Archive for the ‘Acupuncture in USA’ Category

via Distribution of licensed acupuncturists and educational institutions in the United States at the start of 2018  

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We have a new published article: there are 50 days free access online, if you like to read the detail, you may click the link:



This study was conducted to identify the approximate number and density of actively licensed acupuncturists, as well as the number of schools in acupuncture and oriental medicine (AOM) by January 1, 2018 in the United States (U.S.). We contacted the appropriate department governing acupuncturists, such as the Board of Acupuncture or Board of Medicine, etc. in each state and U.S. territories, to collect the data. We also conducted online license information searches in order to collect the most accurate numbers of licensed acupuncturists, especially for those states in which a board could not be reached. We found that the number of actively licensed acupuncturists as of January 1, 2018 in the U.S. was 37,886. The ten states with the largest number of acupuncturists (28,452 or 75.09% of the U.S. total), in order by total, included California, New York, Florida, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts. The number of practitioners was greater than 1000 for each of these states. Among them, the largest three were California (12,135; 32.03%), New York (4438; 11.71%) and Florida (2705; 7.13%). These three states accounted for more than half of the overall total. The number of total licensed acupuncturists has increased 257% since 1998. The overall acupuncturist density in the U.S. – measured as number of acupuncturists per 100,000 – was 11.63 (total number of licensed acupuncturists: 37,886, divided by the total population: 325,719,178 at the start of 2018). There were 20 states with an acupuncturist density of more than 10 per 100,000 population. Hawaii (52.82) was the highest, followed by Oregon (34.88), Vermont (30.79), California (30.69) and then New Mexico (30.27). There were 62 active, accredited AOM schools which altogether offered 100 programs: 32 master degrees in Acupuncture, 53 master degrees in Oriental medicine, 13 postgraduate doctorate degrees and 2 entry-level doctorate degrees. Among these active accredited schools, institutions in the West and East Coast states comprised 77.42% of the national total. California, Florida, and New York represented 41.94%. There were 48 jurisdictions (47 States and the District of Columbia) with acupuncture practice laws in place. States without acupuncture laws included Alabama, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The data suggests that acupuncture profession has steadily grown in the United States.

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NAF No_of_Licenses_chart 2005 National Acupuncture Foundation 07042018 record

Click to access No_of_Licenses_chart.pdf


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欧阳晖,樊蓥, 等. 美国阿片类药物危机与针灸发展的契机 2018

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Today, 10:45am, Dr. Arthur Fan was on a TV show, and interviewed by known TV host Ms. Marylee Joyce. The topic is acupuncture’s role in opioids epidemic.

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Distribution of licensed acupuncturists and educational institutions in the United States in early 2015   (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095496417300122)


In recent decades, acupuncture has been used more widely and extensively in the United States (U.S.). However, there have been no national surveys or analyses reported in academic journals on the number of practicing or licensed acupuncturists. This study was conducted to identify the approximate number of licensed acupuncturists active in 2015. The Board of Acupuncture or Board of Medicine in each state or U.S. territory was contacted to collect data. Online license information searching was also performed in order to get accurate numbers of licensed acupuncturists for those states in which a board was unable to be contacted. The study found that the number of licensed acupuncturists in 2015 in the U.S. was 34,481. Of this, more than 50% were licensed in three states alone: California (32.39%), New York (11.89%) and Florida (7.06%). The number of licensed acupuncturists increased 23.30% and 52.09%, compared to the year 2009 (n = 27,965) and 2004 (n = 22,671), respectively; increasing about 1,266 per year. There were 62 and 10 accredited acupuncture institutions providing master and doctoral degrees, respectively. The West Coast comprised 51.39% of degree granting programs, while the East Coast comprised 29.17%; together the coastal states housed more than 80% of all programs, with the remainder sprinkled across the southern (9.72%), northern (8.33%), and the middle/central states (1.39%). Forty-four states and the District of Columbia regulated acupuncture practice by law at the time of data collection. Acupuncture continues to be a quickly growing profession in the U.S.

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Arthur Yin Fan1,2 , Jun Xu1,3, and Yong-ming Li1,3

1. American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety. Greenwich, Connecticut (06878), U.S.A.;
2. American Traditional Chinese Medicine Association. Vienna, Virginia (22182), U.S.A.;
3. American Acupuncture Association of Greater New York, New York, (10016), U.S.A

The original white paper was published in Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine:   [AAPAS White Paper on Dry Needling(I-III) Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM]

1. Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM. Evidence and expert opinions: Dry needling versus acupuncture (I) : -The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) White Paper 2016. Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Jan;23(1):3-9. doi: 10.1007/s11655-016-2630-y.
2. Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM. Evidence and expert opinions: Dry needling versus acupuncture (II) : -The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) White Paper 2016. Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Feb;23(2):83-90. doi: 10.1007/s11655-017-2800-6
3. Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM. Evidence and expert opinions: Dry needling versus acupuncture (III) : -The American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS) White Paper 2016. Chin J Integr Med 2017 Mar; (3):163-165. doi: 10.1007/s11655-017-2542-x.

