Acupuncture

Definition of the Practice of Acupuncture

The practice of acupuncture: the practice of medicine based upon traditional oriental medical theories; primarily the insertion of metal needles through the skin at certain points on the body, with or without the use of herbs, with or without the application of electric current, and with or without the application of heat to the needles, skin, or both, in an attempt to relieve pain or improve bodily function. Electroacupuncture, whether utilizing electrodes on the surface of the skin or current applied to inserted needles, and laser acupuncture are considered the practice of acupuncture.

photo of hand applying acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture Guidelines

Guidebook to the Practice of Acupuncture in Massachusetts Adobe Acrobat

(A) Acupuncture shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Auricular, hand, nose, face, foot and/or scalp acupuncture therapy;

  2. Stimulation to acupuncture points and channels by use of any of the following:

  • Needles, moxibustion, cupping, thermal methods, magnets, gwa-sha, scraping techniques, acupatches, herbal poultices, ion cord linking acupuncture devices with wires, hot and cold packs, TDP (electro magnetic wave therapy).

  • Manual stimulation including acutotement (which is defined as stimulation by an instrument that does not pierce the skin); massage, acupressure, reflexology, and shiatsu tui na.

  • Electrical stimulation including electro-acupuncture, percutaneous and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

(B) Acupuncture diagnostic technique shall include but not be limited to the use of observation, listening, smelling, inquiring, palpation, pulses, tongue, physiognomy, five element correspondences, ryodoraku, akabani, German electro-acupuncture, Kirlian photography and thermography.

(C) The needles used in acupuncture shall be solid filiform instruments which shall include but not be limited to: dermal needles, plum blossom needles, press needles, prismatic needles and disposal lancets. The use of staples in the practice of acupuncture shall be prohibited.

(D) Adjunctive therapies shall include but not be limited to:

  • Oriental nutritional counseling, herbology, and the recommendation of nonprescription substances which meet the Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements, as dietary supplements to promote health.
  • Recommendation of breathing techniques and therapeutic exercises; and
  • Lifestyle, behavioral, supportive, educational and stress counseling.

(E) Acupuncturist means any person licensed under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 112, s.s. 149 to 162, inclusive, to practice acupuncture.

 

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Acupuncture

Professional Acupuncture Societies in Massachusetts

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Society of Massachusetts
P.O. Box 755
Beverly, MA 01915

Massachusetts Chinese Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine
1575 Tremont Street, Room 1008
Boston, MA 02115

Email: mcstcm@hotmail.com

Oriental Traditional Medical Association
Phone: 617-527-6076

 

 

 

 

 

Acupuncture

Statute: Physicians Who Practice Acupuncture in Massachusetts

The last sentence of Section 162 of The Acupuncture Statute (M.G.L. c, 112 §148-162) states that "nothing contained herein shall prevent licensed physicians from practicing acupuncture."

The above statute allows physicians licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine to practice acupuncture in Massachusetts under their medical license.

photo of man getting acupuncture on the ear

Acupuncture

Current Requirements for a Full Acupuncture License in Massachusetts

Minimum Age
An applicant must be at least 18 years of age

Character
An applicant must be of good moral character

Language

An applicant must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language to understand and to be understood by patients, physicians and Board of Registration of Medicine and Committee on Acupuncture personnel. Effective 6-13-97, if the Massachusetts Licensure Examination is or has been taken in a language other than English the applicant must submit proof of a passing score on the TOEFL exam. The score report must be sent directly from TOEFL to the Acupuncture Unit. NOTE: If an applicant cannot document proficiency in English, an applicant must provide the Acupuncture Unit with the name and address of the interpreter he or she intends to employ once licensed.

An applicant must pass the Massachusetts Licensure Exam as follows:

  • National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) Comprehensive Written Exam (CWE/ACUP) [the separately scored portion on Clean Needle Technique was eliminated as of 9-10-98], and
  • National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) Practical Exam of Point Location Skills (PEPLS), and
  • National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) Biomedicine Module (for graduates after January 1, 2007), and Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) Clean Needle Course
  • Any individual who takes the Massachusetts licensure examination on or after 9-1-99 must take all components of such examination in the English language.

Educational Requirements

  • The applicant must have completed two full years of undergraduate study (60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours or the equivalent) at an accredited college or university, (this accredited college or university cannot be your acupuncture school) or foreign institution which the Committee on Acupuncture deems the equivalent.

  • The applicant must have completed, at an accredited college or at a Committee on Acupuncture approved acupuncture school, a three semester hour course in each of the following: general biology, human physiology, and human anatomy. If an applicant wishes to substitute another course as an equivalent for the required general biology, human anatomy and human physiology courses, the applicant must submit either a detailed course description or a course syllabus of the course for the Committee on Acupuncture to review. The Committee on Acupuncture will not accept correspondence or self-study courses or equivalency examinations for any of the required courses.

  • The applicant must have completed a minimum of 1,350 hours of clinical and didactic instruction in acupuncture related courses, of which a minimum of 100 hours must be in the supervised diagnosis and treatment of patients for whom the applicant is solely responsible, in a school approved by the Committee on Acupuncture. Note: Coursework in general biology, human physiology, and human anatomy are excluded from the 1,350 hours of required acupuncture education.)

  • An applicant who plans to employ herbal therapy in his or her practice must have received a minimum of 30 hours of herbal medicine training from a Committee on Acupuncture approved school or Committee on Acupuncture approved program in order to be licensed.

  • An applicant who plans to employ herbal therapy (patent or raw) in his or her practice must submit evidence of completion of one of the following courses of education in herbology: i. Completion of an Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) accredited or candidate status oriental medicine program. ii. Completion of an herbal medicine program offered by an ACAOM accredited or candidate status acupuncture school that meets the curriculum requirements as described in the ACAOM Accreditation Handbook. iii. Completion of an herbal medicine program which the Committee on Acupuncture deems is substantially equivalent to or exceeds the ACAOM curriculum requirements regarding herbal medicine as described in the ACAOM Accreditation Handbook.

  • An applicant who does not plan to employ herbal therapy in his or her practice must have received a minimum of 30 hours of herbal medicine training from a Committee on Acupuncture approved school or Committee on Acupuncture program in order to be licensed.

Foreign Applicants
Foreign applicants must have a minimum of five (5) academic years of study, of which three (3) academic years must consist of acupuncture training in a Committee on Acupuncture approved school. All transcripts must be in English and must state the number of hours for each class, the number of hours for the entire program, the number of months in attendance and the date the diploma was awarded. Only foreign schools that are government approved will be recognized by the Committee on Acupuncture. In addition, the Acupuncture Unit will verify the authenticity of the documents submitted by contacting the appropriate issuing institution.

School Approval
An applicant must have graduated from an acupuncture school approved by the Committee on Acupuncture. An acupuncture school must be apprroved by the Committee on Acupuncture on the date the applicant graduates from the school.

Transcript

  • Original transcript must be sent directly from an applicant's undergraduate school to the Acupuncture Unit.

  • Original transcript must be sent directly from an applicant's acupuncture school to the Acupuncture Unit showing the date an applicant's diploma was awarded.

  • Original transcript must be sent directly from an applicant's school(s) to the Acupuncture Unit listing a three (3) credit course in human anatomy; a three (3) credit course in human physiology and a three (3) credit course in general biolog

 

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