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

AOM Day 2017: Shining a Light on Acupuncture


The idea of an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day was born at the AOM leadership meeting in 2002 with an intention to educate the public and raise awareness of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Since 2002, this national day of observance is being celebrated annually on October 24 and recognized by the thousands of licensed acupuncturists in the United States and around the world as well as organizations in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Today, 15 years later, we understand, more than ever, just how far-reaching the effects of this type of public education can be. As a direct result of NCCAOM’s outreach to our Diplomates, AOM schools and state associations, in the past three years alone, there were 178 Programs and Events registered on the AOM Day website at www.aomday.org throughout the United States and abroad (The AOM Day website was launched several years ago by the NCCAOM as a hub to educate the public about AOM Day and acupuncture and Oriental medicine).In addition to live events on October 24, some practitioners distributed flyers and offered discount vouchers as a way to spread the word about acupuncture and Oriental medicine. As a result, these practitioners enjoyed the benefit of attracting new business. In addition, the designation by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), of an independent  Standard Occupational Code for Acupuncturists (SOC) has made a significant impact on public awareness.

Going forward, as news of the BLS SOC for Acupuncturists spreads, acupuncture will be elevated to a higher level of understanding and respect by other healthcare providers and the public. What better time than AOM Day to educate the public and showcase your practice?  

Public education makes a difference and AOM Day is a vehicle to promote AOM to the public and the media. It is very likely that the public will now be looking at the profession in a different light. AOM Day events are a wonderful opportunity to “shine a light” on your practice and the importance of this medicine in healthcare.  Further, posting success stories from your patients on the Patient Testimonial Page will provide an additional avenue for website visitors to learn of the benefits of this remarkable medicine from the very people who have benefitted from it.

This year, the NCCAOM and its newly created NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates are celebrating AOM Day by promoting NCCAOM certification programs and certified Diplomates!

We are hoping that AOM Day 2017 will see even more people and companies involved who will create new and dynamic ideas to market and share their expertise. AOM Day 2017 has the potential to be even bigger and more successful than ever before.

The AOM Day website, sponsored by the NCCAOM, is now ready for your event postings so start planning today how to bring AOM awareness to your town and local community. Preparation for AOM Day 2017 begins NOW.



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NCCAOM Going Paperless: An Update



The NCCAOM announced in its Spring newsletter that in an effort to increase efficiencies, reduce risk, and help the environment, our organization is moving to a paperless business model for all its business and application processes.

As an update to you, our valued constituents, here are some of the ways the NCCAOM is streamlining its processes, thereby, providing better and more timely service to you.

  • All applications will be submitted online only.
  • School officials will have a dedicated online portal to upload student transcripts.
  • Exam verification process is now completely online enabling submission of your exam pass/fail information to be submitted to state licensing boards more efficiently. Please sign on to your portal to submit this request.
  • Foreign education evaluation review companies (ICD) will have a dedicated portal to upload evaluation reports.
  • PDA providers will have a dedicated portal to upload class attendance sheets and submit all course applications.

Below is a timeline of NCCAOM’s Steps going paperless:

Step 1: In the beginning of 2017 the NCCAOM stopped accepting credit card payments on paper applications.

Step 2. State Verification requests transitioned to online process in the Spring of 2017.

Step 3. Effective November 15, 2017, paper applications for NCCAOM certification and certification renewal (recertification) will no longer be accepted. All candidates for initial certification and for recertification will be completing an online application. Under exceptional circumstances paper application will be provided at an extra charge of $100.

Stay tuned for additional updates.


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NCCAOM Leadership Panel: Emerging Opportunities


The NCCAOM was pleased to co-sponsor and participate in the Florida State Oriental Medical Association (FSOMA) annual conference in Orlando, FL from August 10-13 by conducting a leadership panel discussion as well as holding several media interviews throughout the weekend. In addition, Michael Taromina, Esq., longtime NCCAOM volunteer, gave a riveting keynote address and conducted the NCCAOM Ethics and Safety Workshop. 

The NCCAOM sponsored a breakfast symposium and leadership panel comprised of NCCAOM leaders F. Afua Bromley, MSOM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®, L.Ac, Chair, NCCAOM Board of Commissioners; Zonglan Xu, MD(China), Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)®, Member, NCCAOM Board of Commissioners and Vice-Chair, NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates; and  Dr. Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., CAE, NCCAOM CEO.

The Panel discussed how NCCAOM is helping the profession benefit from the growing appreciation of AOM medicine and the national work being done as well as future trends in the AOM Profession. The panel also answered questions from the audience. The entire panel discussion can be viewed via the NCCAOM website.  We encourage our Diplomates to watch it to receive important updates about the profession and NCCAOM activities.

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Diplomate Benefits: Season of Sharing!



What better way to showcase your practice than to be featured on a website of the newly formed NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates?

Last year, we asked Diplomates to send in their photos for the new website that was launched earlier this year, and those that did gained free exposure by having their photo, name, business and website address on the home page of the Academy. This year, we are reaching out again to Diplomates to submit a photo of you at work and showcase your NCCAOM credentials!

We encourage all Diplomates practicing in different settings (clinic, community acupuncture setting, classroom, etc.) to contact us regarding this opportunity to promote our medicine as well as your practice.