The white paper includes in 7 topics:
1. What Is Dry Needling? [page3]
2. Who First Used Dry Needling in the West? [page5]
3. Has Dry Needling Been Used in China? [page7]
4. Does Dry Needling Use Acupuncture Points? [page9]
5. What Is New About Dry Needling Points (Trigger Points)? [page13]
6. Is Dry Needling a Manual Therapy? [page16]
7. Summary of Dry Needling [page17]
(1) Academic perspective [page17]
(2) The Problems Dry Needling caused [page18]
(3) Our Position [page20]

Summary[AAPAS White Paper on Dry Needling(I-III) Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM]
In the last twenty years, in the United States and other Western countries, dry needling (DN) became a hot and debatable topic, not only in academic but also in legal fields. This White Paper is to provide the authoritative information of DN versus acupuncture to academic scholars, healthcare professionals, administrators, lawmakers, and the general public through providing the authoritative evidence and experts’ opinions regarding critical issues of DN versus acupuncture, and then reach consensus.

We conclude that DN is the use of dry needles alone, either solid filiform acupuncture needles or hollowcore hypodermic needles, to insert into the body for the treatment of muscle pain and related myofascial pain syndrome. DN is sometimes also known as intramuscular stimulation, TrP acupuncture, TrP DN, myofascial TrP DN, or biomedical acupuncture. In Western countries, DN is an over-simplified acupuncture using biomedical language in treating myofascial pain, a contemporary development of a
portion of Ashi point (Ah-yes point, or tender point) acupuncture from traditional Chinese acupuncture. As developed by Travell & Simons, C. Chan Gunn and Peter Baldry, et al, it seeks to redefine Acupuncture by re-translating reframing its theoretical principles in a Western manner. It reflects the effort of de-acupoint, and de-theory of Chinese medicine by some healthcare professionals and researchers. DN with filiform needles have been widely used in Chinese acupuncture practice over the past 2,000 years, and with hypodermic needles as Dr. Travell described has been used in China in acupuncture practice for at least 72 years. In Eastern countries, such as China, since 1800s or earlier, DN is a common name of acupuncture among acupuncturists and the general public, which has been used 2000 years, and its indications, is not limited to treating and preventing musculoskeletal disorders or illness including so called the myofascial pain.
Medical doctors Travell, Gunn, Baldry and others who have promoted dry needling by simply rebranding:
(1) acupuncture as dry needling and (2) acupuncture points as trigger points (dry needling points). Dry needling simply using English biomedical terms (especially using “fascia” hypothesis) in replace of their equivalent Chinese medical terms. Trigger points belong to the category of Ashi acupuncture points in traditional Chinese acupuncture, and they are not a new discovery. By applying acupuncture points, dry needling is actually trigger point acupuncture, an invasive therapy (a surgical procedure) instead of
manual therapy. Travell admitted to the general public that dry needling is acupuncture, and acupuncture professionals practice dry needling as acupuncture therapy and there are several criteria in acupuncture profession to locate trigger points as acupuncture points. Among acupuncture schools, dry needling practitioners emphasize acupuncture’s local responses while other acupuncturists pay attention to the responses of both local, distal, and whole body responses. For patients’ safety, dry needling practitioners
should meet standards required for licensed acupuncturists and physicians.
DN is not merely a technique but a medical therapy and a form of acupuncture practice. As a form of acupuncture, an invasive practice, it is not in the practice scope of physical therapists (PTs). DN has been “developed” simply by replacing terms and promoted by acupuncturists, medical doctors, and researchers, and it was not initiated by PTs. In order to promote DN theory and business, some commercial DN educators have recruited a large amount of non-acupuncturists, including in PTs, as students and
customers in recent years. The national organizations of PT profession, such as APTA and FSBPT, started to support the practice of DN by PTs around 2010. Currently, there are probably more PTs involving DN practice and teaching than any other specialties. In most states, licensed acupuncturists are required to attain an average of 3,000 educational hours via an accredited school or program before they apply for a license. The physician or medical acupuncturists are required to get a minimum of an
additional 300 educational hours in a board -approved acupuncture training institution and have 500 cases of clinical acupuncture treatments in order to get certified in medical acupuncture. However, a typical DN course run only 20-30 hours, and the participants may receive “DN certificate” without any examination. For patients’ safety and professional integrity, we strongly suggest that all DN practitioners and educators
should have met the basic standards required for licensed acupuncturists or physicians.
KEYWORDS dry needling, acupuncture, biomedical acupuncture, authoritative evidence, experts’ opinions, consensus

Click to access AAPAS%20White%20Paper%20on%20Dry%20Needling.pdf

AAPAS White Paper on Dry Needling(I-III) Fan AY, Xu J, Li YM

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