2018 Review
ASA Year in Review 2018
Welcome from the
American Society of Acupuncturists!

 Dear Colleagues:

It has been an exciting and incredibly active year for the American Society of Acupuncturists and for acupuncture in general. Both nationally and internationally, acupuncture has been one of THE hot topics for 2018! In October of this year, HR 6 passed through the U.S. House and Senate and was signed into law as Public Law No: 115-271 – The Support for Patients and Communities Act. This law is the first in U.S. history to include the word “acupuncture” in national level legislation. This Act calls for study of barriers to receiving acupuncture in the U.S. healthcare system, and helps pave the way for meaningful inclusion into public insurance. See Click here for a complete overview

In November 2018, the world gathered in Paris, France to celebrate World Acupuncture Day, and share in a World Scientific and Cultural Dialogue on Acupuncture. This event was attended by more than 1300 people from dozens of countries, and was held at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters. Please see below for more detail on this phenomenal event.

This year ASA also took part in the national dialogue on integrative health at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health sponsored by the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health in Baltimore, Maryland in May. Click here for complete overview  We engaged more deeply as well with the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, which is emerging as a key alliance of organizations working to advance integrative medicine options for the American public. Click here for more information on IHPC  ASA also took part in Pacific Symposium, the Integrative Fertility Symposium, the Society for Integrative Oncology conference, as well as the Evidence Based Acupuncture first symposium, and represented acupuncture at the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress meeting held in Boston by the Academy of Integrative Pain Management. 

A major project this year also involved working to represent industry interests at the American Medical Association CPT meeting, where a proposal for procedural codes for needling without retention were adjudicated. Please see the full report on that effort here Click here for full CPT meeting update

ASA member organizations have also been very active working to advance acupuncture practice on a state-by-state basis. Please see below and in our prior newsletters for details of this work. The pace of growth for acupuncture both nationally and internationally is accelerating at a staggering pace. With such interest from inside and outside the field, it is more critical than ever that we join together as a profession to assure that acupuncture is available to the American public in its highest form, and delivered by those with the most training in its use. Acupuncture is rapidly incorporating into healthcare systems. We continue to work to assure that Licensed Acupuncturists remain the primary resource in the delivery of this ancient method of care.

If you are a part of the field, please join us at the first American Society of Acupuncturists national meeting coming up in June 2019 in Washington, D.C.! This conference will be the preeminent event for dialogue on the direction of the field, and will engage major stakeholders in the U.S. health systems. This is our chance to step onto the national stage as a profession, and to engage with one another in envisioning our shared future.

David W. Miller, MD, LAc
Chair, American Society of Acupuncturists
Please share our newsletter with anyone who shows interest in this work

The ASA represented the United States at

On November 15, 2018 in Paris, a worldwide attendance of representatives from the practicing acupuncture community gathered together to honor the 8th anniversary of acupuncture being named to UNESCOs list of Items of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Notable support was shown through governmental and educational attendance, as well as by members of the public. The event was sponsored by the World Acupuncture Day Organizing Committee and the World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies, with support provided as well by a worldwide variety of organizations and individuals including the American Society of Acupuncturists. The day was inspirational, intellectual, broad-seeing, collegial, and artistic. Its hosting at the UNESCO headquarters was profound. This collection of tremendously varied individuals, from climates worldwide, were nourished with inspiration for the growth of acupuncture. Acupuncture, as a practice that has abundant modern, scientific validation and easily understandable plausible mechanisms, yet remains at its heart rooted in naturalist theory, and allowing for the full range of human experience. 

Above all else, this event highlighted the steadily increasing interest in and global spread of acupuncture, with over 1300 participants from numerous countries in attendance. All involved shared in collective gratitude for this treasure of humanity, originating and developing in China over more than 3500 years. Among the key ideas highlighted were the need to remember the roots of this medicine, and to recognize its depth and impact not only in the field of healing, but also in the arts, government, social structures, cuisine, and spiritual life of vast numbers of people throughout China’s complex and dynamic history.  This medicine not only endured over millennia, but also through tremendous variations in cultural environment, as dynasties waxed and waned. It was expressed by numerous speakers from around the world that this medicine has taken hold in them personally, and has enriched their lives and practices as members of the scientific healing community. Numerous presentations demonstrating the increasing sophistication of research in Chinese medicine promise fascinating and increasingly “big data” studies that may significantly inform practice, not only within the practicing field, but also extending as well potentially quite significantly into the western medical practitioner population. 

