Western acupuncture education for New Zealand physiotherapists
Early acupuncture training programmes in New Zealand were vocationally directed with a focus on the acquisition of clinical skills. Contemporary education has seen the move to postgraduate university-based programmes. Postgraduate Certificate in Acupuncture programmes are available to physiotherapists at two New Zealand universities, Auckland University of Technology and the University of Otago. The rationale for university-based education and the educational philosophies of the two programmes are presented. Tensions with respect to New Zealand acupuncture guidelines and short-course education practices are discussed. The necessity and advantages of university-led acupuncture education programmes are argued. The importance of evidence-based practice in today’s health environment requires practitioners to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of current research. This will ensure that acupuncture remains a ‘tool in the toolbox’ for physiotherapists.