A Publication of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
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Winter 2013

CEO Message.


The holidays always carry with them a myriad of memories and reflections, as well as expectations for the year to come. As the 2013 Holiday Season fast approaches, the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners and staff take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our Diplomates, candidates and colleagues for your outstanding support and efforts to advance the AOM profession.

The year 2013 is represented by the Black Water Snake, according to one Chinese horoscope, and is known to be “a year of steady progress and attention to detail”. In retrospect this year the NCCAOM Board, staff and our many committee and panel members were immersed in projects and activities that required meticulous attention to detail that were vital to our work. One such endeavor was the completion of the 2013 Job Analysis (JA). Thank you to all the JA Panel members that assisted with the creation of the Job Analysis Survey and the decision-making that led to the publication of the new NCCAOM® Exam Content Outlines.

The data collected from the Job Analysis Survey will be utilized in a variety of ways. Some of the data will be used to provide updated workforce data to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the advancement of the AOM profession in obtaining an independent occupational code. In 2014 the BLS’s Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee (SOCPC) will be reviewing proposals, from numerous disciplines, to have certain job titles recognized or updated for inclusion in the next publication of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). Inclusion of a specific SOC for acupuncturists will be made in 2015 and, if accepted, will be implemented in 2018. Information provided on the complete progress update with the BLS may be found on our website.

The primary purpose of the 2013 JA Survey is to validate the content for the NCCAOM examinations, and therefore, to link to the new exam content outlines and the NCCAOM® Study Guides.

Thank you to all who took the time to complete the 2013 Diplomate Satisfaction Survey. Your valuable feedback provided guidance to offer even better services to assist our Diplomates. NCCAOM always strives to promote our Diplomates and their certifications. One of our organizational goals is to continue to enhance the public profile of our Diplomates and the acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) profession. The 2013 Diplomate Satisfaction Survey was conducted from July 11 to August 15, 2013. A total of 1,353 Diplomates responded to and completed the survey. The results of this survey now serve as a new benchmark, as NCCAOM continues to strive for increased customer satisfaction.

Also in 2013, NCCAOM staff created two new NCCAOM fact sheets to educate and inform our stakeholders and the public on the importance of the NCCAOM examination and certification process to ensure the safe and effective practice of AOM. These fact sheets are available on the NCCAOM website. NCCAOM® Fact Sheets recently posted to the NCCAOM website are: the general NCCAOM® Certification and Testing Program Fact Sheet and the Information for California Licensed Acupuncturists about the NCCAOM Testing and Certification Program Fact Sheet .

Another area of expansion for the NCCAOM this past year is in the area of forming strategic partnerships. The NCCAOM was fortunate to form a strategic partnership with MindBody Exchange, formerly Jill’s List, which is an online community dedicated to helping complementary and integrative healthcare practitioners market and grow their practices. Credentialed complementary and integrated healthcare practitioners can create a free business listing on MindBody Exchange which is searchable by patients, doctors, and other members of the healthcare community. Please see the featured article in this issue of the e-news regarding more opportunities for NCCAOM Diplomates to promote themselves via MindBody Exchange. Strategic partnerships such as this benefit Diplomates by facilitating a wider audience reach. The NCCAOM is continually seeking ways to stimulate the growth and recognition of our Diplomates and the AOM profession. The MindBody partnership is a good example of that effort.

This year the NCCAOM also entered the waters of social media through its creation of our Facebook page which garnered over 1,200 ‘likes’ within the first 24 hours and at this writing has over 2,300 likes and countless ‘shares’ of posted articles all benefiting the practice of AOM.

At the Diplomate webinar presented on May 1, 2013, we conducted a poll to help us determine which social media channel was at that time perceived to be more important to our Diplomates as the next social media communication tool from the NCCAOM.  We offered the choice of LinkedIn or Twitter, and LinkedIn received the most votes. As a result, we launched the NCCAOM LinkedIn page September 9, 2013.

As the NCCAOM approaches 2014, the Year of the Wood Horse, we look ahead with hope to strengthen old bonds, create new partnerships and with the “spirit of the horse”, make unremitting efforts to enhance our collective future.

Thank you for all your support.

