Greetings fellow American acupuncturists!
We are writing to announce the formation of the American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS)that we have formed as a non-profit organization to help protect acupuncture’s long reputation as a safe and effective practice. We are all very concerned about the recent expansion of “dry needling,” the use of acupuncture needles by physical therapists and others who lack training or the legal authority to practice acupuncture. We are encouraged to see the recent lawsuit by the State Acupuncture Board in North Carolina against physical therapists claiming to practice “dry needling” and believe it is important to support these and other legal efforts to curtail the illegal and unsafe practice of acupuncture.
American physical therapists (PTs) are now making a number of attempts to broaden their scope of practice to include what we all know is acupuncture. After only a few dozen hours of post-graduation training and without formal exams or clinical training, PTs and other un-licensed practitioners can start inserting acupuncture needles into their patients, while claiming they are not practicing acupuncture.
Right now, it is very important that we help support the battle to protect acupuncture in North Carolina since it will help set legal precedent that is important for all states. Courts in Oregon and Washington have already ruled that physical therapists and chiropractors in those states cannot insert acupuncture needles into their patients. It is key we set the same precedent in North Carolina. If we don’t, the hard-earned reputation acupuncturists have built through many generations’ efforts will be in vain and the American dream that we have pursued will be threatened. The public safety will clearly be put in danger.
In order to unite our American acupuncturists, joining forces and integrating our resources, we have decided to establish the American Alliance for Professional Acupuncture Safety (AAPAS). This is a multi-state union of associations, acupuncture schools and organizations, and dedicated practitioners of acupuncture. In this alliance, all the organizations are equal, follow the principle of democracy, cooperation, consultation, and consensus, with voting as needed to finalize our decisions.
Our purpose is clear, but we need a large enough number of acupuncturists to join us as members so as to form a unified voice. We hope that the leaders of American acupuncture organizations from many backgrounds can join the Alliance and make concerted efforts to win the battle together. Our slogan is, “They have the money, we have the truth!” Please join us so we can work together, in order for acupuncturists not to be marginalized, and for us to carry forward the acupuncture art without an interruption in its tradition of safety and excellence for the benefit of the people of the world.
We welcome all individuals and acupuncture organizations to join us in this effort, whether by providing ideas, advice, donations, or other efforts. Please visit our new website, aapas.org and sign-up as a member and supporter today!
The voice of American acupuncturists have been too quite in the past – we hope you will join us now and unite in a common effort to protect acupuncture and make our voicesheard.