Licensed Acupuncturists Achieve Key Recognition with US Government
August 2, 2016
Cogito ergo sum is the way Descartes put it -- “I think therefore I am.” This is not sufficient for the US government when it comes to emerging professions. What is needed is a “unique occupational code” from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nation’s licensed acupuncturists – currently over 30,000 in total – have finally made the grade according to a July 25, 2016 media release from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).The value of the designation to licensed acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners reverberates in many directions. The release from NCCAOM – which has driven the campaign – states that the action will mean greater access to programming and recognition across all federal agencies. NCCAOM’s CEO Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, CAE expands: “Earning a distinct Standard Occupational Code for Acupuncturists is a milestone moment for the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession. This event positions acupuncturists for a number of new opportunities.” The independent Standard Occupational Code (SOC) code from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will be “Acupuncturists - SOC – 29-1291.” While the recognition has been decided now, the new code will finally make it into the next edition of the BLS Occupational Handbook which will be published in 2018.The campaign for designation following a startling awakening at a 2006 meeting of leaders of the acupuncture and Oriental medicine field when they learned that acupuncture had no independent status. In fact, it “was included as a modality under chiropractors and nurses, in the BLS Occupational Handbook.” Multiple acupuncture organizations participated in the effort to gain recognition with NCCAOM “spearheading” the effort. Among these backing the first formal step in 2008 were:
- American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)
- Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
- Council of Colleges for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)
- Federation Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies (FAOMRA), and the
- National Acupuncture Foundation (NAF).