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AOM Day 2013 - In Reflection


A new trend is emerging as various organizations and businesses extended the AOM Day celebrations to several days and some through the week.

A full list of this year’s events may be found at http://aomday.org/programs.html . This list will remain available until the end of January of 2014 before it will be taken down for new 2014 AOM Day celebration event preparation. In that light, please watch for our summer issue of the Diplomate E-News You Can Use. The 2014 AOM Day announcement will be made then so start planning today on how to bring AOM awareness to your town and local area.

The effort shown by everyone who participated in AOM Day 2013 is not only vitally important to “increasing the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM)”, it honors a tradition of over 3,000 years. Thank you for your efforts, your commitment to health and your compassion for those in need. AOM Day 2014 begins now.The end of the year is always a great time for reflection. It is a time to look back and see a different view, bigger pictures of the year’s events, results achieved and make plans and resolutions for the year to come.

While reflecting on the 2013 AOM Day  celebration, it’s important to look at the bigger picture of the impact made throughout the nation; we thank every participant for being a part of this great movement in bringing to light the amazing benefits of AOM.

This year, many strategies were employed to emphasize and encourage practitioners to showcase their skills and compassion through AOM Day activities. The AOM Day website was updated and refreshed, new marketing tools were offered for the benefit of practitioners and a strong press campaign was launched. All this resulted in an incredible outcomes.

According to the ReleaseWatch Report, the single AOM Day press release was picked up by 1,387 news agencies across the globe, including major market Business Journals, digital news rooms such as:, Miami Herald, WFMZ NEWS, The SUN, Santa Cruz Sentinel, La Mega 97.9 FM, Global Newsweek, Wall Street Select, and the Chronicle Union News. Additional impact occurred internationally. Newsrooms in South Korea, Denmark, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Russia, Singapore, Belgium and Pakistan also featured articles about AOM Day celebrations.

As a direct result of the AOM campaign, 85 events in total (a record high for AOM Day events) were announced on the AOM Day website, during September 1st through October 24th. There were submissions by schools, individual practitioners, associations and organizations nationwide and internationally. The events included free educational classes and lectures, open houses and tours, ‘happy hour’ with herbal tastings, refreshments, heavily discounted or even free treatments, aromatherapy, community acupuncture sessions, tai chi/ qigong classes and much more! Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma, utilized the entire Naturopathic Team to support their AOM Day activities. Joining in the worldwide celebration with the United States and representing the AOM community in Pakistan and India were three large organizations: The Pakistan Acupuncture Council, Pakistan Oriental Society of Acupuncturists and India NADIPATHY -The Ancient Traditional Medicine, a system that encompasses a variety of ancient healing modalities.

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Healing Community Trauma Around The World

By Carla Cassler, DAOM, L.Ac. Director of Development and U.S. Programs


Consider this:

  • Each day, a combat veteran or active duty soldier commits suicide in the United States.
  • Hundreds of Boulder, Colorado residents were forced to leave their homes due to devastating floods in September.
  • Over 350,000 people in Haiti are still living in tents in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
  •  In Nepal, 10,000-15,000 girls are sold into prostitution or slavery every year.
  • Over 50 percent of adults in Mongolia cope with alcohol dependence and addiction.

Our profession offers a powerful form of healing that can help people and communities recover from traumatic events such as these. In 2005, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) was created to fulfill this purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the words of AWB Founder Diana Fried,

AWB’s vision is to help build stable, peaceful, global communities.  Knowing that unresolved trauma can have repercussions for decades, we train acupuncturists to offer community style acupuncture treatments to interrupt this cycle.  Through our volunteer network, we help provide immediate and long term relief and recovery to communities that are in crisis as a result of natural disaster or human conflict.  By collaborating with local organizations and treating with community style acupuncture in group settings, we can support the healing of the whole community.”

After Hurricane Katrina, over 80 acupuncturists were trained by AWB to use the five point auricular protocol developed by Dr. Micheal Smith and the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) to treat survivors and first responders in New Orleans. In turn, these acupuncturists treated close to 8,000 people with free acupuncture in Louisiana.  From its experience with Katrina, AWB saw the value of providing training, in contrast to direct service, so that more acupuncturists are empowered to offer trauma treatment in their own communities. AWB provides this training through its “Healing Community Trauma” course, offered in ten cities across the nation every year. This course reviews the NADA protocol and provides extensive preparation in how to set up disaster relief responses, community service clinics, team building and leadership development.

