Full members of ETCMA


The ETCMA represents 25 member organisations. There are over 14,000 practitioners within these member organisations who practice acupuncture and chinese medicine within Europe.

Do you have questions concerning the status of Acupuncture and TCM in a particular European country? Select a country and see which member organisation operates there and get to know the legal situation regarding TCM of the chosen nation. If you wish to find a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese medicine in a particular country you can access this by selecting an organisation in your chosen country.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands there are neither legal recognition nor restrictions to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or acupuncture in the Netherlands. In general TCM therapy is charged privately; some health insurers reimburse (part of) the treatment is the practitioner is member of a TCM organisation. The rules for reimbursement vary per insurer. Chinese herbs and herbal products are classified as foods and food supplements and can be imported and marketed without registration or notification. These products are, however, not reimbursable.

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    Nederlandse Vereniging voor Acupunctuur

    Dutch Association for Acupuncture

  • zhong

    Nederlandse Vereniging voor Traditionele Chinese Geneeskunde (ZHONG)

    Dutch Association of Chinese Traditional Medicine


Medical treatment, including Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM, may only be given by a medical doctor or Heilpraktiker. Medical doctors have an academic degree. Heilpraktikers passed a specialised exam at the Health Office that is on parr with the first state exams at university. Heilpraktikers treat almost all conditions, excluding only certain infectious diseases, gynaecological problems and dentistry. Treatment is only covered by private insurance and mostly charged privately.

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    Arbeitsgemeinschaft für klassische Akupunktur und Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin e.V.

    Arbeitsgemeinschaft für klassische Akupunktur und Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin e.V. (AGTCM)


There is no law concerning practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Finland. With adequate training any practitioner can use acupuncture, moxa, cupping, herbal therapy or other TCM modalities. Currently, the Finnish Social and Health Ministry is creating a law for all alternative medicine practitioners. National insurance covers part of the acupuncture treatment done by medical doctors and physiotherapists. Some private insurances occasionally cover treatments done by non-medical acupuncturists.

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    Suomen perinteisen kiinalaisen lääketiteteen yhdistys r.y (FinnAcu)

    Finnish Traditional Chinese Medicine Society of Acupuncture and Herbs


Sweden knows two acupuncture systems: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and a Swedish invention of stimulating the afferent sensory nervous system. TCM acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are classified as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and are not used within the official healthcare system. The afferent sensory nervous system acupuncture is used in the Swedish healthcare system – the technique can be learned in 14 days of training. This method is for pain relief only.

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    Svenska Akupunkturförbundet Traditionell Kinesisk Medicin (SATCM)

    Swedish Acupuncture Association for Traditional Chinese Medicine


There are at present no restrictions towards practising acupuncture in Norway. The Law of Alternative Treatment of Disease draws attention to serious health risks with regard to therapeutic modalities performed by unauthorised health professionals. Therapeutic modalities such as acupotomology, warming needles and intramuscular stimulation fall into this category of caution. An estimate of between 900-1300 authorised health professionals practise acupuncture in Norway today. Acupuncture is not reimbursed by the National Health Insurance Office in Norway today. Clients can get tax reduction for expenditure in complementary and alternative medicine on their annual income taxes. Private health insurance sometimes cover expenditure in complementary and alternative medicine such as acupuncture.

  • nor_AF

    Norwegian Acupuncture Association

    Norwegian Acupuncture Association

  • nor_nnh

    Norske Naturterapeuters Hovedorganisasjon (NNH)

    Norwegian Association of Natural Medicine (NNH)


At present there is no government legislation in the United Kingdom (UK) covering the practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) such as acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine. Professional associations such as BAcC wish to achieve statutory regulation of acupuncture; until then, voluntarily self-regulation with the Professional Standards Authority is applied. Most people who choose to have acupuncture consult independent practitioners and pay for their treatment privately. There are some health insurance plans that reimburse the cost of such treatment, however many will only cover the cost of treatment provided by practitioners who also have western medical qualifications (medical doctors, physiotherapists etc).

  • British-Acupuncture-Council (2)-1

    British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)

    British Acupuncture Council (BAcC)


All acupuncturists operate under common law. There are 5 professional associations federating into one over arching council. At present all regulation is voluntary but the Dept of Health facilitated talks between the associations since 2007. A Health Professionals Council (CORU) has been formed to gain Statutory Self Regulation. Patients pay for treatment privately but up to 50% of this is reimbursed by healthcare insurers.

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    Irish Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine

    Irish Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (IRCHM)

  • ir_afpa

    Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association

    Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association (AFPA)

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    Find a member

    The Tradicional Chinese Medicine Council of Ireland Limited - TCMCI also known by Acupuncture Council of Irland - ACI, was found in 2006


Belgium has almost thirty years of history with the acceptance and legality of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 1987 research into complementary medicine (Sermeus 1987) had promising results regarding the effect of complementary medicine. Despite those results it took almost twenty years to change the very closed medical profession. In 1999 Belgium passed an important an progressive law: Colla’s Law that foresees the installation of four commissions for the following therapies (homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy and chiropractic). The law aims to protect patients by standardising education and discriminate qualified from unqualified practitioners. A commission sets the standard and the profession will be protected by law. The law also requires federations to help organise scientific research. Since 2005 the commission is installed and starts the necessary work to establish a law and legalise the four professions. Now, approximately one in two Belgians visits a complementary practitioner.

