November 2019 Newsletter
From the Chair of the American Society of Acupuncturists

Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Supporters,

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! 

As our year 2019 winds to a close, we are already looking forward to 2020, and especially our second annual ASA national meeting. Our program is shaping up well with top speakers from the NIH, research community, herbal medicine industry, insurance and billing leaders, and practice building experts in the lineup, to name a few. Our dates this year will be May 2nd and 3rd, followed by a lobbying event on Monday, May 4th. We will be at the amazing Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. this time, which is near last year's venue, and ideally located near great restaurants and public transportation. We plan to build on the excitement from last year, and hope everyone will join us for the industry's premier event, focused on the development of our profession. Please mark your calendars!

2019 has been a year of tremendous growth for the ASA. We seated some exceptional new board members, got our seat on the HCPAC, and increased our membership to 34 state associations representing approximately 5000 individual acupuncturists! We have seen the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid seriously begin to consider covering acupuncture for low back pain in seniors, and we have seen some very forward thinking statements put out by agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services. We are hopeful that 2020 will continue the gains, and see even greater accomplishments. At this time of year, we want to particularly thank all of you! Your support and encouragement, participation and donations have helped us continue on our way. This is a collaborative effort, and it truly takes everyone - providers, patients, and those just in support to change paradigms. We hope that the "new vision" of 2020 will continue to enhance the focus on natural medicine as not just auxiliary to what is now mainstream, but also to transform mainstream medicine into a more holistic art, with real and integrated use of all evidence based options.


David W. Miller, MD, LAc
Chair, American Society of Acupuncturists
Save the date!
ASA Annual Conference
Washington, DC
Welcome to the ASA Job Openings Board! 
We encourage all submissions which promote gainful employment in our profession.

Please do not hesitate to submit job postings, office space rentals or if you know someone who wants to sell their practice, we would be more than happy to add them as well.

Please submit to [email protected] so your submissions can be added to the board.
The ASA does reserve the right to edit one’s posting for tact, tenor, and tone, if it may be perceived as potentially inappropriate by others. To ensure the job openings board remains easy to use, please let me know when your submission is filled.

If you have ever submitted a job posting to us, please contact me directly and let me know if you want to maintain the posting or remove it.

Thank you for all you do for our profession.
Christine Cronin
Board Member at Large
Are you interested in mentoring an acupuncture student?
Thanks to all of you who expressed interest in being a mentor.

The ASA has requested input from our ASA Student Committee on how we can best support those who are entering the profession. Mentorship is especially desired by those who are just entering our field. What we have found out so far is that students would like to find a mentor who they can speak with about more real-world/practice/ASA/life after school situations. Students have also made a point to express that they wish to be respectful of your time. If anyone desiring to be a mentor could start with just being available by email or phone (whichever is easiest for the mentor), then it could be up to both of you (the mentor and mentee) if you want to meet in person or commit further.

Alexandria Russell, our ASA Student Committee Chair, has also let us know that students are split between wanting a mentor in their geographical area or practice specialty. As I mentioned to Alex, now that we have many meeting platforms to choose from, being able to see someone face to face is easier than ever before and allows for more options across the board.

To begin the process, please contact me at [email protected] with your name, location, type of practice you have (private practice/individual treatment/private practice/community- style, work for an employer - another acupuncturist, hospital, VA, DOD, etc.) and area of specialty, Are you in education? Do you have a research background? Additionally, please provide days and times you can meet with your mentee along with any other preferences you would like us to consider as we start the process of pairing mentors with mentees.

Again, for all of you who are willing to be a mentor, thank you for your willingness to guide the next generation.

With gratitude,

Christine Cronin
Board Member at Large

Come check out the official Journal of the American Society of Acupuncturists
JASA Editor-In-Chief Series
Five Studies on Scientific Writing - The Abstract Section
By Jennifer A. M. Stone, LAc
The ASA will be printing a new article from the series each month.

(Reprinted with permission from The American Acupuncturist, vols. 63-67)

The Abstract Section

The abstract in a scientific paper is a short advertisement of what is included in the full text of a paper. Your abstract should provide pertinent information and entice the reader to read the full text. Because most readers of scientific journals are busy people, they will peruse only the titles and the abstracts to find out what has been researched and what the results were. If the research is presented at a conference, the abstract will be the only part that will be published.

The abstract is what is used to index research papers in an online database, so it’s important to include key words that will help researchers find the paper using a search box. An abstract should be short and simple, 200-300 words. Most journals will provide a word limit in the author guidelines. Do not include references. If the reader might not be familiar with certain illustrations or abbreviations, do not use them.

