Frequently Asked Questions
What to look for in an acupuncturist?
When performed by a properly trained clinician, acupuncture is a safe, effective, and holistic form of care. Your experience with acupuncture may vary depending on the provider you choose. Finding a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac) will ensure your needs are met with the highest level of training and educational standards. Licensed Acupuncturists may be generalists or have areas of specialty. It is reasonable to ask about each provider’s training and if they have a particular area of focus in their practice. Licensed Acupuncturists are the only professionals who have completed nationally accredited training and have shown competency via nationally certified board examinations specific to acupuncture.
ACAOM Accredited School
The first step toward becoming a trained and licensed acupuncturist is graduation from an accredited school. Sanctioned by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) ensures that qualifying programs meet the educational standards established by Congress.1 The degree program of choice often includes options for master’s level and doctorate level degrees. The foundation of the curriculum is centered on traditional and modern (biomedical) applications of acupuncture diagnostic theory.
Within the United States, there are rigorous training standards to become a licensed acupuncturist. Most states require a three to five-year master’s degree from an accredited acupuncture school 1 and passage of standardized board exams 2 before licensure. A master’s may be attained in acupuncture a or Oriental medicine. b A master’s degree in Oriental medicine highlights practitioners who have completed additional training and course work in Chinese herbal medicine, above and beyond the standard acupuncture course curriculum. After passage of board examinations, acupuncturists are entitled to identify themselves as a Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) 3 or Dipl. O.M. (Diplomate of Oriental Medicine) 4 by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
NCCAOM Diplomate Standing
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) provides national board certification for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine practitioners. To be eligible to take the NCCAOM exams, an applicant must have successfully completed a formal education in acupuncture or Oriental medicine through an accredited school. 1
Earning certification from the NCCAOM represents a significant professional achievement. NCCAOM certification makes an important statement about professional competence that is recognized by regulatory bodies, third-party payers, the profession, and the public.
Types of NCCAOM Certifications
- Acupuncture 3
- Three-year master’s program
- 1,905 hours/105 credits of didactic and clinical education.
- Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine 4
- Four-year master’s program in Oriental medicine.
- 2,625 hours/146 credits of didactic and clinic coursework in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine
- Certification in Chinese Herbology 5
- Four-year master’s program in Oriental medicine OR a master’s in acupuncture and a post-graduate Chinese Herbal Certificate recognized by ACAOM
- 450 hours of didactic instruction in herbs
- 210 hours of herbal clinical training
Each state has its own licensing and educational requirements to practice as an acupuncturist. Currently, 46 states plus the District of Columbia, require NCCAOM certification 6 as a prerequisite for licensure. 6 Successful completion of the Clean Needle Technique course and examination administered by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is also needed. 7 Maintenance of an active license requires ongoing professional development activities (PDAs) or continuing education units (CEUs) towards renewal.
Continuing Education and Specialties
In addition to maintaining licensing requirements, many practitioners utilize continuing education to advance their studies in a specialized area. This may be through weekend seminars or full certificate programs. These programs include pediatrics, fertility, dermatology, sports medicine, and more.
When seeking out a licensed acupuncturist with expertise in a particular field, inquire about their credentials, training, and experience in the area. Often, you will find practitioners with a history of patient testimonials and a track record of successful outcomes.
Advanced Studies: Doctorate Degrees
The Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) is a postgraduate degree and provides acupuncturists specialization within a particular field. c The DAOM entails advanced classes, clinical training, and research. It also prepares graduates for practice in integrative settings, such as hospitals, as well as academia. It is the highest level of training offered and the terminal degree in the field. 8 Currently, there are eleven accredited schools nationwide offering this level of training. 9
Following other allied health professions, such as physical therapy and pharmacy, several institutions have begun to offer an entry level or first professional doctoral degree: the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM). 10-11 In addition to the aforementioned master’s degree curriculum, this program entails coursework that provides supplementary skills for practice in multidisciplinary settings and referral networks that support collaborative approaches to health care. 12
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a holistic treatment which incorporates the use of acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion, physical therapies, dietary and lifestyle guidance to restore balance to the body. It is not uncommon to incorporate acupuncture in conjunction with other forms of care. This may help to speed healing and rehabilitation after a health crisis, pain syndrome, or emotional trauma.
