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Summer 2020
Moving Forward Through Crisis
Bullet Message from the BOC Chair
Bullet Diversity. Inclusion. Accessibility. Cultural Competency. Racism. Bias. Prejudice: The beginning of a conversation
Bullet NCCAOM Advocacy Update
Bullet NCCAOM Recertification: CE Reporting Success!
Bullet Acupuncture Medicine1 Day 2020
Bullet Diplomate Spotlight: Ian Cyrus, D. Ac., MS, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), L.Ac.

Moving Forward Through Crisis

Message from the BOC Chair


By Iman Majd, MD, MS, EAMP/L.Ac., Dip. ABFM, ABoIM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®, DABMA, ABIHM, Certified GUNN-IMS

Dear colleagues,

The past several months, have been indeed unusual and challenging times for all. We have all been experiencing the direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; it has affected our lives, our practices and our nation’s livelihood.

At times it feels as there will be no end to this pandemic, and the stress is taxing. It is during these difficult times that we should rely on our resilience, rely on one another and become creative in managing daily life. Our collective efforts in supporting each other and the profession, has and will continue to define us as professionals.

Back in April, the NCCAOM partnered with ASA in conducting weekly town halls to provide up to date and accurate information to you – information that would be helpful to you in protecting yourself and family members, applying for loans for your practices and how to navigate the safe re-opening of your practices. My sincere thanks go out to the NCCAOM and ASA teams who coordinated these important and informative town halls, and to the many thousands of colleagues who joined each week and enriched these sessions.

The pandemic has further highlighted the social and health inequities in our nation and calls all of us to band together as a positive force for social change and racial justice.  We have been looking externally and internally at ways to implement best practices for ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity in all the NCCAOM activities. Our Board of Commissioners is partnering with ASA and other professional stakeholders in this initiative. Please watch Afua Bromley’s (immediate past chair of the NCCAOM BOC) video and article in this issue of our newsletter. 

Now, as many of us enter the reopening phase we must remain vigilant in taking extra precautions and follow national and state guidelines as set by the CDC and CCAOM including use of PPEs, social distancing, hand washing, and disinfecting. Please visit the NCCAOM COVID-19 resources section of our website for these reopening guidelines. To this end we are excited to announce our official Acupuncture is Safe to Reopen Video Contest in this edition of the NCCAOM newsletter to promote the safe and reliable opening of our practices.

I hope you enjoy this special edition of the NCCAOM Summer Diplomate Newsletter. The Board of Commissioners and I wish you a safe and healthy rest of the summer.


In peace,

Iman Majd MD, MS, EAMP/L.Ac., Dip. ABFM, ABoIM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®, DABMA, ABIHM, Certified GUNN-IMS

NCCAOM Board Chair


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Diversity. Inclusion. Accessibility. Cultural Competency. Racism. Bias. Prejudice: The beginning of a conversation

Afua Bromlety, Immediate Past Chair, MSOM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac.


By Afua Bromley, Member at Large MSOM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®, L.Ac.

There has been a deluge of commentary and calls for action within the profession over the last several months to address racism, understand how it manifests within our professions and how we, as a collective, can root it out. The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a spotlight on the systemic racism and significant disparities in healthcare outcomes amongst those who have borne the brunt of these societal issues. As we have witnessed, there is a national and international demand to fight racism, be more inclusive and embrace diversity. It requires all of us – individually and collectively – to raise our own consciousness and deepen our understanding of racism. The time is now. The need to take action is now.  

The NCCAOM and ASA recognize the need to respond with action.  The organizations have jointly established The Acupuncture Medicine Cultural Competency Task Force to create a framework to address racism and bias in our profession so that we may be better practitioners, more respectful peers, more enlightened teachers, and more receptive students.  

Within the NCCAOM specifically, the organization is conducting an internal review of all its documents, HR procedures, training, volunteer protocols and processes to look for ways to improve the NCCAOM’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  

So, we (on behalf of the Task Force) ask that you (practitioners, students, teachers, administrators) embark on this collective and individual evolution.   

At the root, our patients- who come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, creeds, etc – deserve a truly compassionate and skilled, culturally competent practitioner.   

