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So what does all that alphabet soup mean?

- Let’s start with “L.Ac.”

It stands for Licensed Acupuncturist and it means that I have been licensed by the Oregon Medical Board to practice acupuncture.  If you are in Oregon, I recommend that you not have acupuncture unless it is being done by someone with L.Ac. after her/his name.  

It is certainly legal for other people (like M.D.s) to do acupuncture but those people may have as few as 200 hours training in acupuncture (compared to the more than 3,000 hours of training that I received).

In order to receive an L.Ac. designation by the state you must have a degree from an accredited acupuncture school and have passed a national qualifying exam.

- What does “M.Ac.O.M.” mean?

It stands for Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  I received my MAcOM from Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), which I am proud to report is one of the top two acupuncture schools in the US.  For more information about OCOM, click here.

- What does “Dipl.O.M.” mean?

Remember that national qualifying exam I mentioned above?  Well, it’s really like four exams.  If you pass the acupuncture and point location exam, you are designated as a Diplomate in Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac.). 

If you pass an additional exam in Chinese herbology, you are designated as a Diplomate in Chinese Herbology (Dipl.C.H.).  If you also pass an exam in Asian bodywork, you are designated as a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (Dipl. O.M.).

For more information about the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine which administers these exams or about the exams themselves, click here.  To find acupuncturists who have passed the exams in your local area, click the previous link and then click on "Find a Practitioner" or click here.

- What does “ADS” mean?

It stands for Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist.  It is a designation given by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) which indicates that a person has been trained in the five needle protocol for treatment of addiction.  For more information on NADA, click here.