Acupuncture is a safe, effective and relaxing treatment for a variety of health conditions. The number of treatments you will need depends on your condition and treatment plan. While working to decrease your symptoms, acupuncture also frequently produces a feeling of well-being and deep relaxation.
What is an Acupuncture Treatment?
Your care is based on a medical diagnosis and a treatment plan developed during your initial clinical consultation. The assessment is based on medical history, presentation and onset of symptoms, as well as pulse and tongue diagnostics. After a diagnosis is made, the most appropriate and effective treatment plan will be chosen based on the diagnosis of a pattern or set of patterns. For example, five people might see an acupuncture practitioner all complaining of migraine headaches, however, each patient may be diagnosed with a completely different Chinese medical pattern. This pattern will be based on their main complaint and unique symptomatology.
What does Acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture enjoys a high level of evidence for a variety of conditions. 13 Research into acupuncture as a medical treatment has grown exponentially in the past 20 years, increasing at twice the rate of research over other methods of care in biomedicine. 14
Over this period, there have been over 13,000 studies conducted in 60 countries, including hundreds of meta-analyses summarizing the results of thousands of human and animal studies. Acupuncture is recognized by medical experts as a viable intervention for a spectrum of conditions and is one of the most widely recommended treatments in the current landscape of medicine. 15
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is a recognized form of therapy that has its origins in ancient Chinese medicine. Current application of acupuncture clinically is performed using both historic understandings of its mechanisms and indications, and from modern, biomedical perspectives. From the biomedical viewpoint, acupuncture has been shown to have numerous mechanisms of action. Research into further mechanisms is on-going, but the neural pathways from the periphery, through the spinal cord, and to pain perception centers have been mapped and are thought to play a foundational role in acupuncture’s pain modulating effects. 16 Acupuncture is also well known to cause the release of numerous chemical mediators of pain such as endogenous opioids, ATP and adenosine, GABA, and substance P, and to affect the brain’s sensitivity to opioids. 17-18
When viewed from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) paradigm, acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into acupoints to manipulate the functions of the body. It has been observed over the millennia that certain points on the body have identified functions, and different combinations of points can affect the body in specific ways. Classical Chinese medicine is based in the observation of nature, and how humans interact with and are affected by natural forces. 19 The early Chinese scholars studied how the body moved and functioned under numerous sets of conditions. They learned to apply acupuncture to help the body return to balance when, through natural influences or problematic dietary or lifestyle choices, individuals developed “disharmonies” or illnesses. Practitioners trained to apply acupuncture from the classical perspective utilize this ancient knowledge in the modern setting. They identify patterns of imbalance and are trained in the application of acupuncture as one tool in restoring health and harmony.
It is important to recognize that the system of medicine in which acupuncture developed is highly structured and complex. It is also elegant, and its genius is often missed in mainstream criticisms; those criticisms generally put forth by individuals who have not taken the time to study the profound body of material that has evolved over time. Chinese medicine looks at the body from the viewpoint of physiologic systems rather than individual parts, and so its treatments aim to balance complex sets of functions and restore health at the root of illness,
rather than by fixing a single, broken piece. Licensed Acupuncturists are trained in this way of organizing human physiology, and have learned full treatment plans for restoring health.
What is Herbal Medicine?
Traditional Herbal Medicine utilizes ingredients from the animal, plant and mineral kingdoms to treat many different health conditions. All ingredients are collectively referred to as “herbs”. Each herb offers a variety of chemical constituents that have specific biological functions. Different parts of the plant (i.e. roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, seed and bark) can often perform different functions. When multiple ingredients are combined to make a formula, the sum of the chemical constituents is often more powerful and efficacious than the individual parts. 20
How Does Herbal Medicine Work?
When we ingest herbal medicines, the same way as food, we breakdown the herb and assimilate the chemistry in the herb. But instead of assimilating the nutrients, we assimilate the medicinal chemicals.
In some ways, herbs work similarly to many pharmaceutical preparations. In fact, some pharmaceutical medicines are based upon extractions from plants. For example, the malaria medicine quinine is extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree, and the pain medicine morphine is produced from the opium poppy.