Acupuncture practice has been spreading in all directions outward from China for hundreds if not thousands of years. It has adapted and transformed. Not only has it thrived, but, due to our increasing ease of connectivity and information access, it has been encountered and engaged in every corner of the globe at a pace never before possible. There is a responsibility we as a scientific community and/or a traditional practitioner community share in tending to the inscription of Acupuncture as a formal practice; and note that as of this day of UNESCO’s inscription, the Cannon of Chinese Classical Acupuncture theory is honored as either the core source material for, or a strong influencer of, every major form of acupuncture practice worldwide. It is the ancestor medicine. We have seen, however, over the millennia, and particularly over the last couple of centuries, an expansion of the family. There are now a number of acupuncture systems on the globe that are well-grown and capable of standing independently, and with unique language. Japanese acupuncture, Korean acupuncture, Five Element acupuncture, and others have emerged. We must treasure the Chinese source material, for to do otherwise would be self-harming, wasteful, unscientific, and profoundly unprofessional. We recognize, however, that variable transformations and permutations of the source material have already occurred and have become sustainable, positive, and non-harming medical systems. Innovation is inevitable. The challenge of working together as a community despite these differences is now upon us.

All in attendance at the World Acupuncture Day event were also aware that acupuncture techniques have been and are actively being removed from the core source concepts of Chinese medicine. As individuals encounter this wealthy body of knowledge, pieces of the system are being plucked out of their contexts, and are being incorporated into care in a piecemeal fashion. Whether this is a new or old phenomenon is unclear. For the American Licensed Acupuncturist community, in the rapidly expanding global environment, it is critical for us to value our credentials, but always strive to improve their quality. The development of the acupuncture profession that has happened in the United States in the past forty-five years is unprecedented. We have one of the strongest, most robustly developed training systems in the world for the Chinese-based approaches to acupuncture delivery that can be found outside of Asia. This foundation should be treasured, as it leads the way for the use of acupuncture in the context of the original Chinese source material, as well as for its use in systems permuting from that wisdom. The world is always only a hair’s breadth away from losing touch with the deep and nourishing roots of acupuncture, and we should be proud to be a part of a training system that upholds this as a true item of intangible cultural heritage.

For the complete World Acupuncture Day program,  click here  This also will link to the program for the World Scientific and Cultural Dialog program that followed World Acupuncture Day.

For a greater understanding of UNESCO’s significance  click here
To see the original inscription by UNESCO click here

For the American Society of Acupuncturists address to the World Acupuncture Day congress, see ASA Chair David Miller's address here or here

For papers presented at the Scientific and Cultural Dialogue, click here
ASA now Partner For Health with Integrative Health Policy Consortium
Amy Mager, MS, Lic.Ac. represented the ASA at the Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress in Boston MA on November 10, 2018. More than five dozen organizations participated and reached consensus that Comprehensive integrative pain management, (CIPM), is best practices as the standard of care for people living with pain. A goal was set to improve access to CIPM. Represented were more than 70 organizations and agencies including health care professionals, public and private insurers, people living with pain, the Executive Branch, purchasers of healthcare, researchers, policy experts and policy makers. As part of our work with this group, the she is serving as part of the Strategic Communication Workgroup.
ASA members receive
20% discount on Fundamentals of Oncology Acupuncture Online Program through MSKCC

Click here for 20% discount . Contact your member State Association for more information.
Members of the ASA Board with Prof Liu Baoyan, President of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies.
ASA Vice Chair Amy Mager with Ted Kaptchuk at Pacific Symposium
ASA Vice Chair Amy Mager with Jodi Knauer at the Integrative Fertility Symposium
ASA Chairman Dr. David Miller representing at UNESCO on WADO
ASA Chair David Miller, MD, LAc at AAMA Annual Symposium

