Accomplishments of the Acupuncture Profession

We know acupuncture can treat pain and chronic illness, assist with recovery from addiction, increase fertility, and help people manage stress (just to start). Acupuncturists know it would be good if more people could get more acupuncture.

Many dedicated individuals have devoted significant qi to increase insurance coverage, to add acupuncture to Medicare covered services, and to bring acupuncture to hospitals and clinics. All with the hope of increasing access.

Other practitioners are committed to gaining mainstream respect and acceptance to further the goal of greater access. They’ve published research, increased training and credentialing requirements, and fought to keep others from using acupuncture techniques without that training and credentialing.

Our “return on investment” has not been great.

We’re still a lot of money and many years away from Medicare inclusion. How much time and energy gets taken from clients to deal with insurance? How many potential patients have meaningful coverage, and how long will that last? Increased training and credentialing and variations in requirements from state to state slows entry into the field and increases expenses, further diminishing our political strength. In areas with few LAcs, efforts to block other professionals from utilizing pain-relieving acupuncture techniques leaves the public with no access at all.

We’re not using our qi efficiently. Our efforts haven’t done much to shorten the path between most practitioners who want to treat, and most people who want treatment.

It’s motivating, helpful, and informative to read a book illustrating the power of a direct path between practitioner and patient. Acupuncture Points are Holes, is a great read.

It’s several books in one: a captivating personal story, an exploration of the process of establishing an acupuncture practice, and an analysis of some common limitations in acupuncture training. It examines the focus required to keep the path between practitioner and patient clear. The book and appendices contain lots of direct, straightforward, easy-to-read help for you and your business, whether it’s a POCA clinic or not.

The author’s decision to directly address the impediments that keep people in need from accessing acupuncture led to: adoption of a practice model which was then shared with others, establishment of a Co-op to support the system and interested practitioners, and, as of 2014 , an affordable acupuncture school to train future POCA practitioners. The 158 POCA clinics that answered a 2016 survey provided 880,596 treatments. One three-location group sees over 8000 unique patients each year. So far, POCA Tech students have a 100% pass rate on NCCAOM Exam Modules.

All this in less than twenty years.That’s a lot of accomplishments.

Getting the book will be an excellent return on investment. Get the e-book here, the paperback here or here. All proceeds go to POCA Tech.



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© Elaine Wolf Komarow and The Acupuncture Observer, 2013-2033. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express written permission from Elaine Wolf Komarow is prohibited. Excerpts and links are encouraged, provided that full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.

2 thoughts on “Accomplishments of the Acupuncture Profession

  1. I’m not against the idea of Community Acupuncture, frankly, from time to time, I’ve been a user myself. However, this is the model to treat multiple patients at once, even six patients in an hour. I can’t do that, I’m pushing 60 years old. I see one patient per hour. This is for young people, and I find if I have to compete with such a clinic, I’d probably be out of business,
    Is this the Amazon of acupuncture? Take over, deliver with little cost for the patient?
    Please, don’t misunderstand, I’m not bitter about Community Acupuncture, but I also have to look for my survival. Regardless, thanks for the post, and i probably can learn from the book cited in the post, probably carried by Amazon itself.
    Thank you

    • Augusto — For what it’s worth, I’m a private room practitioner myself, for a variety of reasons. Neither this post nor the book take the position that the only type of Acupuncture available should be Community Acupuncture. There will always be people, both patients and practitioners, who are more comfortable or better served in a private setting.

      I am hopeful that the future of Acupuncture includes a variety of practice settings. That being said, if you want to treat people with limited resources, a CA setting is a great way to do that.

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