Although acupuncture has been a popular treatment method for thousands of years in China, it has only gained popularity in the West in recent years.
There are many online courses available for your convenience if you want to learn how to practice acupuncture.
1. Medical Acupuncture Treatment & Training Diploma Course by Manik Miah
This acupuncture diploma course covers the basics in a clear and simple way.
It provides a comprehensive section on anatomy, explaining the twelve acupuncture meridians and how they relate to common human diseases and conditions. You will also learn valuable techniques, such as dry cupping, acupressure, and massage.
Although this course is an introduction to acupuncture and is ideal for beginners, it has 74 in-depth sections, and you need to understand each section fully before proceeding to the next one.
I recommend this informative course if you want to gain deep acupuncture knowledge with the goal of becoming a practitioner.
2. Chinese Acupuncture – The Jin Three Needle Technique by Tim Vukan
As its name implies, the Jin Three Needle Technique course focuses on the Jin three needle technique, which uses three needles to address mild to severe conditions and pain.
The course also includes basic Chinese language training that is relevant to acupuncture, acupuncture terminology, and pronunciation.
Unlike the course mentioned above, this one does not give a broad overview of acupuncture and focuses only on one technique.
This makes it suitable if you have already attended a basic acupuncture course and are interested in learning the Jin three needle technique. It’s also a fantastic course for those studying toward a traditional Chinese medicine qualification.
3. Practical Acupuncture – Immediate Pain Relief by Sérgio Ferreira
Like the course mentioned in the previous point, this one focuses on one technique to relieve pain for various conditions.
You will learn how to use distal acupuncture as an instant pain relief method and also some other important acupuncture elements:
- How to diagnose common conditions using the meridian theory
- Selecting suitable needle points
- How to use the correct needling technique
- Basic anatomy and channels
The course is designed to enhance your acupuncture knowledge and doesn’t provide a good foundation for those without prior training. It’s, therefore, perfect if you already have an acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine certificate and want to learn pain relief techniques.
4. Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture – Basic by YiXinTang Chinese Medicine Clinic
The Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture course is an excellent introduction to this treatment method for pain, mobility problems, and neurological conditions. Instead of focusing on meridians in the body, the acupuncturist places needles in pressure points along the scalp.
You will learn about the basic pressure points in the scalp and how to locate the cranial nerves.
A minimum requirement for this course is to be a licensed medical practitioner, such as:
- An acupuncturist
- A medical doctor
- A dentist
- Nurse practitioner
In addition, you should also have basic acupuncture training, making the course suitable for medical professionals who would like to learn an effective acupuncture technique.
5. Hybrid Acupuncture Certification Course by Drs Jim and Chuck Ventresca
Are you looking for an acupuncture course that isn’t prerecorded and one in which you can actively participate?
If you have also completed your acupuncture degree or diploma, or you are a Western medical practitioner looking to use acupuncture in your practice, this course is perfect.
The 100-hour course is intense, consists of live weekend webinars presented and is presented by the owners of the reputable AcuPractuce Seminars company.
The course assumes that you already have an in-depth understanding of human anatomy and teaches you how to treat a wide range of conditions using acupuncture.
You will learn how to diagnose your patients using the meridian theory and have the opportunity to practice your technique over video, under supervision by the course presenters.
This course will also help you prepare if you are a chiropractor and wish to obtain acupuncture board certification.
Unlike some others on this list, this course not one for beginners.
6. AcuPro Academy Chinese Medicine Online Courses by Clara Cohen
AcuPro Academy offers a wide range of comprehensive acupuncture courses. You can sign up for the free versions or opt to pay if you want to receive points from the course toward your continuing professional development as an acupuncturist.
You can choose from various online Chinese medicine courses, including:
- Gynecology & TCM
- Fertility & TCM
- Pregnancy & TCM
- Mental Health & TCM
- Mental Disorders & TCM
- Cosmetic Acupuncture
- Auricular acupuncture
Each course consists of three to four parts, each between 20 and 30 minutes long, and you can download course notes to use and refer to later.
These courses are recommended for people with basic traditional Chinese medicine training. Unlike the courses mentioned above, they are shorter and more specialized, making them great if you work full-time.
ACE (Acupuncture Continuing Education) has various experts presenting their courses aimed at trained traditional Chinese medicine professionals who want to learn about new advances.
After completing your online course, you will take a quiz and, if you pass, they will give you a course completion certificate. You can use it to present to your state’s acupuncture board to prove that you are continuing your professional development.
Each course covers a range of interesting topics, with examples including:
- New acupuncture techniques
- Chinese herbal medicine
- Ethical billing methods
- Anti-aging techniques
- HIPAA and insurance
- Smoking cessation
Therefore, you can select a course that interests you and also benefit from their free CPR course with each purchase.