In the past eight years, AWB has trained 2,500 acupuncturists in the U.S. who have provided trauma recovery services after wildfires in Colorado, California, and Texas, floods in Minnesota, Iowa, and Colorado, tornadoes in Missouri, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, Super Storm Sandy in the tri-state area, and after human-created disasters such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut shootings. The acupuncturists trained by AWB have also helped establish over 25 community service clinics nationwide that provide free treatments to veterans, military personnel, refugees, economically challenged people, and other groups impacted by trauma.

AWB-trained volunteers are also making a huge impact internationally. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, AWB volunteer teams provided over 5,000 treatments to devastated communities because there were no acupuncturists in Haiti. Seeing the tremendous benefits of the treatments, local health care providers requested training. With grants from Mayway Corporation, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Community Development Institute, as well as private donors, AWB has trained 125 doctors, nurses, psychologists, medical students, and community health care workers during three trainings in 2010, 2011, and 2013. Trainees have included nine mental health care workers from Zanmi Lasante, Partners in Health’s sister organization in Haiti. Haitian practitioners have provided over 20,000 treatments throughout their country, not including the thousands of treatments provided by Zanmi Lasante’s mental health team. These treatments have been life changing for the people treated, with some clients traveling up to eight hours by bus to receive a single treatment.

Since 2009, AWB volunteers have traveled to Nepal four times to provide direct services and training to over 60 Nepali health workers who provide trauma recovery treatments to orphans, young survivors of sex trafficking, and women who are rehabilitating their lives after being sold into prostitution.

AWB collaborates extensively with local organizations such as the TEWA Women’s Fund, The Nepali Red Cross, Maiti Nepal, the Umbrella Foundation, and the Nepal Acupuncture Association. Nepali acupuncturists trained by AWB provide thousands of treatments annually in community clinics and “health camps” throughout their country. To address the challenge of limited acupuncture supplies, they use quinoa seeds and adhesive to provide ear seed treatments.


Kunga Choesang is a 23 year-old Buddhist monk and medical student who lives and works at the Chode Monastery in Nepal’s remote Mustang Kingdom. AWB trainers met Kunga on a trip to Nepal last May where he received AWB training. Here are his words:

“For seven years in Mustang, where I lived, even though there (are) many health problems, we did not get a health care worker, doctor, or medicines in our region. 

Because of this, I began to study medicine to help my Mustang people…I have learned about acupuncture recently.  With acupuncture, I would first use the

NADA protocol that I have learned from Acupuncturists Without Borders… I didn’t have knowledge or the resources before but now I have many kinds of information about how acupuncture makes people healthy.  Mustang is limited in resources.  Anyone who wants to help the Mustang people can join with me and help me, help my friends…my villagers, my Nepalese people.”

Last June, AWB made its second trip to Mongolia, where a huge percentage of the population suffers from alcohol dependence. Many Mongolians have suffered extreme stress as they try to make the transition from nomadic to urban life. Alcohol addiction is a manifestation of this stress for many, and Mongolian physicians consider it a significant public health problem. Sixty-five doctors, including acupuncturists, psychiatrists and addictologists, attended several AWB trainings in the Foreign Ministry and the National Centre for Mental Health, learning to provide NADA 5 needle ear treatments for stress and addiction in their clinics. AWB hopes to return to Mongolia next year to provide more training to practitioners in remote rural clinics. 


AcupuncturistsWithout Borders thanks the many committed volunteers who are providing traumarelief and recovery services throughout the nation and around the world.Acupuncture students have played a pivotal role in disaster response andcommunity service clinic projects, and AOM schools have generously donatedspace and resources for professional training. Acupuncture organizations likeNADA, CCAOM and NCCAOM have collaborated with AWB to promote the integration ofacupuncture into the mainstream medical and disaster relief systems. Together,we are all part of a professional community that can bring the healing power ofacupuncture to people and communities that need it most. 