However, herbal medicine differs from pharmaceuticals because it uses the complete form of the herb to ensure the balance of constituents within it, instead of just using a specific extraction or single chemical from the plant.
What Does Herbal Medicine Treat?
Traditional herbal medicine formulas address the root cause of a health condition, not just a symptom. They treat the body as a holistic system and facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms. As such, they can be used to treat a variety of conditions including:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Cold and Flu
- Chronic Fatigue
- Headaches and Migraines
- High Blood Pressure
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Skin Issues
- Sports Related Injuries
Side Effects of Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine typically does not incur the unwanted side effects that are often seen in conventional pharmaceutical treatments. However, herbal medicine can be very potent and, if used incorrectly, can rarely cause serious adverse effects. Additionally, some herbs can affect how your body responds to prescription and over-the-counter medicines, either decreasing or increasing the effects of these medicines. In this way, it is very important to let your herbalist know what other drugs and supplements you are taking so they can advise or modify your formula to best avoid complications. Properly trained and certified herbalists are able to adapt herbal use to be safest for each patient.
Herbal Medicine Formulas
Herbal medicines formulas are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, syrups, poultices, lotions, compresses, and fresh or dried plants. The form of your herbal medicine will depend upon your practitioner’s preferences, medical condition and sometimes, patient preferences.
Herbalists are trained to dispense remedies for specific conditions and symptoms and to determine how much should be taken and for how long. Herbs can be selected to address each person’s unique constitution and sensitivities in addition to their disease or symptoms. For this reason, many herbalists, especially those that utilize raw herbs, will meet with their patients every few weeks to adjust the formula ingredients to meet the changing needs of their patients, as they heal, or to address different symptoms if they appear. This makes herbal medicine extremely flexible and customizable during every step of the treatment time process.
What is Moxibustion, Cupping, Gua Sha, & Tui Na?
In addition to acupuncture, licensed acupuncturists also use moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, and/or tuina. These adjunctive therapies have been used for over 2000 years. They can be used alongside an acupuncture treatment or alone.
Moxibustion involves heat therapy using the mugwort plant (Artemisia vulgaris or Artemisia argyi), also known as “moxa,” to stimulate acupoints. Moxibustion is used for treating many conditions. In a quantitative study of 50 years of bibliometric material, up to 364 types of diseases have been shown to be treated with moxibustion. Moxa is used for digestive, urinary, gynecological/obstetric and orthopedic issues. It has been shown to aid in pain reduction. Moxibustion can be done in a variety of methods – each with different thermal effects. When moxa is lit, it emits visible and infrared electromagnetic waves. This energy is absorbed by the body to promote blood circulation. 21-22
Cupping therapy involves the use of a cup or a jar. The World Health Organization (Code 5.3.2) defines the cupping method as a “therapeutic method involving the application of suction by placing a vacuumed cup or jar onto the affected or any part of the body surface.” Cupping is used for many conditions from musculoskeletal pain to cardiovascular issues to early colds and flus. 23-24
Gua sha is an instrument assisted manual therapy whereby the body surface is compressed with a smooth-edged tool. 25 This therapeutic process intentionally creates petechiae (tiny red or purple dots on the skin) and increases blood flow into the fascia. The “sha” or redness that is created can last up from one day to one week. 26 This technique increases blood flow to local tissues, helps the body activate a local healing response, and assists in the removal of toxins from the tissue (such as by-products of metabolism in areas with myofascial dysfunction). Gua sha has also been shown to reduce internal organ inflammation by upregulating heme-oxygenase-1. It has been shown to produce a four-fold increase in the surface tissue microcirculation, reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system. Gua sha is used for many conditions ranging from asthma to musculoskeletal pain and spasms. 27
Tuina is a school of Chinese manual bodywork therapy. Literally translated as “push” and “grasp,” it is used to promote blood flow, improve function, and enhance resistance to disease. Tuina involves different manipulation techniques for different conditions. 28 Similar to the other therapies described, tuina can be used to treat many types of conditions ranging from musculoskeletal pain to digestive disorders. 29 The use of herbal liniments and oils may be used by the practitioner, depending on the condition presented.
What is Dry Needling?