8. Everyday Chinese Medicine online course by Experts from the University of Hong Kong
The following experts present this introduction to traditional Chinese medicine:
- Professor Vincent Chung
- Professor Zhi-xiu Lin
- Professor Wendy Wong
- Dr. Ching Liong
- Professor Justin Che-Yuen Wu
The course is aimed at the general public and provides an exciting and comprehensive introduction to traditional Chinese medicine.
It is nine hours long, the acupuncture programs have subtitles in many languages, and you will receive a certificate once completed.
It’s a fantastic choice if you don’t necessarily want to practice acupuncture but still learn about it.
It teaches you the basics of acupuncture and herbal medicine you can apply in your daily life and use to treat common ailments yourself.
You’ll learn the basic theory of Chinese medicine, acupressure, and meditation techniques. It has a similar syllabus to the first course mentioned but is more concise and ideal for those who don’t have much time for studying or clinical training.
9. Acupuncture Course by Biao Lu
This is another excellent course for those who already have an acupuncture qualification and wish to increase their knowledge.
It is presented on behalf of the Unversity of East-West Medicine Continuing Education Program. You can earn points with your state’s acupuncture board to prove that you’re continuing your professional development.
In addition to being a qualified acupuncture practitioner, you also need to understand Chinese, as the course is presented in Simplified Chinese.
After completing the course, you will have more in-depth knowledge on how to:
- Educate patients on managing risk factors
- Justify your treatment methods for neurological conditions
- Study past cases and apply them to your practice and treatment methods
10. The History of Acupuncture by Jessica Kennedy
Are you interested in acupuncture’s origins and want to learn more about how it has become a popular and effective way of treating multiple conditions? If so, this interesting course will teach you everything you need to know.
This course will prove that acupuncture has a fascinating history and, although you won’t learn any techniques, you’ll have an excellent background if you want to begin your traditional Chinese medicine studies.
You don’t need any prior acupuncture training to attend this online course, which lasts only 3.5 hours at your
You don’t need any prior acupuncture training to attend this online course, which lasts only 3.5 hours at your own pace.
11. Cosmetic Acupuncture and Facial Rejuvenation by Lana Marconi
Lana Marconi’s cosmetic acupuncture and facial rejuvenation course teach licensed acupuncturists to perfect the following cosmetic techniques:
- Jade rolling
- Derma rolling
- Facial gua sha
- Acupressure massage
Like AcuPro Academy’s courses (mentioned in point six), this is a specialized course and not suitable for unqualified acupuncturists.
This is because the techniques taught in the course involve using needles on patients, which requires licensing.
If you’re a licensed acupuncturist, this online course gives you points toward your state’s acupuncture board’s continuing professional development program.
Pictorial Atlas of Acupuncture: An Illustrated Manual of Acupuncture Points by You-Lin Lian
Looking for an adjunct to your acupuncture studies, or would you like to read a book about acupuncture basics instead of attending a course?
In that case, this illustrated atlas of acupuncture points should be a strong consideration because it clearly depicts the various acupressure points and sites for needle placement.
It is also a great textbook if you have already completed an acupuncture course and don’t want to lose the information you have learned.
The book has 352 informative pages and many colorful and detailed illustrations explaining the main meridian landmarks.
Acupuncture Points Handbook: A Patient’s Guide to the Locations and Functions of over 400 Acupuncture Points by Deborah Bleecker
This 265-page book (available on Amazon.com) is everything a layperson or acupuncture student needs to learn the basics of acupressure points. It shows you how you can provide self-treatment for various ailments and is a good introduction to the field.
The book is comprehensive enough to be a standalone volume.
It’s also written in clear language, explaining concepts in simple terms, and keeping the reader interested in the content.
Since the book’s contents will be common knowledge for qualified acupuncturists, it doesn’t make a good office reference book.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you cannot attend an acupuncture course in person, there are, thankfully, many online courses available.
Acupuncture can be a very rewarding career if you want to help people improve their health using an effective method without drugs.
Online learning can be a great way to begin your acupuncturist education.
- National Library of Medicine: Distribution of licensed acupuncturists and educational institutions in the United States at the start of 2018
- WebMD: Cupping Therapy
- eLotus: Jin’s Three Needle Technique
- NCCAOM: Homepage
- New York Times: Acupuncture Is Popular, but You’ll Need to Pay
WHITE, Adrian, CUMMINGS, Mike, et FILSHIE, Jacqueline. An introduction to western medical acupuncture. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018.
ZHANG, Yan, LAO, Lixing, CHEN, Haiyan, et al. Acupuncture use among American adults: what acupuncture practitioners can learn from National Health Interview Survey 2007?. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, vol. 2012.
TAIT, Jo et CUMMINGS, Mike. Education, training and continuing professional development in medical acupuncture–a contemporary overview. Acupuncture in Medicine, 2004, vol. 22, no 2, p. 75-82.
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