A Publication of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
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September 2018
In This Issue
Bullet It's Almost Here October 24th is AOM Day
Bullet NCCAOM to Unveil Fresh Brand
Bullet Official NCCAOM Practice Tests
Bullet The EBA Symposium: Supporting the Profession in Creating a Successful Future for Acupuncture and Public health
NCCAOM Diplomate Spotlight
Bullet Brandon LaGreca, Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)
NCCAOM Advocacy
Bullet Working for You

It's Almost Here October 24th is AOM Day


By NCCAOM Editorial Staff and
Bill Reddy, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®, LAc., Director, Integrative Health Policy Consortium

It is that special time of the year again!

With over 60,000 (preventable) deaths per year due to opioids in this country, the acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) profession needs to work together to get the necessary visibility to provide solutions to the crisis. AOM Day, which is celebrated on October 24 across the globe, is an excellent vehicle to bring to light all the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, especially as we focus the spotlight on acupuncture services to combat addiction and pain.

Leaders of the profession have joined to spread the word about the benefits of acupuncture services for opioid addiction. NCCAOM CEO Dr. Kory Ward-Cook is representing the profession and integrative medicine as a member of the Healthcare Leadership Council to discuss bringing non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain and opioid addiction. Please see the NCCAOM Advocacy Updates Timeline for more information about this important initiative. Representing the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), Bill Reddy gave a congressional briefing at the first Integrative Health & Wellness Caucus in mid-March of this year. Matthew Bauer of the Acupuncture Now Foundation is planning on creating a mini-documentary on acupuncture and the opioid crisis in 2019, and Dr. David Miller of the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) and et al. co-wrote a white paper entitled “Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic.” All of this information and other progress can be found on the NCCAOM Opioid Crisis timeline. Much, much more can be done, and the NCCAOM, which continually seeks ways to advance the AOM profession through the promotion of its Diplomates and certification programs, is willing to assist in coordinating efforts in preparation for AOM Day.

This year, the NCCAOM will be spreading the word about AOM Day through the many media outlets throughout the country by sending out a nationwide press release promoting AOM Day events including advancements in our profession such as inclusion of NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists in the Veterans Administration health system and licensed acupuncturists being included in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics list of professions.

The NCCAOM cannot promote or advocate AOM Day without our Diplomates so we need you to send us information about your AOM Day celebration. These celebratory activities can be events to celebrate AOM Day, patient testimonials to support acupuncture benefits or articles submitted to us highlighting acupuncture services. The AOM Day website, sponsored by the NCCAOM, is now ready for your AOM Day event postings, so start planning today on how to bring AOM awareness to your community. We encourage all of you to continue to promote this unique day.  

The Get Involved page that serves as a resource page, allows practitioners to take advantage of the various free marketing tools to advertise AOM Day as well as their practice. These include the free marketing tools prepared by the American Society of Acupuncturists and Acupuncture Media Works to help practitioners raise public awareness regarding the progress, promise and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. There are also examples of sample press releases and proclamations to promote your practice and AOM in your local communities and with your local news markets. This year, we are also pleased to feature a one-page toolkit from the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to help acupuncturists focus on interprofessional communications.

The Patient Testimonials page can be a unique opportunity to promote both the AOM profession as a whole and your individual practice. Patient testimonials are one of the most powerful methods to promote AOM as it illustrates the effectiveness of this medicine directly from those who have benefited from it.

Those who visit the AOM Day site may still conveniently search by state to find AOM Day celebrations and activities in their area on Programs and Events page.

All events submitted through the main Directory on the AOM Day website will also receive additional exposure via the AOM Day Facebook page.   

A press release for the 2018 AOM Day celebration will be generated which will draw greater media interest. This media push should result in wider exposure in both online and print publications globally.

Take advantage of these venues to promote your national credentials and share information about this wonderful medicine with those who have not had the chance to experience the healing benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Here are some examples of ways for you to promote your practice and the AOM profession on AOM Day:

