Acupuncturists are heartless jerks. Yes, I said it. Many patients and friends are surprised when I tell them this.
In New Hampshire, I have been working hard to pass legislation to allow for recovery workers and other types of health professionals to be able to train and certify as acupuncture detoxification specialists. An acupuncture detoxification specialist gets trained in the NADA protocol, that consists of five specific points in the outer ear. Nothing more, nothing less. The Granite State is first in the nation for death by fentanyl overdose. POCA comrades, Cris and Melissa, helped to pass legislation like this recently in Rhode Island. Connecticut and Delaware have recently expanded their legislation to reduce barriers to care for people who need it.
Our biggest opposition to this kind of legislation is….Acupuncture Licensing Boards and State Associations.
Ryan Bemis from The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) wrote a West Coast NADA report in January 2012 He explained that acupuncturists who had been laid off from jobs in detox clinics worked with legislators and The California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives to change laws to allow allied health professionals to be trained in the NADA protocol. Yes, the same acupuncturists who lost their jobs were the ones working to empower non-acupuncturists to be able to practice a very limited form of acupuncture. They recognize how essential this is because there is insufficient funds to hire only licensed acupuncturists. The Acupuncture Board voted against this idea because they would “not support the practice of acupuncture outside of licensed acupuncturists.”
The California Board, like all acupuncture licensing boards, refuses to understand that their territorialism harms the public. They refuse to understand that their territorialism does not create jobs for acupuncturists. The only thing that their territorialism does is keep acupuncture confined and obscure.
Yes, acupuncturists suck. I said it.Or maybe it's just that Acupuncture Boards and Associations suck.
Nonetheless, in New Hampshire HB575 has a lot of support. My friends, co-workers, and community worked hard to prepare for the House and the Senate hearings. I have fostered positive working relationships with many legislators. In March, The bill was voted on by the House of Representatives via the Consent Calendar. When bills are on the Consent Calendar, it means that the committee that heard testimony on the bill supports it unanimously or near unanimously. The Senate Committee also favored the bill and put HB575 on the Consent Calendar. At the last minute, the bill was removed from the consent calendar and a restrictive amendment was introduced on the Senate Floor and voted on. It's all in the photo essay in the link that I have provided.
I was stunned… and devastated.
The story continues. Representatives and Senators will have to meet for something called a Committee of Conference. They will either reconcile the bill or they will kill it and it will have to be reintroduced in another session. The three Representatives who will attend the “C of C” are champions of the bill. Everyone knows how pervasive the opioid cirsis in our state is. Well, except for the acupuncturists who make the Acupuncture Licensing Board (NHBAL) and the State Association (NHAMMA).
The link goes to the photo essay that I created for my presentation for POCAfest in St. Pete. It is an imperfect work in progress, but that's true for all things POCA. We share our imperfect and evolving work anyway, for the benefit of all. You have to be a POCA member to log in and view it:, so if your membership has lapsed, please renew it. https://www.pocacoop.com/forums/viewthread/8719/
Please keep HB575 in your thoughts, prayers, or chants. Light all the candles everywhere.