Writing Style:

When preparing the abstract, it is customary to use past tense sentences and a passive voice. In the last decade some scientific journals are encouraging authors to use a first-person active voice in their manuscripts, but most researchers who were educated after 1920 and before 2000 were taught passive writing style. In the next issue I will discuss in more detail both the history and current trends in scientific writing styles. For more information now, please visit:

Some authors prefer to write the abstract as a free flowing paragraph.

Some journals require headings in the abstract. Headings are as follows: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion.

The abstract should follow this format:

Background : State the purpose of the research—what is already known about the subject, what is not known, what the study is intended to examine, or what the paper is presenting.

Methods: Describe the methodology—include sample size, numbers of patients in different groups, interventions (ex. acupuncture group vs. placebo group), and duration of the study.

Results: Report the major findings; this section should contain as much detail about the findings as the journal word count for the abstract permits. Include results of both the primary and important secondary analysis both in words and by listing p values in parentheses. Provide numerical information on analysis: means and standard deviations, response rates, negative findings, and report on adverse events.* If available, report statistical information, such as effect sizes, relative risks, numbers needed to treat, and confidence intervals for each.

Discussion and Conclusion: This is the take-home message of the study. Normally only the primary findings are discussed. In some cases important secondary outcomes can be mentioned. Authors should not make blanket statements and claim more than their data demonstrates. For example, if you are reporting data on the impact of acupuncture on fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, do not conclude that “acupuncture improves fatigue.” Instead, the concluding statement should directly relate to the study and should read like this:

“This data supports the use of acupuncture as a complementary treatment option for fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.”

* In AOM research, it’s important to include a statement on adverse effects. If no adverse effects were reported by the subjects, state that in the results section of the abstract. (ex. “No unexpected adverse effects were associated with the treatment.”)

Additional resources on writing a scientific abstract: 
Become a committee member!
The ASA is always looking for new members
to join our committees!

We currently need members for the Governance Committee.

for more information

Be part of the solution!
ASA at the 31st Pacific Symposium in San Diego, California

ASA’s Amy Mager and Olivia Hsu Friedman and CSOMA's Christy Vitiello, Sarah Hart and Bruce Gustafson shared a booth at Pacific Symposium 2019.

Stopping by the ASA/CSOMA booth was Mina Larson, CEO of NCCAOM and Marilyn Allen, Public Relations and Marketing Director of AAC.

Picture from left to right: Bruce Gustafson (CSOMA), Sarah Hart, (CSOMA), Amy Mager (ASA), Mina Larson (NCCAOM), Marilyn Allen (AAC), Christy Vitiello (CSOMA) and Olivia Hsu Friedman (ASA)
Monthly Legislative & Regulatory Report

Our legislative focus this month: S 2914 - Senate Companion Bill to HR 1182

From Ellen Hamilton, Legislative Director, Congresswoman Judy Chu, CA-27

On Thursday, November 21st, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced a companion bill to H.R. 1182- the Acupuncture for Our Heroes Act! This is very exciting as it is the first time a senate companion bill has been introduced, and puts us one step closer to acupuncture for all.
I wanted to make you all aware of one change Senator Shaheen’s office is making, which requires that if the VISN includes a state without a full-service VA hospital then the Secretary is required to execute the program in that state. This would be to ensure that veterans in all states, not just ones with VA hospitals, can receive acupuncture. The legislative text can be found below:
“1720J. Provision of acupuncturist services

“(a) In General.—The Secretary shall carry out a program to provide acupuncturist services to veterans enrolled in the health care system established under section 1705(a) of this title (without the requirement of a referral).
“(b) Locations.—(1) The program under subsection (a) shall be carried out in at least one facility of the Department in each Veterans Integrated Service Network.

(2) In selecting such facilities, the Secretary shall ensure that the program is carried out in both urban and rural areas.

(3) Where a Veterans Integrated Service Network includes a state without a full-service medical center, the Secretary shall carry out the program under subsection (a) at a facility within that state.


As of November 29th, S 2914 - the senate companion bill text has not been published. The ASA is excited about this development. We will keep you posted when the bill text becomes available.

Thank you for all you do for the profession.

Christine Cronin
Board Member at Large
ACAOM Call for Public Comment on
Degree Structure and Title Designations
Comment period closes at 4:30pm US Central Time on 6 December 2019

As a result of interest from the acupuncture and Oriental medicine community and other stakeholders, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (‘ACAOM’ or ‘Commission’) initiated efforts in 2014 to clarify its degree structure and title designations. After review of this extensive work, including the results of ACAOM’s modified-Delphi project, associated surveys, and subsequent public comment, the Commission approved a revised degree structure with naming conventions designed to bring consistency to the field of degree programs that ACAOM accredits at its February 2019 semi-annual meeting. 

