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Acupuncture and Acupressure

In use for centuries, acupuncture and acupressure gained popularity in the United States just a few decades ago. Both practices target specific pressure points in the body to provide therapeutic relief. Keep reading to find out about education and career options in acupuncture and acupressure.

Inside Acupuncture and Acupressure

Oriental medicine and acupuncture have been in practice for about 3,000 years, but these techniques are relatively new in the United States. Only since the 1970s have they begun to achieve recognition as legitimate healing practices and alternatives to Western medicine. Acupuncture involves the insertion of small, thin needles into pressure points in the body, each of which corresponds with the treatment of a particular ailment. Acupressure also manipulates the body's pressure points, but it involves the use of therapeutic massage rather than needles.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2010, oriental medicine and acupressure are growing in popularity as alternative treatments for medical ailments (www.bls.gov). The Federal Drug Administration estimates that up to 12 million patients each year seek treatment of illness through acupuncture, according to the National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance.

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