“Dry needling” has created a great deal of confusion in recent years, both among patients and healthcare providers. It is one of many names d that refer to a form of acupuncture utilized by Western medicine clinicians. The term was coined by Janet Travell, MD, and came into prominence during the early 1980s when discussed in her seminal text Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. 30 It was used to distinguish from the implied “wet needling,” which is the injection of a fluid with a hypodermic needle. While a “dry needle” initially referred to an empty syringe, it has evolved to include monofilament/filiform 31 needles routinely used by acupuncturists. The latter of which is utilized in the modern application of “dry needling.” Acupuncture, by default, encompasses “dry needling,” and any suggested distinction, in actuality, exists largely in name.
The current interpretation of “dry needling” largely refers to an aggressive form of acupuncture entailing a piston-like motion of deep needling into tender areas in muscles known as trigger points. Many “dry needling” adherents, whether due to being genuinely misinformed or otherwise, suggest that it never occurred to ancient Chinese physicians to manipulate a needle in a piston-like motion or treat trigger points, utilizing the equivalent language of their time. In an attempt to distinguish it from “dry needling,” they unfortunately misrepresent acupuncture as being relegated to superficial or “energetic” needling based on a mystical paradigm. Neither the needling method, nor the concept of trigger points, is new or innovative. This is recognized by numerous clinicians and researchers, acknowledging the historical precedent set by acupuncture. 32-38 For instance, “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic of Medicine” (Huang Di Nei Jing), dating back to between the 2nd century BC and 2nd century CE (Han Dynasty), describes this. The technique, hegu ci, is still used to treat musculoskeletal conditions. It is characterized by deep needling into muscles accompanied by partial retraction and reinsertion at varying angles, which is currently described as “fanning” or “coning.” 39 With regards to trigger points, in his 7th century CE work, “Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold” (Qian Jing Yao Fang), the famous physician, Sun Simiao, described ashi points. Ashi, which translates to “Ah, yes!” or “That’s it!” refers to points that are tender or painful upon local pressure and can produce radiating pain – hallmarks of trigger points. 40
These are just a couple of innumerable examples demonstrating acupuncture’s historicity and development over the course of more than 2000 years. Numerous styles and techniques of needling factor in several variables: depth, angle, intensity, frequency, proximity to the diseased/injured area, etc. 39 Acupuncturists are trained in both traditional and biomedical paradigms, evidenced by their educational requirements. In addition, numerous continuing education courses and certificate programs in orthopedic/sports medicine/trigger point acupuncture have been well established prior the recent emergence of “dry needling.” 41-42
For further information on this subject, please read Andy McIntyre’s article “Dry Needling is Acupuncture; but Acupuncture is not Dry Needling.”
What are the current requirements for Acupuncture Licensure in CT?
Those seeking licensure in Connecticut must have the NCCAOM Acupuncture Certification
You can read the complete PDF of the Acupuncture Practice Act here:
Sec. 20-206bb. Qualification for licensure. Fee. Exemption.
(a) No person shall perform acupuncture without a license as an acupuncturist pursuant to this section.
(b) Each person seeking licensure as an acupuncturist shall make application on forms prescribed by the department, pay an application fee of two hundred dollars and present to the department satisfactory evidence that the applicant has
(1) completed sixty semester hours, or its equivalent, of postsecondary study in an institution of postsecondary education that, if in the United States or its territories, was accredited by a recognized regional accrediting body or, if outside the United States or its territories, was legally chartered to grant postsecondary degrees in the country in which located,
(2) successfully completed a course of study in acupuncture in a program that, at the time of graduation, was in candidate status with or accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and included
(A) for a person who completed such course of study before October 1, 2012, a minimum of one thousand three hundred fifty hours
of didactic and clinical training, five hundred of which were clinical, or
(B) for a person who completed such course of study on or after October 1, 2012, a minimum of one thousand nine hundred five hours
of didactic and clinical training, six hundred sixty of which were clinical,
(3) passed all portions of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine examination required for
acupuncture certification or an examination prescribed by the department,
(4) successfully completed a course in clean needle technique prescribed by the department, and
(5) prior to providing direct patient care services, acquired professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for
professional malpractice. Any person successfully completing the education, examination or training requirements of this section in a
language other than English shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirement completed in that language. The amount of insurance that
each person shall carry as insurance or indemnity against claims for injury or death for professional malpractice shall be not less than two
hundred fifty thousand dollars for one person, per occurrence, with an aggregate of not less than one million dollars.
