Today, you can see acupuncture clinics in almost any city in America. Due to the rising number of accredited schools offering masters degrees and PhD’s in traditional Chinese medicine, the standards required to practice the medicine are continually rising. Acupuncturists in America take on a rigorous, four year course of study in acupuncture, Chinese herbology and Traditional Chinese medical diagnostics. In addition to this, throughout their training they are required to become familiar with Western medical pathophysiology and differential diagnosis, as well as staying abreast of pharmaceutical drugs and herb-drug interactions.
Currently, there is much research being done to determine how exactly acupuncture works and for what conditions it is most beneficial. There are several research clinics in the United States evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture and investigating the basic physiological mechanisms of treatment. The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH received $123.1 million in funding for the research of Alternative medicine in 2005. In China, and increasingly in America, doctors and scientists are aware of the current theories and explanations of how and why acupuncture works. They are themselves, alongside western acupuncturists, contributing to this new field of research.