be an Acupuncturist

To become an acupuncturist and perform needle therapy with patience and focus is a more challenging task than it looks like. You should have the following qualities before you decide whether you want to become an acupuncturist or not. 

  • Deep Listening– Acupuncturists are very different from regular doctors. They perform sessions on the patient and not just prescribe medication. Therefore, to instil trust between the patient and you, make sure that you first listen to the patient’s complaint carefully before diagnosis.
  • Multi-practices– Apart from Acupuncture, you should have the ability to know about Western medicine as well if you wish to practise in the West. This can also be instrumental in your patients’ trust-building. 
  • Patient– Since Acupuncture is an alternative medicine not many have heard of, you as an acupuncturist must stay calm and answer all of their doubts clarified. 
  • Positive Energy– The flow of energy during the needle therapy should be positive for the patient to feel comfortable when they are in the midst of it. 
  • Good Hand-Eye Coordination and a Steady Hand– To perform needle therapy, you need good coordination and steady hands to avoid hurting the patient.

Responsibilities of an Acupuncturist

If you do become an acupuncturist in the future, these will be your primary responsibilities:

  • Checking the patient’s medical history
  • Learn about the symptoms that the patient is experiencing 
  • Check at what points on the body where the needles should be inserted 
  • Carefully demonstrate the therapy without hurting the patient 

As an acupuncturist, you can heal:

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Knee Pain 
  • Pinched, numb or tingling Nerves
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Menstrual Irregularities 
  • Fertility 
  • Skin Issues such as Acne, Rashes, etc

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Guide to Become an Acupuncturist

Becoming an Acupuncturist is a little more complicated than we think. It is easier than becoming a doctor but it comes with its own challenges. We can make it easy by providing you with a guide packed with all information. 

10+2 years of education

For any degree courses after the 12th, you require at least 12 years of education. Also, if you wish to become an Acupuncturist, ensure that you choose science subjects of Physics, Biology and Chemistry in your 12th. 

Bachelor’s in Acupuncture 

After your 12th, you can choose to study for a bachelor’s in Acupuncture for 3 to 4 years. Although, if you wish to pursue an MD in Acupuncture in the future, choose MBBS. For a bachelor’s in Acupuncture, you do not require any entrance exam. For MBBS, you can give any of the medical entrance exams.

Choice after Graduation

After graduation, you can either pursue a master’s in Acupuncture or look for a job. Job opportunities are a little less as you haven’t become an expert. A master’s in Acupuncture is a 1 to 2-year degree that will train you to become an Acupuncturist. 

PhD in Acupuncture 

As mentioned before, Acupuncture is a field that requires intensive research and change of approach. So if you wish to contribute to Acupuncture as a researcher, you can pursue a PhD in Acupuncture. You need to complete your master’s in Acupuncture to be eligible for a PhD. You have to register yourself with the Acupuncture body in India or overseas to start practising after your masters. 

Top Universities Abroad to Become an Acupuncturist

Very few universities abroad offer courses in Acupuncture, especially from the West. However, if you wish to become an Acupuncturist from abroad, you have the following popular choices:- 

Top Universities in India to Become an Acupuncturist

The salary and job you are offered depend upon the universities that you choose to pursue your education to become an Acupuncturist from. Here are the top universities in India to be an Acupuncturist:

  • Annamalai University, Chidambaram
  • Himalayan University, Itanagar
  • Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports Academy, Chennai
  • YBN University, Ranchi 
  • Singhania University, Jhunjhunu 
  • Swami Vivekananda Subharti University, Meerut
  • Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, Kolkata
  • Pragyan International University, Ranchi
  • Adarsh India Technical and Paramedical College, Muzaffarpur 
  • Bir Tekendrajit University, Imphal 
  • Alpha Institute of Management and Technology Science, Bangalore
  • Rajiv Gandhi Paramedical Institute, Delhi
  • BAYC Institute Bihar 
  • Maharishi Aurobindo Subharti Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, Meerut
  • National Institute of Naturopathy, Pune 

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To become an Acupuncturist and practise legally, you need to complete your academic journey first. You can pursue an undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD, certificate or diploma in Acupuncture. Courses in Acupuncture are a part of the alternative medicine courses. Popular courses to become an Acupuncturist are given below:

  • Associate Degree in Acupuncture
  • Bachelor of Acupuncture 
  • BSc in Acupuncture 
  • Certificate Course in Acupuncture
  • Certificate Course in Acupuncture and Reflexology 
  • Diploma in Acupuncture 
  • Master of Acupuncture 
  • MD in Acupuncture 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Acupuncture 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Alternative Medicine (Acupuncture)


We all know that Acupuncture is a type of needle therapy. But needle therapy is just a drop in the ocean of Acupuncture. When you study to become an Acupuncturist, you will come across and study the following subjects:

  • Disease and Treatment Methods by Meridian Points 
  • Anatomy with reference to Acupressure
  • Yin Yang Concept with Five Element Theory
  • Advanced Reflexology 
  • Method of Tonification and Sedition of Meridian of Point
  • General Knowledge about the Magnet
  • General Food Therapy 
  • General Color Therapy
  • History, Philosophy and Principles of the Acupressure Theory
  • Important Meridian Point Diagnosis

Eligibility Requirements to be an Acupuncturist

Now that we know what will be expected from you once you become an Acupuncturist, let’s have a look at what academic qualifications and eligibility criteria you need to fulfil to start your journey as an acupuncturist. 

Courses to become an Acupuncturist Minimum Eligibility Requirements
Bachelor’s degree 10+2 years of education
Master’s and Doctoral degree NEET PG Entrance Exam Bachelor’s degree in Acupuncture/Medicine/Alternative Medicine/HealthcareMaster’s degree for Doctoral courses
MD in Acupuncture  MBBS from a university recognised by the Medical Council of India
Diploma in Acupuncture  Minimum 10th class passing certificate 

The eligibility criteria given above are general and there can be university-specific eligibility requirements as well. Also, satisfying the eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to any acupuncture courses.

Cost of Becoming an Acupuncturist

The cost of being an Acupuncturist depends on the following factors:

  • Which country do you want to pursue your academics in?
  • Which university or academic institute have you chosen?
  • What is the tuition fee for the Acupuncture course in the university?

Here’s the cost of being an Acupuncturist in different countries:

Country Cost of being an Acupuncturist (INR)
India 2-4 lakhs 
UK 4.98 lakhs per year
USA 24.46 lakhs
Canada  18.22 lakhs 
China  24.7 lakhs

Job Opportunities after Becoming Acupuncturist

Since Acupuncture is such a novel concept in India, the scope is extremely high. Also, we are witnessing a modern generation that believes in ancient, healthy and organic traditions to reduce climatic waste. Therefore, like Ayurveda, Acupuncture is also gaining popularity around the globe. You can become an Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Naturopaths, Nutritional Therapist and Massage Therapist after your education in Acupuncture. The average salary of all these job roles in India are given below:

Job Role Average Salary per year (INR)
Acupuncturist 4-7 lakhs
Chiropractor  5-11 lakhs
Naturopaths 4-6 lakhs
Nutritional Therapist  4-6 lakhs
Massage Therapist  4-5 lakhs


How long does it take to become an Acupuncturist?

It takes 3-5 years to become an Acupuncturist. 

What undergraduate course is required to become an Acupuncturist?

Bachelors in Acupuncture or BSc in Acupuncture are the top undergraduate courses required to become an Acupuncturist. 

How much can you earn after graduation as an Acupuncturist?

You can earn 3-6 lakhs after graduation as an Acupuncturist. 

What can I do after my graduation in Acupuncture?

You can look for a job or choose to specialise in Acupuncture by pursuing postgraduate courses. 

Is there any entrance exam for undergraduate courses in Acupuncture?

No, no entrance exams are required for undergraduate courses in Acupuncture.

Do we have to give an entrance exam for masters in Acupuncture?

Yes, you have to give NEET PG or university-specific entrance exam for masters in Acupuncture. 

Is Yin-Yang a part of Acupuncture?

Yes, Yin and Yang are the principles of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), therefore a part of Acupuncture. 

How much can you earn as an Acupuncturist?

You can earn 4-7 lakhs in the start as an Acupuncturist and then as you build your clientele, you can earn much more. 

Becoming an Acupuncturist is highly lucrative as the West is adopting more and more traditions like Yoga, Ayurveda and Acupuncture from the East. If you wish to become an Acupuncturist after studying abroad, call Leverage Edu at 1800-572-000 and book your first counselling session for free!

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