This policy was further updated in July 2019 after receiving additional input from the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). 

Consistent with ACAOM’s long-standing practice to provide notice to all relevant stakeholders and constituencies (“interested parties”) of proposed changes, give the interested parties adequate opportunity to comment as well as use the input received to help inform proposed changes; the Commission agrees that there is merit in providing all communities of interest an opportunity to provide thoughtful and data-supported additional public comment with regard to degree structure changes. To that end, the Commission suspended full implementation of the policy in order to permit additional public comment.

The relevant policy (as updated in July 2019) may be viewed here
and may be downloaded here

The Commission also issued a position paper regarding ACAOM-accreditable doctoral programs in July 2019, which provides some additional context relating to Commission naming convention and that commenters may find useful to review. The position paper may be viewed here


Interested parties are invited to comment on the proposed revisions to the  Standards  outlined above, using any of the following methods:
1. Electronically, via the following link:

2. By electronic mail, in the form of a letter (document attachment is acceptable), sent to  [email protected]

3. By surface mail, in the form of a letter, sent to:

8941 Aztec Dr., Suite 2
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Attn: Public Comment – Degree structure

Comments must be  received  no later than  4:30pm US Central Time  on  
6 December 2019 .  Comments must be limited to the proposed change; comments that do not pertain specifically to the proposed change will not be considered at this time.  

Comments timely submitted will be considered by the Commission. ACAOM cannot guarantee that comments relating to this matter received after the due date and time will be considered.
Bringing Former Diplomates Back to Active Status: NCCAOM Prepared to Launch the Reinstatement Route December 10, 2019

By Mina M. Larson, M.S., MBA, CAE – NCCAOM CEO

In last month’s ASA newsletter, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) ®  stated they would be launch a new route for certification reinstatement for former NCCAOM Diplomates to return to active status. As a result of that article, the NCCAOM received many calls from former Diplomates interested in this route. This route would be applicable for all former Diplomates who at one time held NCCAOM certification and are now in terminated status as they can utilize this route to return to active status.
This route was created as a result of valuable feedback by ASA leaders and members, former Diplomates and other stakeholders requesting a way to return to active status without testing. The Board of Commissioners and I thank everyone who provided valuable input that made it possible to create this temporary route to bring our former Diplomates back to active status. We especially thank ASA leadership and members reaching out to us regarding the importance of the NCCAOM to re-examine its reinstatement route, especially as NCCAOM certification is now required by federal agencies, many employers and insurance companies.
The new reinstatement route, approved by  the National Commission for Certifying Agencies  (NCCA), the accrediting body for NCCAOM certification programs), will be available for 18 months, during which time the NCCAOM board and staff will be working to develop a solution for a revised permanent reinstatement route.
Through its work with NCCA, NCCAOM must ensure that the reinstatement route demonstrates that former Diplomates show evidence of maintenance of competencies in the core knowledge areas of foundations of Oriental medicine theory, biomedicine, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. (Chinese herbal medicine continued competencies are required for Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology certifications only.) The new reinstatement option requires demonstration of competency maintenance through Professional Development Activity (PDA) or CEU credits. The number of points required is determined by the amount of time an individual's certification is past its expiration date.

In order make the process of application easier, the NCCAOM staff have created a  reinstatement requirement calculator , available on the NCCAOM website, to help calculate the number of points and fees for each application. The reinstatement calculator will require the individual to enter the NCCAOM certification expiration date in order to receive the exact PDA/CEU credit requirements as well as the application fees necessary to return to active NCCAOM certification status.
The NCCAOM staff have also provided a list of the  New Reinstatement Route Eligibility Requirements below:
1.    Maintenance of a continuous active state license(s) free and clear of any and all disciplinary actions. This includes any and all state(s) where a license was or is currently held. Applicants with disciplinary actions may be considered and will need to follow the NCCAOM's current  NCCAOM Code of Ethics, NCCAOM Grounds for Professional Discipline, and NCCAOM Procedures for Upholding Professional Conduct .

2.    Completion of a CPR certificate within four (4) years of the reinstatement application date.

3.    Completion of a two-hour, NCCAOM  PDA-approved safety (SA) course  within four (4) years of the reinstatement  application  date.

4.    Completion of a two-hour, NCCAOM  PDA-approved ethics (ET) course   within four (4) years of the reinstatement  application  date.

5.    Documentation of the face-to-face Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) Clean Needle Technique (CNT) certificate of completion on file with the NCCAOM, and completion of the CCAOM online  CNT and Blood Borne Pathogen review course  within four (4) years of the reinstatement  application  date (not required for Chinese Herbology certification reinstatement).