The Task Force’s first Town Hall will be in mid-August 2020 where we’ll develop some common understanding of language surrounding these issues which will help all of us have more productive conversations and allow healing to occur. 

A great beginner resource is Racism 101: https://surjpoliticaledsite.weebly.com/racism-101.html.


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NCCAOM Advocacy Update

By Molly Giammarco, Senior Manager, Government Relations


By Molly Giammarco, Senior Manager, Government Relations


The NCCAOM® Advocacy team represents NCCAOM certification, Diplomates, and stakeholders by providing information to promote acupuncture services to state and federal policymakers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as other stakeholder groups.

COVID-19 Response and Advocacy

The NCCAOM continues to monitor policy related to the pandemic and inform its Diplomates about COVID-19-related relief available to the profession. Monitored issues include the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration funding options: The Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program, state and federal pandemic unemployment insurance, and state reopening guidance.

The NCCAOM continues to update its COVID-19 Resource Page, which provides Diplomates information about available resources, state and federal initiatives, and guidance for seeking small-business support.

The NCCAOM Government Relations team has also developed guidance documents to help Diplomates navigate relief provisions within the CARES Act:

Between April and June, the NCCAOM and the American Society for Acupuncturists hosted a town hall each week to keep acupuncturists informed about COVID-related small-business relief, telehealth options, legislative efforts, unemployment expansions, student resources, as well as what to expect in the near and long-term future for the profession and the U.S. response.

To read the full article, click here.



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NCCAOM Recertification: CE Reporting Success!



On May 1, 2020, the NCCAOM PDA Online Management System moved into the third and final phase. At that time, the NCCAOM began the CE Banking (CE Points Reporting) project and we are pleased to announce that the overall integration of PDA and Recertification systems has been well received and is a big success for our Diplomates.  

The goal of phase three is to automatically report PDA/CEU points emailed by the NCCAOM Approved PDA  Provider directly to the Diplomate’s NCCAOM® Recertification Transcript. This means that PDA certificates of completion will no longer have to be reported manually by Diplomates. The new CE Banking system is being implemented incrementally to PDA Providers with approved courses and is planned to be completed by the end of this year. This new process has saved valuable time for Diplomates, Providers and PDA staff as well as increased our customer satisfaction. 

To continually improve CE Banking and receive the PDA points successfully, it is crucial that Diplomates correctly register for the PDA approved course by entering their name and NCCAOM ID number exactly as they appear in their online Certification account. Diplomates can find their name and ID# in four locations:

1)   their online Certification account at https://cert.nccaom.org/

2)   the NCCAOM Registry at directory.nccaom.org/Home/registry  

3)   their NCCAOM wall Certificate or wallet NCCAOM ID card.

Any variation of the name or ID number will cause an error in the system and cancel the reporting of the PDA points to the NCCAOM® Recertification Transcript. Please see the examples below.



Diplomate Name 



John Doe 



Dr. John Doe 



John Doe, L.Ac. 



John Doe



John Doe, MSOM 



HINT: When registering for the PDA course, providing your name, NCCAOM ID# and your date of birth will assure that you automatically receive the PDA points in your NCCAOM®Recertification Transcript. 



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Acupuncture Medicine1 Day 2020


Every October, the Acupuncture community celebrates the amazing history, effects and impact of acupuncture and herbal medicine on countless people worldwide.  

This year has been a year like none other in our collective memories with the ravaging effects of COVID-19, the Novel Corona Virus. The impact on individuals, families and the economy has been staggering. Now, more than ever, acupuncture and herbal medicine must be brought forward as a critical tool in the treatment of depression, chronic pain and anxiety brought on in part by the extensive quarantine lifestyle we have all adopted.  

In addition to concerns of the growing pandemic, the issues of systemic racism, inequality and bias have been brought to the front lines of major cities all around the country.

Ours is a profession of healing. It encompasses body, mind and spirit. As healers, you can also be at the forefront of the discussion to address all these issues. As healers, you must also be willing to look within so that you may speak and teach and heal from a place of compassion and understanding; to see the world with new eyes. 

Acupuncture Medicine Day is a vehicle by which all acupuncture practitioners have a powerful voice.   

