Always ask any practitioner about the extent of his or her training. In most states, acupuncturists are considered independent or primary care providers. This responsibility requires extensive training. In seeking a qualified herbalist, it is advisable to look for a practitioner who is comprehensively trained in Chinese herbal medicine. Some states, such as California, require that all licensed acupuncturists be trained and tested in Chinese herbal medicine. Others do not.

Have the practitioner explain the differences between Oriental Medicine and Western Medicine in easy to understand terms.

Oriental medicine has its limitations just as Western Medicine does. Look for practitioners who know their limitations and have referral networks to take care of health needs in ways they cannot.

Although it is difficult to forecast response to treatments, ask about the signs and changes that the practitioner looks for to confirm that treatments are progressing.

Inquire about what therapies will be used and why. Practitioners should be able to explain any procedure they perform.