For more informationon Acupuncturists without Borders and its trauma recovery programs, go to www.acwb.info or write: programs@acuwithoutborders.org.

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Clinicians and Educators Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Profession


Review by Lori Howel, DAOM, Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)®, LAc., Faculty Member Pacific College of Oriental Medicine of Chicago

There is no doubt that the last decade has seen a growing interest in collaborative and integrative medicine that has been fueled largely by patient demand.  Though adversarial rhetoric from the last century between conventional and complementary medicine still lingers, there is an increasing emphasis on collaboration. The new second edition of the Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions  (CEDR) is a concise, well-articulated and reliable reference that serves as a landmark step in fostering collaboration and understanding between healthcare professions.

The aim of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) in publishing the Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions (CEDR) is to provide a reliable source that documents and describes the major complementary and integrative healthcare professions with the goal of improving patient care.  Written by prominent experts from each of the leading national organizations for each of the disciplines, the guide is organized in an accessible format with concise and well-documented content. This excellent desk reference is  valuable for healthcare professionals, institutions, schools, educators, students, libraries and patients in hard-copy, e-book and pdf formats.

The first edition was published in 2009.  Over the last four years, key members of the ACCAHC team have interviewed reviewers and educators to gain their feedback on ideas to enhance the accessibility and utility of the new CEDR.  Changes to the new edition include the addition of photographs representing the licensed complementary and alternative healthcare professions, more graphs and tables, an expanded team of editors, a new appendices section to facilitate quick access to pertinent information, and significantly, as noted, the e-book and a free downloadable PDF version on the ACCAHC web-site (http://accahc.org/cedr-link).

The five licensed complementary and alternative healthcare professions detailed by individual chapters are:  Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; Chiropractic; Massage Therapy; Direct-entry Midwifery; and Naturopathic Medicine.  Within each chapter the professions are further delineated by the sub-sections:  Philosophy, Mission, Goals; Characteristics and Data; Clinical Care (approach to patient care, scope of practice, referral practices, third party payers); Integration Activities; Education (schools and programs, curriculum content, faculty and other training information, accreditation); Regulation and Certification (regulatory status, examinations and certifications); Research; Challenges and Opportunities; and Resources.  This is followed by Section ll of the CEDR which adheres to the same format to describe the related integrative practice fields of Ayurvedic Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Holistic Nursing, Homeopathy, Integrative Medicine and Yoga Therapy.

Of special note are the introductory chapter and the appendices written by ACCAHC leaders John Weeks, Elizabeth Goldblatt and others.  The introduction describes the need for creating a platform to advance collaboration via sound information and documentation.  Further, the organization of the book is detailed- fundamentally, the partnership with the Councils of Colleges and other national organizations to recommend authors for the chapters on the professions and the template and review process of the chapters.

The new appendices section consists of four chapters highlighting ACCAHC’s development, goals, and accomplishments.  Appendix 3, Toward Collaboration between the Disciplines:  An ACCAHC Perspective, is in my opinion the most compelling. It offers a survey of collaborative efforts of the past thirty years.  The most fruitful are those promoted by educators to instill understanding in their students of the skills and depth of knowledge of other disciplines.  The least fruitful collaborative efforts described are the adaptations of CAM therapies by conventional medicine practitioners without referral to or collaboration with CAM practitioners.  Appendix 3 also contains tables and sidebars to engage the reader and allow pertinent information to be highlighted visually.  From my point of view, the table which emphasizes the need for a reference book such as this to provide a higher level of understanding of the CAM disciplines is entitled “Bilateral Prejudice as an Operational Issue Limiting the Integration of Complementary and Conventional Health Care.”

The practical benefits of this reference are many.  First and foremost it serves as an educational tool to clearly define each of the disciplines in qualitative and quantitative terms.  This essential benefit has not been previously available to potentially collaborative constituencies.  A school or healthcare institution may use this as a reference tool to define for their students or patients who is who in the world of complementary and alternative healthcare.   For the conventional medicine practitioner, it may serve to clarify misperceptions regarding the hours of training, regulation, certification, scope of practice, etc. of their CAM colleagues.  This is likely to be true for many members of each of the disciplines featured in the text as well. For the patient it may be a resource to help determine which field(s) of medicine would best address their unique healthcare concerns.

