Get a recommendation. A referral from a friend or family member who’s been treated by the acupuncturist can make the process of finding an acupuncturist shorter and easier. Be sure to ask about their condition, the treatment they received and how long it lasted.

Ask your doctor. Your doctor may be able to provide a referral, advise you on your options, or direct you to other medical personnel that can help. When considering alternative treatments it’s always good to consult with your doctor and keep them updated on alternative medical care you receive.

Research credentials. Requirements for practitioners can vary, however most states require they obtain a license. Be sure to know what the laws are and choose one that is licensed by a recognized national organization.

Find out about education. All acupuncturist must have a certificate of course completion. Make sure it is from an accredited institution, find out where it’s located and how long the program lasts. Accredited institution’s training programs last at least three years.

Ask about experience. Find out how long they’ve been practicing and their experience. Though a new practitioner could still effectively treat you, a more experienced one could indicate the ability to treat a wider variety of conditions. Also relying on somebody with more experience might put you more at ease and their experience might lead to more specialized treatment for your situation. It also helps to know what ailments they have experience treating or if they specialize in a certain area.

Make sure you feel comfortable. Holistic forms of medicine require the practitioner to become acquainted with the person and you’ll have to reveal personal details about your health, in addition to your mental and emotional state. If you do not feel comfortable with the practitioner it may be difficult to speak with them and you might leave out important information that could be integral to your treatment. Find somebody that you are comfortable speaking with and that can put you at ease.