  • be_eufom

    EUFOM federation for acupuncturists

    EUFOM federation for acupuncturists

  • be_baf

    Belgian Acupunctors Federation

    Belgian Acupunctors Federation

  • be_abadic

    Belgian Association of Acupuncturists graduates of China / Association Belge Des Acupuncteurs Diplomés de Chine

    Belgian Association of Acupuncturists graduates of China
    Association Belge Des Acupuncteurs Diplomés de Chine


Acupuncturist is an officially recognised paramedical job, to be practiced by both medical doctors and non medical therapeutics. There are recommendations about program, teaching hours, conditions of certification et cetera. Other Traditional Chinese Medicine practices such as herbalist of phtyoteraoeutist are not recognised by law. Western medicine acupuncture in the treatment of pain is funded by National Health Fund (NFZ) only if done in Pain Management Clinic.

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    Polskie Towarzystwo Tradycyjnej Medycyny ChiDskiej (PTTMC)

    Polskie Towarzystwo Tradycyjnej Medycyny ChiDskiej (PTTMC)
    Polish Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine (PTTMC) 

Czech Republic

Acupuncture is legal by the Czech law published by the ministerial order in 1981. The therapy can only be given by doctors who graduated in western medicine and are clinically attested before following and pass a government authorised acupuncture course of about 100 hours. According to Czech law, acupuncture has no clinically proven effect and therefor cannot replace common western treatment. The Czech Law does not recognise the herbal therapy as used in traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbs are provided as special food supplements, must meet specific conditions and be registered as a food product. Subscription of herbs is registered as a lifestyle advice or a sale of products.

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    Czech Chamber of Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Komora Tradicní cínské medicíny (KTCM)
    Czeck Chamber of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CCTCM)


Only medical doctors can legally diagnose and use acupuncture. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) who are not medical doctors are however tolerated. Some private insurance companies reimburse TCM in part.

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    Confédération française de Médecine Traditionnelle Chinoise (C.F.M.T.C.)

    French Confederation of TCM


The laws regarding acupuncture and other Chinese herbal modalities vary widely with the 26 regions Swiss law divides the country. In general Medical Doctors can practise acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment – and if they have an ASA-Fähigkeitsausweis acupuncture is reimbursed by the national health insurance. The laws for non medical doctors vary widely: from prohibition to no regulations at all. Since January 2001, herbal substances have been regarded as medicine by the federal government. This means that in general only medical doctors can subscribe them. In many regions however, prescribing Chinese herbs is tolerated. The practice of qigong, Chinese dietary therapy and tui na massage is allowed in most regions. Chinese medicine is covered by a special 'alternative medicine supplementary insurance' many Swiss have subscribed to. This reimburses the cost of Chinese medicine and other other alternative healthcare modalities such as homeopathy, reflexology, kinesiology etc.

  • logo-retina_tcm-fachverband suiça

    Schweizerische Berufsorganisation für TCM (SBO-TCM)

    TCM Fachverband Schweiz
    Association Professionnelle Suisse de MTC
    Associazione professionale svizzera di MTC
    TCM Association Switzerland


Legislation of acupuncture is "on the table" in parliament. The upcoming law requires all future courses in acupuncture to be recognised as an academic bachelor's degree. Today there are approximately 1500 active practitioners in Israel, of them about 300 are medical doctors. All treatments are privately funded. All major hospitals and health organisations have private out-patient clinics for Alternative Medicine, partially subsidised for their members. Private health insurance programs offer partial reimbursement for private treatments as well.

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    Israeli Association for Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Israeli Association for Traditional Chinese Medicine (I.A.T.C.M.)


Currently we have no restrictions on the practice of TCM in Denmark, but the Danish Health Authorities have made an approval system (RAB) that ensures that the practitioner meets a certain level of education. Accupuncturists can only become a member of an ETCMA Association if they have this approval

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    Praktiserende Akupunktører (PA)

    Association of Acupuncture Practitioners

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    Danske Akupunktører

    Danish Acupuncture Association



In Romania the practice of acupuncture and phytotherapy is restricted to doctors, although the law governing the practice of alternative medicine is unclear and contradictory in places, and hence those who do not have a medical training background can also find legal ways to practice. Acupuncture as a treatment has had periods in which it has been reimbursed by the national health insurance system, even if with only the equivalent of 3 euros per treatment. Herbal treatment is recognised by law and restricted to doctors, but the commercialisation of herbs is subject to a law that makes individualised treatment with herbs legally almost impossible, as each bundle of herbs should have a legal approval from the ministry of health.

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    TAHH Taoist Association for Holistic Healing



In Italy acupuncture can only be practiced by medical doctors. This is because acupuncture is regarded as a surgical act due to its invasiveness. Lately the Government put forward different laws, in order to define the minimum training required, which should theoretically last three years (so called “Legge stato- regione”). However at present none of these laws have been approved yet. As far as the other Chinese Medicine modalities is concerned, i.e. tuina and herbal medicine, there is not any regulations. As a matter of fact there are a number of therapists, who practice tuina without an official recognition.

  • Scuola

    Associazione Siciliana Agopuntura

    Associazione Siciliana Agopuntura

  • OTTO Logo

    O.T.T.O. Operatori Tuina-Qigong e tecniche orientali

    O.T.T.O. Operatori Tuina-Qigong e tecniche orientali 
    O.T.T.O. tuina-qigong and oriental techniques practitioners



In Portugal Traditional Chinese Medicine is regulated by public law number 71/2013 of september 2.

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    Associação de Medicina Energética IVN Portugal

    Associação de Medicina Energética IVN Portugal

    Association for Energy Medicine IVN Portugal


  • eski

    Ελληνικός Σύλλογος Κινέζικης Ιατρικής - Hellenic Society of Chinese Medicine

    Hellenic Society of Chinese Medicine 

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