(c) An applicant for licensure as an acupuncturist by endorsement shall present evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of licensure or certification as an acupuncturist, or as a person entitled to perform similar services under a different designation, in another state or jurisdiction whose requirements for practicing in such capacity are equivalent to or higher than those of this state and that there are no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending. Any person completing the requirements of this section in a language other than English shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of this section.
When Will I Know It’s Time to Renew?
Expect to receive renewal notification approximately 60 days prior to expiration from the CT Department of Public Health (DPH) at your address of record they have on file. Make sure to keep your address current!
How Much Does It Cost for License Renewal?
The cost is $255.00 every 2 years.
Can I Renew My License Online?
In order to renew your license online, you will need to be able to login to your account.
If you don’t know your user ID and password, please follow these instructions:
- Visit the eLicense website
- Select ‘Register’ at the bottom of the ‘Access Your Account’ box to the left of the ‘Welcome’ box
- Answer yes to the question regarding having any prior licensing interaction(s) with the Department of Public Health
- You will need to match the spelling of your first and last name as well as the last 4 digits of your SSN
- Follow the prompts to create your account and validate your email address
- Once registered and your email address has been validated, please login and select ‘Renewal’ under ‘ONLINE LICENSE SERVICES’
What If I Miss My Renewal?
If not renewed by the due date, you should receive a final notice from DPH 30 days following expiration.
Pursuant to Section 19a-88(e)(4)f, Connecticut General Statutes, all licenses issued by the Practitioner Licensing and Investigations Section (PLIS) have a grace period of 90 days following expiration during which time the licensee may continue to practice and renew the license. On the 91st day, the license becomes void and the licensee must apply for reinstatement.
What Are the Continuing Education Requirements for License Renewal?
Each licensed acupuncturist must meet the following requirements for license renewal:
- Maintain a certification by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), or;
- Earn not less than thirty contact hours of continuing education approved by the NCCAOM within the preceding twenty-four month period.
- Each licensee must sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the certification or continuing education requirements outlined above on the renewal application.
- Each licensee must retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the continuing education or certification requirements described above for not less than five years following the date on which the continuing education was completed or the certification was renewed. Each licensee must submit evidence of completion to the department for inspection not later than forty-five days after a request by the Department for such records.
- In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, a licensee may apply for and be granted a waiver of the continuing education or certification requirements or an extension of time within which, to fulfill the continuing education requirements provided, the licensee submits an application for waiver or extension of time, along with a certification by a licensed physician of the disability or illness. The Department may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except that the Department may grant additional waivers or extensions if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.
Do I Need Professional Liability/Malpractice Insurance to Renew My Acupuncture License?
Yes. Prior to providing direct patient care services in Connecticut, licensed acupuncturists are required to acquire professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for professional malpractice. The amount of insurance that each person shall carry as insurance or indemnity against claims for injury or death for professional malpractice shall be no less than $250,000 for one person, per occurrence, with an aggregate of not less than $1,000,000.
How Do I Apply for Reinstatement of My Acupuncture License?
An applicant for reinstatement of a CT acupuncture license that has lapsed due to non-renewal must provide the following documentation:
- A completed, notarized application with photo and fee in the amount of $200.00 in the form of a bank check or money order payable to, “Treasurer, State of Connecticut”
- A current curriculum vitae (CV) or synopsis of professional activity since completion of the applicant’s acupuncture educational program
- Verification of any out-of-state license held (current or expired) submitted directly from the source. Some states charge a fee for completion of the verification form; please contact the other state prior to submitting your request
- Verification from the appropriate authority confirming the applicant’s most recent employment; including dates and overall evaluation of the applicant’s ability to practice acupuncture with reasonable skill and safety
- Verification of current acupuncture certification by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) or successful completion of fifteen contact hours of continuing education within the one-year period immediately preceding application for reinstatement.
- The reinstatement fee is $200.00
- Note: Typically, applicants for reinstatement who have not been in active, clinical practice for longer than five years are required to complete a period of refresher training. Applicants will receive further information from the Department upon receipt of all required documentation.
