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Governor Signs Acupuncture Legislation

Lansing, Michigan  December 5, 2019   Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to license acupuncturists here in Michigan. This legislation will make acupuncture more accessible to residents, protect the public and provide consistent standards of training and certification. With this act, Michigan becomes the 47th State in the Union to license acupuncture. The bill, championed by State Representative Bronna Kahle of Adrian, received strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

Many Michiganders already benefit from acupuncture to relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve overall health. It is one of the fastest growing healthcare professions, and its popularity is driven by clinical research demonstrating its efficacy in a wide range of conditions. By providing a license to acupuncturists, residents of Michigan gain a safe, effective, and more consistent treatment from professionally educated and trained acupuncturists. With the passage of this legislation, Michigan will now be more likely to attract more acupuncture professionals, as our state currently lags behind neighboring states in the number of professionals serving the growing consumer demand.

Acupuncture provides a safe alternative for chronic pain management. Its licensing and wider availability to consumers should help reduce opioid abuse over time. Licensed Acupuncturists are recognized by the Veterans Administration (VA) as a health care profession that offers non-opioid pain management. “Veterans are one of the populations most in need of effective alternatives to opioids, and even though the VA pays for acupuncture, Veterans in Michigan often have to drive for several hours to see an acupuncturist who meets the VA’s qualification standards,” states Henry Buchtel, Legislative Committee Chair, Michigan Society of Acupuncturists (MiSA).    

“The signing of this bill represents a major step forward for the acupuncture health profession” says Kristin Swann, President of MiSA. “We anticipate a wider and more consistent offering of our professional services statewide. More customers will discover and choose acupuncture, as they receive a safe and proven treatment of pain, and add acupuncture to their overall portfolio of wellness options. We appreciate the wide support received from our elected officials and that of Governor Whitmer.”  

The Michigan Society of Acupuncturists (MiSA) is a professional association of trained and experienced acupuncturists and practitioners of East Asian medicine, committed to providing the best care to keep patients balanced, healthy, and strong. The organization supports its members by sponsoring and announcing continuing education events in the field and by working to advance the acupuncture health profession in the state.

Position on Acupuncture Services

May 29, 2020

It is the position of the Michigan Society of Acupuncturists that Registered Acupuncturists provide both medical and personal care services.

The Michigan Society of Acupuncturists (MiSA) is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the public and minimizing risk of exposure without limiting the ability of Registered Acupuncturists (RAc) to provide essential services to reduce the strain on the hospital system during the COVID-19 crisis.

•   RAc’s provide certain medical services that are necessary to sustain life and reduce the strain on the hospital system[1].

•   RAc’s are highly trained professionals with sufficient training in infectious disease control and prevention[2].

•   RAc’s have the professional training to assess the necessity of a treatment, and to perform it in a way that minimizes risk[3].

•   RAc’s may also provide non-essential personal care services, or operate facilities that also provide personal care services.

Current MiSA Recommendations

•   When providing medical services, MiSA recommends that all Registered Acupuncturists follow the requirements for outpatient healthcare facilities listed in Section 9 of Executive Order 2020-97.

•   When providing personal care services, MiSA recommends following the requirements for activities not considered necessary to sustain or protect life in Executive Order 2020-96, or according to guidelines as developed by the state Wellness Advisory Workgroup (pending).

Background

During the COVID-19 crisis the state responded by issuing Executive Orders which separated healthcare providers into categories based on the perceived necessity of the healthcare providers’ services. Providers of essential services necessary to “sustain or protect life” (EO 2020-21, 3/24/20) were ordered to temporarily postpone all medical procedures that were “not necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider” (EO 2020-17, 3/21/20).

On April 3, 2020, the Michigan Society of Acupuncturists (MiSA) issued guidance that Registered Acupuncturists (RAc) temporarily postpone all acupuncture services except those which were necessary to reduce the strain on the hospital system. MiSA also recommended to all RAc’s that any essential services provided should be done with screening and personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with OSHA “Medium Exposure Risk” classification[4] and the CCAOM Clinic Infection Control Advisory[5].

MiSA noted high levels of compliance both with the Executive Orders and with MiSA’s recommendations, and no incidents of COVID-19 transmission have been reported at acupuncture facilities.

MiSA currently recommends that when providing medical services, all Registered Acupuncturists follow the requirements for outpatient healthcare facilities listed in Section 9 of Executive Order 2020-97, and when providing personal care services, MiSA recommends following the requirements for activities not considered necessary to sustain or protect life in Executive Order 2020-96, or according to guidelines as developed by the state Wellness Advisory Workgroup (pending).

References

[1] A substantial evidence base exists for acupuncture for chronic conditions such as pain and depression. Further citations available upon request: Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. J Pain. 2018; 19 (5):455-474. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29198932/

[2] All RAc’s complete national training in infectious disease control: CCAOM Clean Needle Technique Manual, 7th Edition. Best Practices for Acupuncture Needle Safety and Related Procedures. Part IV — Infections Associated with Acupuncture and Related Healthcare Practices https://www.ccaom.org/ccaom/CNT_Manual.asp

[3] All RAc’s have completed a 3-year, 1900 hour Masters degree or higher, and pass national certification exams: National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine – Formal Education: Graduate from an ACAOM Accredited Program https://www.nccaom.org/certification/nccaom-certification-eligibility/educational-eligibility/

[4] OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

[5] CCAOM Clinic Infection Control Advisory https://www.ccaom.org/images/ccaom/Documents/COVID19/CCAOM%20Clinic%20Infection%20Control%20Advisory%20(Updated°/0204.30.2020).pdf

Ongoing Fundraising Event

MiSA is now an affiliate with Healthy Seminars and will receive a 10% commission (increased to 25% until October 17) on all seminars purchased using the following special MiSA link:

https://www.healthyseminars.com?a_aid=5ea4647a418be

Please think of MiSA and use this Healthy Seminars link when you are shopping for online courses! And please share this link with every acupuncturist you know!

 

Join Us

Join The MiSA

Strengthen the acupuncture profession in Michigan by joining MiSA. You can join as a student, a professional, an out-of-state professional, an allied health professional, or a friend of acupuncture. Your support allows the association to protect our scope of practice, provide discounts on continuing education classes and events, and allows you to build networks and community.

As a MiSA member, professionals automatically become a member of the American Society of Acupuncturists, which provides additional discounts on insurance policies and discounts on CE’s provided in all ASA states. 

 

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About Us

About The Michigan Society of Acupuncturists

The Michigan Society of Acupuncturists (MiSA), formerly the Michigan Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAAOM), was founded in 1988.  We are a non-profit organization committed to promoting the safe and effective practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Michigan.

MiSA is a professional association of trained and experienced acupuncturists and practitioners of Oriental medicine, committed to providing the best care to keep our patients balanced, healthy, and strong. We support our members by sponsoring and announcing continuing education events in our field and by working together to advance our profession in the state.