A recent survey of British Acupuncture Council members revealed that 98% would not give up their work if they won the lottery, and we think this statistic says it all; quite simply, acupuncturists love what they do.
And it is not just a career – you will find that the knowledge and skills that you develop through study and practice will forever affect the way that you understand yourself and those around you, and the way you see the world at large.
Acupuncturists work in many different settings, the most common being in private practice, based in a multi-disciplinary clinic or at home. They set their own hours, and often work closely with other health practitioners sharing cross-referrals. There are increasing openings in the NHS, for example midwives who have gone on to study acupuncture have set up services in hospital units, and some acupuncturists have found opportunities in primary care through various GP budget holding schemes.
Becoming a successful acupuncturist is very much like setting up any other business, requiring effort and time to establish – unless you are lucky enough to have an NHS opportunity, or take on someone else’s practice. Although it depends of course on how many hours you want to work, it takes an average of around one to two years to become fully established. If you are already practising another related discipline and have clients/patients already, this time can clearly be substantially reduced.
“I retired from the RAF after 24 years and studied for a B.A.(Hons) degree in Traditional Acupuncture. I decided acupuncture was going to be my second career after having treatment for a year, as it was instrumental in getting me back on on my feet after a series of traumatic events. It ticked all the boxes, and meant that I could be self-employed, be involved in something highly credible and effective, and help people to live their lives well and fulfil their potential.
Being an acupuncture practitioner doesn’t feel like work, because very day brings a new experience. I am continually humbled by my patients’ willingness to put their trust in me and know that it is quite simply the best thing I have ever done.”