ASA Vice Chair Amy Mager, Christine Cronin and Past Chairperson Candace Sarges at Pacific Symposium
Dr. Vanila Singh, MD MACM at the 2018 Balanced Pain Management Summit
2018 Balanced Pain Management Summit with Justin Minyard MSG
U.S. Army (Ret.)
15th Annual Society for Integrative Oncology Confer ence with Zeyiad Elias, Andrew Weil and ASA Secretary LiMing Tseng
Come join us at our inaugural ASA Conference
The State of Our Nation: Acupuncture in US Healthcare
Washington, DC

06/01/19 - 06/03/19

I'll be there!
I can't make it
2019 will be a rich year for conference opportunities!  

In the first half of the year alone, our industry will have the choice of attending three major North American conferences:  

  • The inaugural ASA conference in Washington, D.C., “The State of Our Union: U.S. Acupuncturists in American Healthcare;” 

  • The  Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) conference in Burlington, Vermont “Health Care Policy, Acupuncture Research, and Community Health...Closing the Loop;” and 
  • The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) academic conference in Phoenix, Arizona (theme to be announced). 

For the first time ever, the AAMA will be making special outreach to Licensed Acupuncturists and offering NCCAOM PDA’s at its 2019 meeting!

ASA Publications
Two Major Legislative Victories
HR 6

As stated above in the Dr. David Miller's opening address, this law is the first in U.S. history to include the word “acupuncture” in national level legislation. This Act calls for study of barriers to receiving acupuncture in the U.S. healthcare system, and helps pave the way for meaningful inclusion into public insurance. Click here for a complete overview


Louisiana House Bill 421 removed the provision of the law that required acupuncturists to have physician supervision and referral. Prior to the passage of this bill, acupuncturists in Louisiana needed a MD to supervise them and review their chart notes.
2018 Opioid/Acupuncture
Federal and State Legislation
Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act
A BILL to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in emergency departments.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Medicine to carry out a study on the addition of coverage under the Medicare program under title XVIII S 2729 IS of the Social Security Act of alternative treatment
modalities (such as integrative medicine, including acupuncture and exercise therapy, neural stimulation, biofeedback, radiofrequency ablation, and trigger point injections) furnished to Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from acute or chronic lower back pain.

Acupuncture for pain relief to reduce opioid prescriptions study requirement and appropriation.

Requires that non-pharmaceutical alternative treatment options including but not limited to treatment provided by any licensed acupuncturist, licensed massage therapist, licensed chiropractor, and yoga instructor be covered by the medical assistance program and by private health insurers.

"Section 40-47-755. Auricular detoxification therapy may take place under the general supervision of a licensed acupuncturist or a person licensed to practice medicine under this chapter. A treatment by an auricular detoxification specialist is strictly limited to the five ear-point treatment protocol for detoxification, substance abuse, or chemical dependency as stipulated by NADA."

ASA Members: State Associations in Action
CSOMA Year in Review- 2018

As we approach the New Year, CSOMA would like to thank all of our current members, corporate sponsors and supporters. Without you, we could not make all of these great things happen for our profession. Let's take a quick look at some highlights from amazing Board of Directors and volunteers at CSOMA.

Advocacy in 2018!

  • Lobbying for NCCAOM Certification standards for CA practitioners’. A position statement was created in support of adopting the NCCAOM exam for CA L.Ac's, and this was shared with 53 state representatives. See more at csomaonline.org

  • A Sunset Review of California Acupuncture Board meeting was held at the State Capitol on Monday, February 26. CSOMA President and CSOMA Executive Director made public comment and participated in meetings with acupuncture leaders from other state acupuncture associations, California schools, NCCAOM, and representatives from the community

  • In January 2018, CSOMA formed an Insurance Task Force to address disparities in insurance reimbursement and policy changes for acupuncturists. A Grievance letter was sent to Blue Shield of California, and supportive letters were received back from both the Insurance Commissioner and Attorney Generals office. Stay tuned: President Tiffany Tuftee, L.Ac and members of the task force are to meet with the Attorney General's office regarding this grievance in 2019 to discuss the lack of acupuncture coverage from insurance companies for opioid addiction and treatments.