6.    Completion of a background screening application through the NCCAOM's background screening vendor,  Private Eyes . A nominal fee of $30 is paid directly to the vendor.

7.     Documentation of PDAs/CEUs  in the Core Competency categories are required based on each individual's  certification expiration date . All PDAs/CEUs may be earned at any point of time during the individual's terminated period. An individual whose certification has been terminated for more than 12 years will have to report a  specific number of PDAs / CEUs required  in each core domain area as explained above due to NCCA accreditation requirements. 

8.    Submission of the  NCCAOM Reinstatement to Active Certification Status Application . The application  will be available online  as of December 10, 2019 and is valid for six (6) months after application is submitted. If requirements for certification are not met within six months, the applicant must reapply.
The NCCAOM recommends applicants gather PDA/CEU certificates and upload them prior to submission of the application to help complete the requirements within the six-months allotted. Please note that NCCAOM will be able to accept most continuing education credits approved for state re-licensure. We have developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the  NCCAOM Time-limited Reinstatement Route to Active Certification  that can be found on the NCCAOM website.  Click here  to access the FAQ. 
The NCCAOM look forward to providing this new 18-month time-limited route for former Diplomates in terminated status to regain their NCCAOM certification. The NCCAOM Customer Relations Team may be contacted at  [email protected]  . and will be ready to receive your applications through this route Tuesday, December 10 th

Below are paid advertisements. The American Society of Acupuncturists does not endorse or evaluate any of the below products or services.
ASA Sponsor, Treasure of the East, has a new website!  

ASA members can enjoy 20% off your first order with the promo code WELCOMEONLINE20

by clicking HERE .
ASA Members: State Associations in Action
CTSA testified at Connecticut State Board of Examiners of Physical Therapists Meeting followed by Administrative Hearing. To watch their testimony, click here. Their testimony starts at minute 15:55. 
Here is an update on our dry needling best practices bill and why we wrote it. 

Please note that currently allied health professionals are practicing dry needling/trigger point acupuncture without regulation (rule or law) in the Commonwealth of MA.

The ASM sent the below letter to the Board of Allied Health with hope that we would be invited to the table as stakeholders. We were not. The ASM chose too late to file this legislation because we had long sought a regulatory remedy to the situation. The ASM has been working on this issue since 2014, and this is the 3rd bill we have put forth related to it. We asked to be invited to work together toward a meaningful solution. This did not occur. Developing best practices are the standards used in medicine. We are asking for best practices regarding the practice of dry needling. Currently, Licensed Acupuncturists are under the Board of Medicine. PTs and OTs and ATCs are under the Board of Professional Licensing.

At this time, both PTs and athletic trainers are being trained to practice dry needling in MA. No language exists, through either regulation or by legal statute, for either profession to do so. It is neither within their scopes of practice, nor specifically excluded from their scopes of practice. The CMS/CPT code group of the AMA, American Medical Association, has equated dry needling to trigger point acupuncture and described it as the insertion of a needle with no medication, manipulated and removed. It is not a timed code and until this code is used, beginning in January 2020, there is no legal way to bill dry needling. Once the code is in play, using these codes: 20560, needle insertion without injection 1-2 muscle groups, 20561, needle insertion 3 or more muscle groups, will be the only legal way to bill for dry needling. Yes, acupuncturists can use these codes and ONLY if they are not using timed codes.

The Board of Registration in Nursing focuses on best practices. We are asking for best practices to ensure consumer safety for the practice of dry needling. We believe this legislation covers this because patients receiving care they need by trained and qualified providers helps all residents of the Commonwealth.

In June of 2017, the Board of Registration in Nursing set legislative precedent by ruling that dry needling is outside the scope of practice for RNs because it involves the procedure of acupuncture: For more information, click here

We have brought multiple letters and one petition before and after the Board of Registration in Nursing ruling to the BOAH. We asked for a seat at the table to be part of the conversation with the BOAH. The conversation has been tabled every time.  

Research demonstrates that undertrained practitioners are the cause of significant adverse events. The AAMA, the American Medical Acupuncture Association, requires MDs to take 300 acupuncture specific hours of advanced training and take a 3rd party national exam. Currently, some dry needling classes offer a certificate of participation. That is very different from a 3rd party, national psychometric exam - there is a link for a document clarifying the differences in the letter below.

The AMA, American Medical Association, dry needling position statement: click here

The AAMA, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture dry needling position statement: click here

The CMS/CPT code report by Dr. David MIller, MD, L.Ac., ASA Chair: click here

The American Society of Acupuncturists dry needling position statement: click here

Our goal is to make health care work for all residents of the Commonwealth and to make sure everyone inserting a needle into a patient has been trained, clinically supervised and examined both to demonstrate competency and the ability not to harm.

