Acupuncture licenses are granted by state governments. Consequently, licensure laws and scope of practice regulations are unique to each state.
At the national level, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) administers the national board examinations for acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Asian Bodywork Therapy and aims to "establish, assess, and promote recognized standards of competency and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public." Most US states require national board certification for licensure. (See NCCAOM's State Licensure Summary for more information).
NCCAOM has accounced plans to resume adaptive exam administration starting May 18, 2020. See more on the NCCAOM Exam Administration Page.
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- Licensure Resources & Links
Licensure requirements vary by state. It is important that each individual begins researching the requirements for licensure for the state in which they wish to practice as early as possible. For licensure in the state of Texas, the AOMA Licensure Checklist (PDF) is a good place to start.
- AOMA Acupuncture Licensure Resources: Quick Reference (PDF)
- AOMA Estimated Summary of Licensure Costs & Fees (PDF)
- Texas Medical Board: Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners (TMB:TSBAE)
- NCCAOM State Licensure Summary
Many states require verification of education via state specific licensure paperwork and/or official transcripts. Both verification paperwork and transcript requests may be submitted to the registrar for completion. Notary services for licensure paperwork are also available for an additional fee.
No fees are collected for official transcripts required for initial licensure, if requested within one year from date of graduation.
To be eligible to take the California Licensure Examination, graduates who enroll in the program after January 1, 2005 must also complete 15 credits in basic sciences either as pre-requisites to admission or as electives prior to graduation. These credits include three credits in each of the following categories: general biology, chemistry (including organic and biochemistry), general physics (including a survey of biophysics), general psychology, and pathology. Academic advisors maintain a list of courses available at Austin Community College that fulfill this requirement for students who have not already satisfied it upon admission. Once completed, these courses are listed on a student’s transcript as transfer credit.
- Professional Associations
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental (AAAOM)
Mission: to promote excellence and integrity in the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in order to enhance public health and well-being.
State Acupuncture Associations
Individual websites collected at: http://www.aaaomonline.org/?StateAssociations
Mission: Varies depending on association.
Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (TAAOM)
The Texas Acupuncture Association (TAA) was founded in 1992 before the practice of acupuncture was legal in the state of Texas. It was through their efforts that acupuncture became legal and professionally licensed in Texas. In 2001 TAA changed its name to the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (TAAOM) in order to better represent all facets of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA)
The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA®) is a non-profit, professional membership organization that represents instructors, practitioners, schools and programs, and students of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT).
American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA)
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) promotes the integration of concepts from traditional and modern forms of acupuncture with Western medical training and thereby synthesize a more comprehensive approach to health care.
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) serves its members by promoting the responsible commerce of products which contain herbs and which are used to enhance health and quality of life.
National Acupuncture Detoxification Association Protocol (NADA)
Mission: Ear acupuncture protocol for addiction, stress, and trauma. Professional membership organization.
- Professional Publications