Ian is a self-employed acupuncturist who graduated from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine with a degree in acupuncture.
Ian Stones is a self-employed acupuncturist who graduated with a BSc Hons in Acupuncture in 2007 from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, affiliated to Kingston University. He enjoys helping people identify needs and treating them using various acupuncture techniques.
I decided to become an acupuncturist after receiving treatment myself. I found the subject really fascinating, and when I decided to make a career change, it was the obvious choice for me.
The degree course was very interesting; it covered a vast amount of Chinese medicine theory and included research, western medicine and practical skills such as needling, taking pulses and massage. The final six months of the course was spent treating patients under supervision and enabled me to gain enough experience to qualify for the permission to practise certificate which gives you the right to practise as an acupuncturist.
After graduation, I was offered a position as an acupuncturist at two different clinics, and these opportunities have enabled me to build up a client list.
Being an acupuncturist involves many skills. You have to be a good communicator to help establish good relationships with your clients. You need to be able to assess their needs quickly and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. There’s also the physical side of the job, inserting the needles and helping your client to be as relaxed as possible. Outside the treatment room, I also carry out research into different conditions. All this alongside the administrative side of being self-employed - managing all my accounts, taxes, etc.
I really enjoy my job - I get to meet lots of interesting people and give them the chance to talk, relax and ultimately feel better about themselves. Knowing that I have helped them through the use of acupuncture is a brilliant feeling. Being self-employed is also very empowering. It does have its own stresses and strains, but I am my own boss and have a huge amount of flexibility in my life and work.
I am part of a practice, and I enjoy being part of a bigger team. I think it can be easy to feel isolated as a practitioner. Nonetheless, I do hope to open my own home-based clinic one day.
There are some downsides to the job though. Sometimes patients simply don’t improve, and it can be very hard to accept that as simply part of the job and not take it to heart. It does help to set expectations realistically from the beginning - for both you and your patients. The other difficult aspect is actually getting started in your career. Anyone who is self-employed knows it’s not easy to get a business off the ground, and acupuncture is no exception. You need to be aware that some weeks will be quiet and some can be very busy. You have to plan your finances around this. Having a long-term plan is important - it doesn’t happen overnight.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.