Acupuncture business in france?

Hello all _

I am looking for some advice regarding setting up a potential acupuncture practice in France. I have UK masters degree qualifications in acupuncture and 18 years experience including teaching on the subject, but understand in France only medical physicians can use acupuncture whereas in the UK others such as myself(Im a physiotherapist) can be registered. I have searched as far as I can and have heard that if I might be able to register as an 'energy practitioner' . Can anyone guide me ? Many thanks.

Just in case - there is this on the EQF site you may find useful:

The French version is available too. Download and print both and carry them officiously under your arm to offer people scoffing at your qualifications to read.

Where would you like to set up? Ever since I moved from the Cambridge area and therewith lost my precious Mrs Ly I have sought a good replacement. With the broken shoulder I suspect acu would help a lot... So, taking a bit of 'shopping' advantage. Either way, keep us updated.

Thank you Andrew I have e mailed him- well see what he suggests.....

Jeanne, my first post was just stating the facts found, Brian is right about EQF but the french are the worst offendors at not respecting it! I suggest you get in touch with this chap jean-Marc KESPI Président d'honneur de l'AFA (french acupuncture association) his site and enquiries are in french and english. I'm sure he'll be able to point you in the right direction ;-)

Thank you this is helpful. I think my french is good enough for patient contact but Im not sure about its sufficiency regarding the law- I might need an interpreter for that.I wont give up the idea yet though.

Could not keep my proboscis out of this one. You have a master's qualification and looking through the EQF the only thing it looks like they can demand of you is that you have French of a standard required for all the bureacracy as well as patient contact, of which the former is the harder and I wish there was physio to help us relax after gruelling bouts of it. As a highly qualified academic who was initially told I have absolutely nothing valid here in France but knowing about EQF I have made it a point to help people on this type of question and will simply say 'yes, you are qualified here'.

My physio-therapist is Dutch, partner (businesswise meant) to French therapists, one of whom displays a UK homeopathy qualification and lists acupuncture with that. He is not, as Andrew suggests, a medical doctor with a French medical degree. On the other hand our GP does acu and I believe quite a few do but there is not a very buoyant market in this area, so part of it would be doing your research into demand where you are to begin with. Look at the EQF (European Qualifications Framework) to get the details on equivalence of qualification. Too many things commonly believed not to be qualifications in France in fact are because it is a requirement within the EQF agreement area which is an EU initiative, but extends by and large to the EEA, Switzerland and other areas accepted by the EU as permissible.

Hi Jeanne, not an expert in your field but I think you have to be a doctor in medicine to be able to practice here... the following makes things a little clearer, looking at 2a and 2b, it would depend on whether you could convince the relevant authorities that your qualifications are the same as a those of a doctor or sufficiant for doing the job IN THE EYES OF FREANCH LAW (obviously you can do the job but that's never enough here in France!!!):

Selon l’article L.4111-1 du code de la Santé Publique [3] , (dans l’ancienne numérotation : article L-356) nul ne peut exercer la profession de médecin, s’il n’est :

1° : titulaire d'un diplôme, certificat ou autre titre mentionné à l’article L.4131-1

2°: de nationalité française, de citoyenneté andorrane ou ressortissant d'un État membre de la Communauté européenne ou partie à l'accord sur l'Espace économique européen, du Maroc ou de la Tunisie, sous réserve de l'application, le cas échéant, soit des règles fixées au présent chapitre, soit de celles qui découlent d'engagements internationaux autres que ceux mentionnés au présent chapitre

3° : inscrit à un tableau de l'ordre des médecins (selon l’article L.4112-1… [4] ) sous réserve des dispositions des articles L. 4112-6 et L. 4112-7

Les diplômes exigés pour l’exercice de la médecine en France sont donc selon l’article L.4131-1 du Code de la Santé Publique [5] .

1° : soit le diplôme français d'État de docteur en médecine

2° : soit, si l'intéressé est ressortissant d'un État membre de la Communauté européenne ou partie à l'accord sur l'Espace économique européen

a) Un diplôme, certificat ou autre titre de médecin délivré par l'un des ces États et figurant sur une liste établie conformément aux obligations communautaires ou à celles résultant de l'accord sur l'Espace économique européen, par arrêté des ministres chargés de l'enseignement supérieur et de la santé

b) Tout autre diplôme, certificat ou autre titre de médecin délivré par un État, membre ou partie, sanctionnant une formation de médecin acquise dans cet État et commencée avant le 20 décembre 1976, s'il est accompagné d'une attestation de cet État certifiant que le titulaire du diplôme, certificat ou titre s'est consacré de façon effective et licite aux activités de médecin pendant au moins trois années consécutives au cours des cinq années précédant la délivrance de l'attestation... Dès lors, l’acupuncteur non médecin, dont le statut n’est pas réglementé par le Code de la Santé Publique, commet le délit d’exercice illégal de la médecine défini par l’article L.4161-1 du même Code [6] . La loi nº 2001-504 du 12 juin 2001 [7] a renforcé la sanction de ce délit en punissant le contrevenant d'un an d'emprisonnement et de 100 000 F (actuellement 15 000 €) d'amende. Dans tous les cas, la confiscation du matériel ayant permis l'exercice illégal peut être prononcée en tant que peine accessoire.

You are welcome, Jeanne, and welcome to SFN by the way. Another group you could check out is the Auto-Entrepreneur group, if you are considering setting up business as self-employed. Health matters might be of interest too.

Not sure about this one but you can pop over and check it out:

Contact me if I can help in any way. And don't forget to join in the live chat in the "Main Room" some time.

Thank you Sheila- you can probably see I am new to this site. Thanks for guiding me!

Hi Jeanne. I suggest you also post this in the Business Owners group. The link is

Hi like you Ihave Masters in acupuncture and live here but only practice with personal referrals as thought not legal here. How is your research going? Are you practicing?

I still live and practice in England… visit France often and would love to be able to work here but as you say we cant work legally so I am still unable to buy and live over here. If you have any more guidance I would be grateful…

Thanks for your reply. I was hoping there was a little chink. I recently heard you can practice under the aegis of a GP if you can find one open to the idea. My French isn’t anything like good enough though

Andy Edgar

Hi Andy… sounds to me as if you need a crash-course/deep-immersion in French. It would surely be well worth the effort/cost.

With good language skills, you might be able to pursue the Acupuncture…

Hi Stella
I have reasonable french language but still believe we are unable to use our acupuncture qualifications in France unless under the radar which is not worth it. I had hoped being in the EU would have opened doors but apparently not… very frustrating as I know many ex pats would prefer Chartered Physios to treat them rather than french therapists… ho hum

@Andy_Edgar says his French is not up to it… I was aiming my advice at him.

I am confident that there will be a way… have you @Jeanne_Burnett discussed this with French Acupuncturists/Therapists ?