Acupuncture in Australia: regulation, education, practice, and research

Zheng, Z 2014, 'Acupuncture in Australia: regulation, education, practice, and research', Integrative Medicine Research, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 103-110.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Acupuncture in Australia: regulation, education, practice, and research
Author(s) Zheng, Z
Year 2014
Journal name Integrative Medicine Research
Volume number 3
Issue number 3
Start page 103
End page 110
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract Acupuncture was introduced to Australia as early as in the 1880s, and is a form of complementary and alternative medicine in this country. In the past 2 decades since the 1990s, acupuncture has experienced a rapid growth. Today, nearly 4000 acupuncturists are registered with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. "Acupuncturist," "Oriental medicine practitioner," and "Chinese medicine practitioners" are protected titles for registered acupuncturists. A bachelor's degree of 4 years in related fields is the minimal requirement for registration in Australia. Three public universities and three major private colleges offer nine undergraduate and three postgraduate programs that are approved by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. Those three universities also offer Master-degree and Doctor of Philosophy programs. Acupuncture is well accepted by the Australians, with 10% having received this treatment and 80% general medical practitioners referring their patients to acupuncture service. All private health insurance schemes provide rebates to patients receiving acupuncture treatment, and third-party payment is also available in six of eight Australian states and territories. Research output in acupuncture has increased greatly since 2000. A majority of research focuses on acupuncture and Tai Chi as treatment modalities, and mainly investigates their mechanism of action, associated pain, and gynecological and respiratory conditions. The future direction of acupuncture in Australia is to introduce this medicine in hospitals and gain access to the medical benefit scheme so that acupuncture can be accessed by a wider community, in particular those who come from a disadvantaged background. In conclusion, improved education, regulation, and research of acupuncture in Australia put this country in a leading position among Western countries with respect to acupuncture services.
Subject Traditional Chinese Medicine and Treatments
Keyword(s) Acupuncture in Australia
Acupuncture research
Acupuncture practice
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.imr.2014.06.002
Copyright notice © 2014 Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine. Published by Elsevier. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
ISSN 2213-4220
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