  • Link the AOM Day website (www.aomday.org/) and Facebook page to your website.
  • Register your activities on the AOM Day website's "Submit an Event" page to promote your event.
  • Hold an Open House or a free clinic day in your community where you demonstrate acupuncture, Asian bodywork or Chinese herbal treatments free of charge or at a discounted rate.
  • Publicize your event for free on local radio stations and newspapers as a community event. Use the handy toolkit from ASA and Acupuncture Media Works to to promote your practice and acupuncture.
  • Send out a press release or a media advisory (a one-page document that gives the when, where, who and what for your event) to the local media. Offer to treat the members of the press for free for stress relief with acupuncture or Asian Bodywork Therapy treatment.
  • Collaborate with a local AOM school to have an AOM awareness workshop on acupuncture, Chinese herbology or ABT. Offer free treatments to those in attendance that are interested in participating. If no schools are in your area, offer the class at your clinic or another location.
  • Write an article for your local community newspaper or magazine praising the many benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Use personal stories and experiences (with the written consent of your patients) to explain the efficacy behind the medicine.
  • Encourage patients, who want to share success stories, to submit their testimonial on the AOM Day website's "Submit a Testimony" page.

For additional information and marketing tips for AOM Day, contact Olga Cox at publicrelations@thenccaom.org



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NCCAOM to Unveil Fresh Brand


Coming Soon -  New Website, New Logos and Service Marks









The NCCAOM Board of Commissioners and staff are delighted to announce an organizational rebranding that will include a fresh look for the NCCAOM website, logo and service marks for each area of certification. This effort reflects an update to NCCAOM’s external brand, with a more modern and visually pleasing style. This move will strengthen the NCCAOM brand and further align the service marks for recognition within the industry and to the public.

In addition to the visual updates, you may notice that our organization is now known simply as NCCAOM. We will now only use organization acronym, reflecting a move away from outdated verbiage, while retaining the well-known corporate brand. (Sound familiar? AARP  moved in a similar direction a number of years back.)

Along with the new visual marks, NCCAOM is registering the designation, “NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™” to better distinguish Diplomates who are actively certified with NCCAOM from those practitioners who are not nationally certified.

We encourage all NCCAOM Diplomates to use this new trademarked designation to help distinguish their national credentials to the public, media and other healthcare providers. The launch of the logo, service marks, and tagline represent NCCAOM’s dedication to helping you showcase your accomplishment of certification to your patients and the community. In late 2018, NCCAOM will be unveiling a refreshed website, which will have more intuitive navigation and an updated look featuring the new brand. NCCAOM is planning a webinar for Diplomates in September with additional information, including highlights of new services coming soon as a benefit of your NCCAOM certification. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact publicrelations@thenccaom.org


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Official NCCAOM Practice Tests



The NCCAOM Official Practice Tests™ were launched in May of 2018.  Students and candidates for certification may now assess their readiness for testing by using the new practice test format which simulates the design, content and flow of the real NCCAOM exams by using the only practice tests available with questions developed by the same methodology as the NCCAOM exams.

NCCAOM is also providing NCCAOM Diplomates professional development activity (PDA) points for every practice test a Diplomate successfully passes. Current Diplomates can earn five (5) PDA points per test for passing one or more practice tests per recertification cycle. The NCCAOM is currently featuring four practice tests for Acupuncture with Point Location, Foundation of Oriental Medicine, Biomedicine and Chinese Herbology exams. ACAOM accredited school faculty members are encouraged to sign up for these practice tests to familiarize themselves with the content and administration for NCCAOM exams.

The test questions reflect current exam content outlines with the same level of difficulty and design as the real NCCAOM certification exams and there is a convenience factor as well. Anywhere there is internet access, there is the ability to take a practice test. In addition, a feedback report with a scaled score at the end of each test will indicate the test taker’s readiness for each exam content subsection.

The cost is nominal: $45 per one 50-question practice test. NCCAOM has developed a practice test for each of the four certification exams: Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Biomedicine, Acupuncture with Point Location and Chinese Herbology.  For more information on taking the practice tests for PDA points towards recertification, please visit the NCCAOM Exam Preparation Center


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The EBA Symposium: Supporting the Profession in Creating a Successful Future for Acupuncture and Public health

Mel Hopper Koppelman, DAc, MSc, MSc Dipl Ac. (NCCAOM), Director of Evidence Based Acupuncture



As acupuncturists, we love the profound benefits that patients get under our care and have been drawn to this discipline of healthcare for a variety of reasons. Maybe it helped you to improve your health or function painlessly when nothing else could, or someone close to you benefited from treatment. Perhaps you were attracted by the elegance of the models, the deeper way it understands human health and how it's a system of healthcare that acknowledges the role of our patients’ emotions, beliefs and worldview in their health.