  • Earlier this year A Dry Needling Task force was created, and a position statement on dry needling was created by CSOMA-largest English language CA Association and the AACMA- largest Chinese language CA Association. This letter was mailed to the B&P Committee, major district representatives, and the CPTA etc. Stay tuned to find out the most recent news from our teleconference with the CA Physical Therapy Association meeting held December 4th, 2018. 

2018 Events
In case you missed it...

Earlier this year, CSOMA held a Spring
Conference & Expo on May 17 & 18 , 2018

The Acupuncture Solution to Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic.

120 + Attendees
20 Exhibitors
64 Raffle Prizes
11 CEUs
10 CSOMA Board Members
9 Student Volunteers
1 Seriously Good Time!

!!!!FEBRUARY 2019!!!

CSOMA and Lhasa OMS Partner to Empower Your Practice

February 9th-10th, 2019
Malibu, CA

"Love Your Practice" event

CSOMA believes that one of the best ways to empower the acupuncture profession is by helping our practitioners be financially successful!

Together with Lhasa OMS, CSOMA is excited to create a 2-day event that will provide business-building and networking opportunities to help you get to the next level with your practice.

For more details
What to look out for in 2019 from CSOMA!

New membership benefits, lobby day activities, insurance parity, and unification efforts to work with other state associations in CA
in collaborating on major initiatives that affect our profession
and much more!

For questions or comments please email Info@csomaonline.org
Illinois has had quite the year.

While much of it was focused on organizational restructuring and committee building, we are thrilled to have started this inward strengthening to then be prepared to do more external impacting in the years to come.

  • Asian New Year celebration highlighting the opioid epidemic and educating members on the different people we can work with to help

  • Annual Meeting with excellent attendance and three new board members stepping up.

  • Rewrote and adopted new Bylaws

  • Rules were adopted for the Illinois Practice Act

  • New design for the Illinois Newsletter. It will be sent out twice a year, increasing readership, and using is as a tool for collaboration and communication.

  • Strategic Planning with Score Mentors to identify key objectives and goals.

  • Voted on a new name for the association: Illinois Society of Acupuncturists

  • Working on a new logo design

  • Revamping events to have more virtual options to include practitioners from all over the state

  • Increasing member numbers to get to 50%+1. The goal for this next year is to maintain current member numbers as we transition to the new website.

Maryland Acupuncture Society is Proud to Present a Day of Learning and Fun in Honor of the Chinese New Year, on Feb 2 nd  2019 at Walden Country Club in Crofton MD:

Lecture: Feng Shui and Cosmological Influences in Your Practice
Cost: $160 – 4 CEU | Register  here

In this 5 hour class (including provided lunch!), Jennifer Brown, Certified Feng Shui Consultant and experienced lecturer to healthcare workers nationally, will provide an introduction to the 4th and 5th branches of Chinese Medicine; feng shui and cosmology, and will discuss ways acupuncturists can apply feng shui practices in their treatment spaces to create optimally healing indoor environments and utilize the unique energy of the seasons to improve health and wellness. In addition, she will provide strategies to prepare for the upcoming transition into the new year (February 5th-the year of the Earth Pig) and harness the new energy coming in.

Students will learn:
How to identify energetic blocks and imbalances in a given environment, and how to correct those imbalances for optimal energy in a space
Best practices to create a healing environment
Practices to welcome the coming lunar new year February 5th
Practices to be in alignment with, and harness the energy of the coming new year - the year of the Earth Pig

THEN stay and join us for Maryland Acupuncture Society’s First Annual Chinese New Year Celebration!

6 pm - 9 pm with specialty Year of the Pig cocktail hour beginning at 5pm
Cost: $55*

Register for Both the Class and the Gala and receive a $5 discount! off all Gala tickets purchased!
Get dressed in your finest, fun attire for a special Chinese New Year celebration which will include unique Chinese New Year themed food, live music, a silent auction and raffles, plus a special Chinese Lion Dance to ring in the "new" Year of the Earth Pig.
This first of its kind Gala is open to all friends of acupuncture, so bring your family, friends, and invite your patients who love to support our profession!
*Class participants will be provided a relaxing private space to change attire and prepare for the evening's events.