Through creativity you can show the world your strength, resiliency, and healing power despite this current crisis. Through the events of Acupuncture Medicine Day, you can demonstrate and reassure your clients, old and new, that they can be treated in a safe and COVID-free environment due to the careful re-opening measures that you have taken.  You can demonstrate to your patients that you are making strides to become a truly compassionate and skilled, culturally competent practitioner.  

NCCAOM and ASA have provided marketing platforms to boost exposure and shed light on your efforts to be part of this historic time.  

To encourage your participation in this year’s Acupuncture Medicine Day celebration, the NCCAOM and ASA have planned a Video Voting Contest 2020. There will be three categories with a winner in each category. They are:  

1.   Demonstrating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Acupuncture 

2.   Acupuncture Safety during COVID (an example may be to highlight your clinic safety procedures) 

3.   Acupuncture Accessibility and Community Engagement. 

Combining themes is encouraged.  

Participants may submit more than one video and/or in multiple categories 

Videos must be three minutes or less. 

Stay tuned for a Video Voting Contest kick off announcement that will be sent out shortly. 

Take this amazing opportunity to be a catalyst for change. Be a bridge of healing for a hurting world. Be a part of Acupuncture Medicine Day, 2020. 

1 NCCAOM is aware of the need to change the term “Oriental”. We have replaced Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day with Acupuncture Medicine Day for now until we have the profession’s input and agreement.

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Diplomate Spotlight: Ian Cyrus, D. Ac., MS, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), L.Ac.


The NCCAOM is pleased to introduce a former Diplomate who has recently returned to active status through the new Time-Limited Reinstatement Route. Ian Cyrus tells his story and why he felt it was important to reinstate his multiple NCCAOM certifications.
NCCAOM Question 1: What attracted you to Acupuncture medicine?

 Answer: I began martial arts training at age 10. My teachers in various disciplines would often make references to AOM as a basis to fully understand martial arts. I began my journey with Shiatsu under the tutelage of Saul Goodman, director of the International School of Shiatsu in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I then had an extensive apprenticeship under Dr. Randall Carney, A Japanese trained acupuncturist. I was then able to participate in the NCCAOM exam. At that time apprenticeship was a viable route to certification.

Q #2: Where do you practice?

 A #2: Currently, I am in private practice. My practice, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Center is located at Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania.

Q #3: Initially, what was your impression of the NCCAOM as a newly Certified Diplomate?

A #3: When I first became an NCCAOM Diplomate in 1998, it was the only way to prove competency nationally beyond school and or apprenticeship.

 Q #4: Why did you terminate your NCCAOM certifications?

A # 4: I terminated my certifications due to personal hardships. I simply could not afford to pay for CEU/PDA courses and certification.

Q # 5: Why did you think it was important to reinstate your NCCAOM Certifications?

A #5: It is important to maintain certification because, in most states it is required for licensure. It is also required by most Federal agencies and national programs such as the Veterans Administration (VA) and some insurance companies. National Board certification brings credibility to our role in the national healthcare community. Just about every healthcare profession requires board certifications and its maintenance through ongoing education (CEU’s/PDA’s).

Q #6: How easy was it to go through the NCCAOM reinstatement process?

 A #6: It was not easy because I still had to meet established requirements such as CEU’s/PDA’s in key areas, current CPR certification, and Clean Needle Technique (CNT) update. Not to mention the cost of reinstatement. Nevertheless, it was worth it given the weight it carries.

 Q #7: Do you have a subspecialty or special interest as part of your practice?

 A #7: My practice focus is the treatment and management of myofascial pain and dysfunction and sports related injuries. My practice is an evidence based. I rely on randomized control trials (RCT) to guide my clinical decisions and inform my patients to gain their confidence.

 Q #8: What trends do you see in the AOM profession?  

A #8: I see inclusion in traditional medical care settings such as hospitals and clinics. I see parity with respect to participation in the nation’s major insurance programs. I see full participation in Medicare and other government programs.

 Q #9: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A #9: I am a former FBI Special Agent and an ordained Buddhist Monk in the Seon (Korean) and Tien (Vietnamese) traditions.

Q #10: What do you do when you are not working? 

A # 10: When I am not working, my time is spent parenting my son, teaching martial arts, and music (jazz piano).


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