To see the guidelines or submit your photo for consideration, click the link below. All entries will be reviewed for appropriate content and size requirements. Deadline for submission is December 1, 2017.

Click Here to Learn More


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NCCAOM Official Practice Tests: Coming Soon!


Exciting things are happening here at NCCAOM. We are finalizing the NCCAOM Exam Prep Center featuring the NCCAOM Official Practice Tests.


The launch of the NCCAOM Official™ Practice Tests will take place later this Fall. These challenge tests will include a diagnostic report to help students and examination candidates prepare for the NCCAOM Board Exams. Stay tuned.

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Diplomate Spotlight: Arya Nielsen


The Diplomate Spotlight is an opportunity to highlight one of our distinguished NCCAOM Diplomates who is making a difference in the profession and in today’s healthcare landscape. Today we are pleased to introduce NCCAOM National Board Certified Diplomate, Arya Nielsen, Ph.D., Dipl. Ac. & C.H. (NCCAOM).

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

Answer: I was involved in the anti-war movement in college and heading to med school. I read about the barefoot doctor’s initiative in China and was intrigued by East Asian medicine’s evaluation filter (tongue, pulse, signs and symptoms, waxing and waning), emphasis on prevention as well as tapping the bodies innate healing through hands-on techniques.

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

A2: I graduated in the first class of the first acupuncture school in the US in the spring of 1977. There was no clear path to practice, no board exam. It was jump in, sink or swim. New York State did not allow anyone to practice who was not trained in Asia and practicing for at least 10 years. So, we had our work cut out for us. We needed a board process and exam developed using science-based psychometrics and with a company expert in exam development. A psychometrically sound exam protects against bias and unfairness, and hence, lawsuit (as was seen in a few states back in the day, who tried to use their own exams). But proper exam development is expensive and prohibitive for individual states even those who wanted to regulate acupuncture. Those who worked to develop the NCCAOM acupuncture board exam are responsible for the profession’s existence in the US because it allowed states to establish and meet their regulation requirements on par with other health professions. The NCCAOM exam and requirements provided consistency for boarding and licensure of entry level practice; as states engaged the NCCAOM, a track record of relatively safe practice was established, encouraging other states to join. We would not be here today without the NCCAOM.

To Read full article please Click Here  


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Promoting Acupuncture Services: Solution to the National Opioid Crisis


It is all over the news – the national opioid epidemic claims the lives of 15,000 Americans in 2015 who died from an opioid prescription. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin). The addiction to opioids affects all ages from all socio-economic backgrounds, from large metropolitan cities to small towns. This epidemic has reached such monumental proportions that the President declared national state of emergency earlier this year and formed a taskforce to explore methods to alleviate this crisis. Five states to include Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia have also declared the opioid crisis as a state of emergency.

For the thousands of NCCAOM Diplomates who regularly and successfully treat patients for pain and addiction, it is frustrating to watch so many suffer and die needlessly when acupuncture treatment can be a solution to this crisis with the added bonus that it is less costly with less side effects than other therapies. Acupuncture can treat both pain as well as addiction and even provide stress relief to friends and family of the opioid addict. Bringing awareness as to the benefits of your medicine to treat pain and addiction in front of lawmakers and healthcare policy decision makers is paramount. The Joint Commission recently announced revised pain assessment and management standards and noted the benefits of acupuncture services and other integrative care for pain.  Please see NCCAOM’s Joint Commission Press Release from July. In addition, the National Association of Attorney Generals  just published a letter lauding non drug management options to include acupuncture services as an important step in combating opioid addiction – please see link to their website.

Very recently, a white paper titled “Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management” drafted by the Joint Acupuncture Opioid Taskforce was released recently. This white paper provides evidence that acupuncture services is a powerful, evidence-based, safe, cost-effective, and available treatment modality to treat opioid dependence and pain. The white paper was comprised of member organizations of the Acupuncture Foundation (ANF) and The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA).

We are pleased to make this report available to you on the newly create Opioid Crisis page via the new Academy of Diplomates website. The NCCAOM has designed a special section of the Academy website devoted to ongoing projects to apprise our Diplomates and other stakeholders of our most recent efforts: Ongoing Projects.

The NCCAOM is also working with the Integrative Public Health Consortium (IHPC) to inform federal agencies regarding this issue. Additionally, NCCAOM is an invited participant for an upcoming Inaugural Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress which will develop a policy consensus document.  NCCAOM Diplomate William Reddy also published an article titled “The FDA Recommends Acupuncture: Comments from Key AOM Stakeholders”  in Acupuncture Today.

What can each of us do to bring additional awareness to this cause? Work with other licensed acupuncturists to inform patients, other healthcare practitioners in your community, local media and others about the benefits of acupuncture services for pain and addiction. Let them know that pain is the core of what licensed acupuncturists treat and there are many studies showing that addiction is successfully treated by acupuncture.

By continuing to spread the word, as evidenced by the above group efforts, we can advocate for greater access and more federal recognition of this remarkable medicine by providing a viable solution to a national and troubling epidemic. Finally, we look forward to hearing from you. Please submit your state and local community initiatives related to the opioid epidemic to publicrelations@thenccaom.org.


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