Whatever drew you to helping patients to heal through acupuncture and its associated set of tools, acupuncturists today face several challenges. How do we fit into the greater healthcare context and how do we want to position ourselves in the future? How can we best communicate with the public, medical colleagues or healthcare policy makers about what we do when our jargon doesn't make much sense to those outside of the profession? How we can demonstrate that what we do actually helps people?

Creating solutions to address the 2nd and 3rd of these questions is the main focus of our work at Evidence Based Acupuncture. We are an international non-profit organization that aims to improve public health through increasing access to acupuncture. We do this by developing resources, such as fully referenced evidence summaries produced by our team of talented scientifically-literate volunteers that showcase how acupuncture treats a variety of conditions, explains how it works using language acceptable to medical professionals, and compares the evidence for acupuncture to other common medical treatments. We're proud to make these available to you for free so that you can quickly learn about the evidence base in a certain area and share these with your patients. In creating these summaries, we find that often, compared to other available treatment options, acupuncture enjoys the best effectiveness to harm ratio, suggesting that it should be used as a first line treatment much more often than it currently is. Our summary of the overview of acupuncture’s evidence can be found here. Essentially, our job is to make your job easier and more successful, so more patients can benefit.

How we as a profession operate in the future of healthcare is the focus of our upcoming Evidence Based Symposium taking place on 14-15 September at the stunning Renaissance Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. This is a first of its kind 2-day event featuring a stellar group of respected speakers who draw on a wealth of skills and knowledge to help us create a brighter future for us and our patients. For those who cannot attend in person, we will be streaming live and have a recorded version available for CEU credit as well available from Healthy Seminars. You will learn the factors shaping the healthcare landscape and how we can use these to our advantage, scientific research highlighting how acupuncture can reverse disease and much more. If you're involved in an acupuncture association, liaise with doctors or hospitals or are involved in legislative work, the EBA Symposium will be invaluable in helping you to be more successful in what you do. If you are a practitioner or a student and want to feel more confident communicating with patients and gain greater professional recognition, this event is for you too.

You can find out all about the program, the speakers, the social events and more on our website or send us a message over at Facebook .



Did you know? Evidence Based Acupuncture is developing fully referenced evidence summaries on a variety of clinical areas. These are available for free, both as on our website and as a professionally designed PDF download. Here are a few of our latest:

- Acupuncture Overview of Evidence

- Acupuncture for Pain

- Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis

- Acupuncture for Cancer Pain

- Acupuncture for Anxiety

- Acupuncture Safety

 These are great for getting quickly caught up on the latest evidence and include an overview of clinical research, a look at mechanism studies and a comparison to commonly recommended treatment options.


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NCCAOM Diplomate Spotlight

Brandon LaGreca, Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)


Once a quarter the NCCAOM draws the name of a recently recertified Diplomate who has completed the NCCAOM® Diplomate Demographic Survey. This is a very important survey that provides NCCAOM and the profession with much needed demographic information for projects such as federal recognition.

The survey winner receives a voucher for a free recertification and an opportunity to be featured in a Spotlight Article on Facebook and on our website. We encourage all Diplomates to participate in this important survey to help advance the profession and have a chance to win a free recertification.

The winner of the July 1, 2017 Diplomate Demographic Survey drawing is NCCAOM Certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, Brandon LaGreca.

NCCAOM Question 1: What attracted you to the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?

Answer 1: When I was 12, I saw Bill Moyer’s PBS special “Healing & The Mind” and was awestruck by some of the China footage of qigong and acupuncture being administered. I remember seeing Bill talking with an awake patient undergoing brain surgery where the sole anesthetic was electroacupuncture. I was drawn to Asian culture from an early age, but that left such an impression on me that it I talked about being a practitioner of Chinese medicine thereafter.

Q2: What is your first impression of the NCCAOM® as a certified Diplomate?

A2: I have always been supportive of the role of the NCCAOM® as a certifying body for our profession and that we should have standards in place that quantify competency across states and academic programs. With this perspective, I pursued a Diplomate of Oriental medicine to reflect the breadth of my education at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine when I graduated in 2005.  

To read full article Click Here


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NCCAOM Advocacy

Working for You


Did you know that NCCAOM’s move to Washington D.C. is a huge step in achieving further recognition and making important connections with the federal government and did you know that as part of this effort, the NCCAOM has recruited an experienced federal lobbyist to help with advocacy work? Please see press release with this announcement. If you did not receive the inaugural NCCAOM Advocacy Update or the NCCAOM Action Alert, please visit our newly developed Advocacy Center.

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