Patient Education


If you’ve had acupuncture or read about it online, you have likely noticed some letters after TCM practitioners’ names. Here’s a quick and handy guide to what they mean…


The Post-Nominal Titles in TCM


L.AcLicensed Acupuncturist. These letters after someone’s name denote that this practitioner has received extensive training in Traditional Acupuncture, which is one part of the holistic medicine system of TCM. Upon earning their degree in Acupuncture, the practitioner must then complete a rigorous board examination process to prove themselves competent in performing acupuncture safely and effectively. Successful completion of these boards results in certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). In order to be licensed to practice acupuncture in the State of Ohio, the practitioner must then submit an application with proof of all training & certification to the Ohio Medical Board. Once approved, the practitioner is then legally allowed to place the L.Ac after their name. See here for Ohio’s complete list of requirements for Acupuncture Licensure.


Dipl. O.M. — Diplomate of Oriental Medicine. In addition to all of the above, someone who has “Dipl. O.M.” after their name has completed additional rigorous training, board examination, certification and licensure in Herbal Medicine, which is the internal medicine of TCM.


MSAOM — Master of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. This refers to the specific degree the practitioner using this designation has earned prior to completing their board examinations, certification, and licensure.


L.OM — Licensed Oriental Medicine Practitioner. This designation denotes a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine is fully licensed to practice Oriental Medicine in their state. See here for Ohio’s complete list of requirements for Oriental Medicine Licensure.


Our Best Advice

We highly recommend looking up your acupuncturist/TCM practitioner on the NCCAOM website and also, for practitioners in Ohio, on the Ohio Medical Board’s eLicense website to ensure that the practitioner is fully licensed and certified to perform acupuncture and provide expert TCM care. You deserve only the best for your health!


As always, if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, give us a call!