Ever since acupuncture has become a more widely known therapy, locating an acupuncture practitioner has become an easier task. In the same manner you look for a dentist or primary care doctor, you can use the internet or a local phone directory, or even ask your family and friends for possible recommendations. Aside from that, there are also a few acupuncture organization websites online that allow you to search for recommended acupuncturists near your location. If you prefer to speak to your primary physician, he or she may be able to direct you to a practitioner as acupuncture is gaining more respect in the western medical field. You may be surprised to learn that there is an acupuncture practitioner located in your primary physician’s office.After you find a few good choice practitioners, you will want to ensure that you check up on their credentials. Much like you would want to do with your primary health providers; this assures you that the practitioner or provider in questions has the proper training from an accredited school or institution. Be aware that not every state has acupuncture training standards or certification requirements, but if you live in a state that does, ask the acupuncturist about their acupuncture training, certifications and background. Often, practitioners will place these details on their clinic websites, too.Is Certification Important?Certification does not necessarily make one an instant expert, but it does give you peace of mind when approaching a new healing modality. It is also important not to rely on your practitioner to diagnose diseases unless they also have conventional medical accreditation or training. A good practitioner will disclose this at the very beginning, usually recommending a visit to your primary doctor at the same time. While Chinese medicine trains a practitioner to address the symptoms of an ailment, it is not specifically concerned with naming specific diseases. Always see your primary doctor first if you feel you have strong symptoms or if you need a more detailed and accurate diagnosis. Again, your physician may end up referring you to an acupuncturist, but you want to make sure you address serious issues before they escalate.Once you are comfortable with the training and background of your acupuncture practitioners, all you have to do is choose which one you want to see. This is still similar to searching for a dentist or primary physician. You can ask a friend for recommendations or search for reviews online, or just schedule your first visit to see if you feel comfortable in their clinic space. Normally, the first visit will include a consultation and an initial diagnosis where the practitioner will ask specific questions about your condition and discuss treatment options. At this point, you always have the option of continuing with the suggested treatments or seeing another practitioner if you are not comfortable with the first one.To Treat Or Not To Treat?The acupuncturist will discuss the treatment costs along with your diagnosis. He or she will also talk about the length of treatment or the number of acupuncture sessions that you will need. This should all occur before any actual treatments begin. You will find that some illnesses and symptoms only require a few sessions, while others may need several weeks or months. An important tip to consider is that a conventionally trained physician who is also trained in Chinese medicine and acupuncture may charge more for their services.