Coming up in the next legislative session in early 2017, there will be a motion for a bill that includes eliminating the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board (NCALB). This would be the first time that a state acupuncture licensing board has ever been eliminated in the United States. The profession of “acupuncturist” is under fire by other healthcare professions with more political power who wish to utilize a form of acupuncture called “dry needling” without observing the same educational standards set forth by the North Carolina and National Acupuncture Licensing Boards.
Of course we are particularly worried about what will happen if such a bill were to pass. The NCALB performs several crucial functions, the least of which is enforcing the training of acupuncturists in our state. Every licensed acupuncturist is expected to have over a minimum of 2,000 hours of training and 650 hours of clinical internship, a degree from an accredited acupuncture program and a board certification from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture, which requires over 40 hours of continuing education every year to maintain licensure. For “dry needling,” which is acupuncture by a different name, healthcare professionals can take a 52 hour course to augment their professional skillset and then insert acupuncture needles into their patients. By eliminating the NCALB, these healthcare professionals will be free to practice acupuncture without worrying about licensure to do so.
We are justifiably concerned about the unlicensed practice of acupuncture in North Carolina and fear for the safety of North Carolina citizens if this bill should come to pass. We are also unsure of our future ability to practice acupuncture without a state license should this come to pass. This is why we’re asking for your help.
1. Visit the North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and look under the Public tab for more information on how you can help fight this legislation.
2. Donate to the Walk for Acupuncture 5K Saturday October 29th, proceeds go to our lobbyist to fight this legislation. Donate by clicking here.
We appreciate your support very much!