- Arrange for all supporting documentation to be sent directly from the source to:
Connecticut Department of Public Health
410 Capitol Ave., MS #12 APP
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
Phone: (860) 509-7603
Fax: (860) 707-1929
What is the CTSA Board of Directors Comprised of?
The Board is the governing body of the CTSA, and has authority and responsibility for the supervision, control, and direction of the CTSA.
The Board is comprised of the following, all of which are voting board members:
- President – Duties and roles: (a) Act as Chair of the Board; (b) Be the chief elected officer of the CTSA; (c) Supervise the business of the CTSA, and its officers; (d) Preside at all meetings of the members and of the Board; (e) Present an annual report detailing the business of the CTSA at each Annual Meeting (f) Ensure that all resolutions of the Board are carried out; (g) Be authorized to sign contracts and other instruments, along with another Officer, on behalf of the CTSA which are authorized and legal.
- Vice President – Duties and roles: (a) Perform duties as are from time to time assigned by the Board or the President (b) At the request of the President or in the President’s absence or disability, perform all the duties of the President.
- Treasurer – Duties and roles: (a) Serve as Chair of the Finance Committee; (b) Prepare and distribute to the directors a written annual report within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year on the financial conditions of the CTSA (c) Regularly report to the Board on key financial events, trends, concerns, and assessment of fiscal health; (d) Assure that preparation and filing of tax returns is conducted in a timely and appropriate manner; and (e) Serve as Acting Secretary in the absence of the Secretary for the purpose of attesting the signature of other officers when required.
- Secretary – Duties and roles: (a) Keep, or cause to be kept, the minutes of the Annual Meeting and other meetings of the Board; (b) Ensure that all notices are duly given in accordance with these bylaws; (c) Serve as the official custodian of the books and records, other than financial; 11 (d) In general, perform all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time, may be assigned by the Board or by the President.
- Immediate Past President (IPP) – This is the most recent President. If the Immediate Past President is unable to fulfill the position, the position can be filled by the previous IPP, if available. If no past president is able to fill the position, the position shall remain vacant.
- Two other Directors – One Director may be a Public Director appointed by the board who does not meet the qualifications of a Professional member as defined in the bylaws. The term “Public Director” shall refer to any person who is not elected as a director by the voting members but is instead appointed to the board as a director in conformity with the bylaws. The term for this appointment is one year.
Directors may not receive any compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses pre-approved by the Board.
CLICK HERE to download the bylaws of CTSA
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What is the ASA?
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is your primary national level professional association. It coordinates activities at the national level, including working with a lobbyist in Washington D.C. to represent the profession, holding national conventions, and offering national level opportunities for student and licensed practitioner involvement. http://www.asacu.org/.
What is CCAOM?
The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) is a 501(c)(6) voluntary membership association for acupuncture schools and programs in the U.S. Established in 1982, the Council’s primary mission is to advance AOM by promoting educational excellence in the field. Currently the Council consists of 53 acupuncture schools. As a requirement of membership, all of the Council’s member schools have obtained either full accreditation or accreditation candidacy status with the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the national organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit AOM schools and programs in the U.S. The Council administers a national needle safety course known as the Clean Needle Technique Course. http://www.ccaom.org/
Recommended reading: http://www.ccaom.org/downloads/PaperOfLixinHuang.pdf
What is ACAOM?
The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is the national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit Master’s-level programs in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession. As an independent body, ACAOM accredits first professional Master’s degree and professional Master’s level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and first professional Master’s degree and professional Master’s level certificate and diploma programs in Oriental medicine with a concentration in both acupuncture and herbal therapies. The Commission fosters excellence in acupuncture and Oriental medicine education by establishing policies and standards that govern the accreditation process for acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs. Currently, ACAOM has over 60 schools and colleges with accredited or candidacy status with the Commission. http://www.acaom.org
What is NCCAOM?
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), was established in 1982 as a non-profit organization currently operating under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The mission of the NCCAOM is to establish, assess, and promote recognized standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public. There are currently over 14,000 active Diplomates practicing under NCCAOM certifications in Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Asian Bodywork Therapy. In year 2017, NCCAOM celebrated its 35th anniversary. http://www.nccaom.org/about/about.html