SAVE THE DATE for Acupuncture Billing Seminars with Mori West:
April 27 th  and 28 th  2019
at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights, Maryland

Saturday April 2th 2019 -   Beginning Billing   - Get a firm foundation and learn how to do it right the first time. Brand new to billing or been doing it but still have questions? This is the class for you. You'll leave with lots of resources and a good understanding of the billing process.

Sunday April 28 th  2019 - Exams and Bulletproof Documentation   This class contains BRAND new information on proper documentation -  Understand what carriers are looking for and give it to them. You'll learn how to create a treatment plan and goal of treatment as well as understanding how to document and justify Medical Necessity.
The Massachusetts legislature passed an opioid bill which called on the Division of Insurance in MA for insurance companies to add language encouraging insurers to cover non-opiod treatments for pain. The Acupuncture Society of Massachusetts worked in concert with Mel Koppelman, ED of Evidence Based Acupuncture, (EBA), to create this document:

Representatives from the ASM met with legislators and legislative staff in mid December to strategize implementation of insurance coverage for acupuncture either through the Division of Insurance or legislation to be filed this year.
MAAOM Highlights for 2018

  • Fundraiser event at Flatbread Pizza in two locations

  • Tri-fold brochure on Acupuncture in Maine developed by the MAAOM (front & back)

  • Developed 4x9 Rack Card developed by the MAAOM focusing on Dry Needling (front & back) (Thank you, ASA colleagues, for your feedback. We made suggested edits!)

  • Engaged in statewide public education effort, beginning with acupuncturists reaching out to their elected officials and candidates running for office. This effort is on-going.

  • In response to increased insurance billing audits, we were able to bring in Mori West with relatively short notice to teach the Insurance Billing and Bulletproof examination and Documentation, a class we were also able to stream (for the first time ever. Thank you VT for your guidance.)

  • Mailed a DN educational packet to all LACs in Maine thanks to the generous support of Lhasa/OMS

  • Conducted a survey to poll members about CEU offerings, annual meeting, possible name change, and ADS. Response rate: 44% :)

  • Membership is at an all time high and growing, 83 members representing 44% of all 187 LAcs in Maine

Minnesota Acupuncture Association |   2018 

Ensure the safe practice and regulation of orthopedic needling 
  • Petition to the MN Physical Therapy Board for promulgation of a rule making that the insertion of a filiform needle is outside the statutory physical therapy scope of practice
  • Provided Trigger Point Acupuncture / "Dry Needling" lecture and patient educational materials to general membership

Develop Strategic Relationships
  • Promote student involvement: one student representative from each school on the Board; hosted two Legislative Bootcamp Training events for students
  • MN Board of Medicine's Policy and Planning Committee, biannual updates
  • ASA, JASA (formerly Meridians: JAOM), Midwest regional states

Member Focused
  • CEU courses, community outreach events, monthly socials, white coat photo shoot at the capitol
  • PR/Media Projects to promote the profession and educate the public

Legislative Bills in Session
  • Alternative Pain Management Pilot Program, HF 2389
  • Worked with MN Fair Care providers’ coalition, HF95, SF 623
  • "Oriental" name change, SF 2708, HF 3041   

From the President of the Tennessee Acupuncture Council
1. We successfully hosted our very first CEU event in combination with our annual meeting. (see photo attached)

2. We approved a draft of an updated practice act for submission in 2019. 

3. We continued building community within our community of acupuncturists through monthly breakfasts for TAC members

2018 in Review
1. WISCA was an invited speaker to present "The Role of Acupuncture in the Wisconsin Opioid Solution" for The Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse 

2. WISCA published a Legal FAQs Brief, prepared by a commissioned health attorney, to provide legal analysis of members' most pressing questions.

3. WISCA changed its name from the Wisconsin Society of Certified Acupuncturists to the Wisconsin Society of Acupuncturists.

ASA Videos

Top 8 Things
Acupuncture Treats

Opioid Solution
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 Secretary@asacu.org .

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 Newsletter@asacu.org . You may also sign up to receive information directly at www.asacu.org.

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

American Society of Acupuncturists | 240-432--7522 | Newsletter@asacu.org | www.ASAcu.org