Monday, July 21, 2008

Support the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Recently, I had the honor of being named to the board of the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (TAAOM). The TAAOM promotes and assists in the establishment of legislation that supports the profession of acupuncture and oriental medicine in Texas. Acupuncture is still very new in the USA, and the range and disparity of practice laws from state to state reflects this. In Texas currently, acupuncturists legally are only allowed to treat smoking cessation, substance abuse, weight loss, and chronic pain without the patient first having been seen by a physician or dentist within a year for the condition being treated, or referred by a chiropractor within the last 30 days. This is a burdensome and unrealistic practice law. It simply does not accurately represent the range of ailments acupuncture and oriental medicine can treat effectively and safely, or how people use acupuncture in their day to day lives. The Texas Legislature will convene for the 81st Regular Session on January 13, 2009. The TAAOM is prepared to introduce legislation at this time that will significantly broaden the scope of practice for acupuncturists and more realistically reflect the work that we do. All of this costs money. If you are an acupuncturist or an acupuncture student in Texas, and not a member of the TAAOM, you need to join. It is probably the most important professional organization for you to be a part of because the work it does, while not glamorous, has everything to do with how we are allowed to practice in Texas. There is no one else watching out for us, and frankly membership levels are anemic. If you are not an acupuncturist, but are a supporter of this beautiful system of medicine and want to see it thrive in Texas, please make a donation. Every little bit helps.