Additional to the clear benefits of this reference as an educational tool, this text is an ideal resource for determining appropriate referrals. Conventional, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners may reference this book to clarify which modality would best serve the patient. This is the foundation of collaboration in healthcare- providing education on options and making appropriate professional referrals to best serve the patient and increase the quality of care.

In summary, the Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions is a concise and reliable reference book that details essential information on the major licensed complementary and alternative healthcare professions.  It is an appropriate recommendation for the individual healthcare consumer, practitioner, or institution.  In its clarity and accessibility it serves as a cross-disciplinary platform to increase collaboration among healthcare professions with the goal of increasing the quality of patient care.

For information about ordering the book, visit www.accahc.org

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Strategic Partnership

Want to get your services in front of employees and doctors?


Create your free profile on MINDBODY Exchange (formerly Jill’s List)

MINDBODY Exchange helps practitioners, like you, manage their business and create new ways to market and grow your practice so you can to spend more time focusing on your patients and less time on business needs.

MINDBODY Exchange is a rebranding of Jill's List and you should know that the mission, goals, and intention to help employees get, be, and stay healthy still remain the same. While there are some great new enhancements planned, for now the Exchange website mirrors the same functionality of Jill's List - same website content, same search functionality, same tracking capabilities, and the same review components.

About our partner MINDBODY

MINDBODY is the leading provider of cloud based software solutions that help run health and wellness businesses everywhere. Over 470,000 practitioners in 29,000 locations in 87 countries use MINDBODY for scheduling, online booking, merchant processing, and managing their business.

MINDBODY Exchange is MINDBODY’s newest product for Corporate America and they want you – a credentialed Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, or Chinese Herbal Medicine provider - to be listed on it!  Companies across the country will provide MINDBODY Exchange to their employees as a way to help them find practitioners like you. On MINDBODY Exchange, employees can find you and either book directly online or contact you for an appointment. 

MINDBODY is focused on building relationships between Integrative Health Providers and doctors to create channels for you to attract new patients. 40,000+ doctors using athenahealth are able to refer their patients to MINDBODY Exchange providers directly through their electronic health record system. Practitioners can also follow up with and provide feedback to the referring physician from their Dashboard on MINDBODY Exchange.

You are able to accept referrals from doctors and other practitioners as well as send referrals to practitioners through MINDBODY Exchange all for free! (Learn more)

Will I still have a profile on MINDBODY Exchange if set it up on Jill’s List?

OF COURSE! Your profile will be searchable on MINDBODY Exchange and has the same features and functions as before; however, you must opt-in to receive referrals from doctors using athenahealth. To opt in, log into your MINDBODY Exchange account and you will be prompted to complete your registration.

Login to your profile and follow the prompts to opt in: https://www.mindbodyexchange.com/organizations/national-certification-commission-for-acupuncture-and-oriental-medicine-nccaom/signup

What if I don’t have a profile?

SIGN UP TODAY! A profile on MINDBODY Exchange is completely free! Once you set up your profile and the MINDBODY Exchange team has verified your credentials, your profile will be viewable by thousands of employees across the U.S. You can then opt in to have your profile available to doctors from within their electronic medical record systems.

That’s right! MINDBODY Exchange puts your profile listing in front of employers, employees and doctors who are looking for Integrative Health solutions.

Setting up a profile and accepting practitioner referrals on MINDBODY Exchange is free. The only time you will be charged any kind of fee is when you ACCEPT a new consumer lead through MINDBODY Exchange.  You are never charged twice for the same client and the fee is a very low, $9.99 per accepted lead.

Additionally, because you are a NCCAOM Diplomate you can accept the first consumer lead free to try out the system at no charge! BOTTOM LINE: You get new patients from MINDBODY Exchange and it is FREE to sign up.




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In This Issue
Bullet CEO Message.
Bullet AOM Day 2013 - In Reflection
Bullet Healing Community Trauma Around The World
Bullet Clinicians and Educators Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Profession
Strategic Partnership
Bullet Want to get your services in front of employees and doctors?


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Visit us online at NCCAOM.org.