Please contact me if you have any questions: Amy Mager DACM, L.Ac.
413.222.8616 [email protected]

We are waiting to move forward with letter writing to make sure it has moved into committee and wanted to update our members on the process and progress. The Senate bill will be headed to the Public Health Committee. The bill number will change which is why it is not listed here.

Progress on Insurance Bills H1083 and S1283 and more

Having the Division of Insurance advise insurance companies that they have to have more non opioid options for pain control is a direct result of all the work we have been doing over the years. Blue Cross Blue Shield will now include acupuncture in many of its plans. We are still to get mandated coverage of acupuncture for pain and addiction treatments.

The House bill is in the Joint Committee for Financial Services

A hearing has taken place. We testified in person and submitted written testimony.
The Chair of the Committee and their legislative team which included researchers and their legal team, met with us in mid November.  

Amy Mager, Naomi Alson and our lobbyist, Dan Delaney, met with the staff of the 
Financial Services Committee which included Representative Murphy. It was a lively, positive discussion. They were open, asked insightful questions and seemed favorable to our bill. This committee has been a stumbling block in the past, but we are optimistic, as the leadership has changed in this session
The Senate version of this bill has not had a hearing yet and is in the Public Health Committee. In general, both bills mandate insurance coverage for pain and addiction treatment. The Senate bill is slightly more comprehensive, covering PTSD and nausea as well.
Timur Lokshin,
ASNY Executive Board Member Chair, Advocacy Committee
Testified November 15, 2019

The Acupuncture Society of New York was honored to be invited to take part in the recent hearing by the New York Senate Joint Task Force on Opioids, Addiction & Overdose Prevention.

As stated in the hearing, the work has just begun. ASNY will be developing a white paper that is specific to the issue within its borders, and will continue to work with the American Society of Acupuncturists as they work on the national level to bring Licensed Acupuncturists to the table for implementation of our professionals into standard care.

The entire hearing was live-streamed and for those that missed it, we have included the recording here. ASNY's specific testimony is featured at 4:20:11 of the video.
On November 2nd, 2019, the Vermont Acupuncture Association had its annual meeting. Over 40 practitioners from our little state gathered to discuss the business of the association, as well as organize a way forward in the ever-changing landscape of healthcare. The Board of Directors, along with many members and Jessica Oski of the Necrason Lobbying Group articulated our need to stay in touch with the Vermont Legislature to keep abreast of new laws and rules governing acupuncture. We also discussed the successful scope rewrite that we had earlier in the year led by our very own Stewart Cohen, PhD, L. Ac. 

The BOD, led by Vice President Deirdre Kelly, L.Ac, organized a “Committee Luncheon”, where we ate in breakout groups to discuss different aspects of our organization. We elected chairs to those committees and then presented goals at the very end. There was an excitement and camaraderie that was so electric one committee chair presented their goals by singing!!!

We finished our day with an informative and much needed presentation on Lyme’s disease. This class was taught by our very own Brendan Kelley, L.Ac. His class gave practitioners practical tools to combat this ever-growing epidemic. Thanks, Brendon, for an amazing class! 

This was my first time presiding over an annual meeting. The feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day is hard to describe. It was gratifying to see so many practitioners from different styles come together for a common cause. The work is hard, but it is worth doing. 

R. Scott Moylan, M.S, L.Ac, Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)
President VTAA
ASA Publications
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Top 8 evidence based uses for acupuncture

Acupuncture: part of the solution to the opioid crisis
How to Get Involved with ASA
State Association Membership:
There are many avenues to being involved with the American Society of Acupuncturists. To enjoy the full benefits of membership, we encourage Licensed Acupuncturists to join their state association that is a member of ASA. You are considered a member of the ASA at no additional charge. State Associations that are currently members of ASA can be found here . State associations who are interested in membership with ASA may contact our Board Secretary LiMing Tseng at [email protected] .

Other Ways to Be Involved:

Licensed Practitioners and Acupuncture Students who are unaffiliated with state associations may receive information about the state and federal regulatory and legislative environments, along with newsworthy announcements about the acupuncture industry by becoming an Associate of the ASA. Options for sitting on the Council, serving on Committees, or voting are not included in this option. For more information, please contact ASA Board Member Dr. Christine Cronin, DAOM, L.Ac at [email protected] . You may also sign up to receive information directly at

To Sign Up for Membership & Support Online, Visit Our Website:

American Society of Acupuncturists | 619-847-9613 | [email protected] |