The traditional method of obtaining a degree for higher education involves attending a college or an institute. However, with the advent of technology in the form of videotapes, CD-ROMs, closed-circuit television and the Internet, a student can now receive relevant classroom information at home. This form of learning obtained without attending university or an educational institute is called distance learning or correspondence learning. Distance education involves a combination of audiovisual lectures and objective examinations. A student can choose from a variety of programs to study such as medicine, law, business administration and so on. Various institutes also offer distance learning for acupuncture. Acupuncture is a Chinese method to cure and prevent ailments by piercing sharp needles in specific areas of the body. Distance learning programs for massage llow a student to learn the technique from the comforts of home without having to attend a college. It must be noted that most professional courses cannot be pursued through distance learning alone and require some amount of practical training. This is especially true of medical fields of knowledge such as acupuncture
Cyber distance programs to study acupuncture are popular, and a student can obtain a password to access an institute's website to study class material online. Usually, a student needs to enroll for a combination of online and classroom sessions to obtain a master's degree, as acupuncture requires extensive hands-on training. There are many institutes that offer distance- learning programs for acupuncture, ranging from CEU (continuing education units) courses to advanced training programs. Some institutes offer distance-learning courses for the re-certification of practitioners of Chinese medicine. These courses can be chosen on the basis of modules or on an hourly basis. The course material covers the history, theory and techniques of acupuncture. Courses that offer tools such as acupuncture DVD and video are ideal for acupuncturists or students of acupuncture to improve their clinical expertise.
Students interested in a correspondence course for acupuncture must verify the credibility of the program, as well as the institute offering it. Some institutes are notorious for offering substandard courses and unrecognized degrees. Many websites allow students to attend a free online class before registering. It is advisable to try these test classes before paying a fee.