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Acupuncturist Registration in Michigan - Support for Deregulation of Acupuncturists in Michigan

The American Manual Medicine Association (AMMA) and the Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association (MMAA) support the recommendation of the Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) to deregulate the occupation of acupuncturists.

The AMMA is a Michigan based national trade association that provides post graduate education and national board certification for acupuncture professionals. The AMMA represents over 12,000 health care professionals nationwide. The AMMA promotes Western, rational, evidence based medical acupuncture education, testing, credentialing and clinical practices.

The MMAA is a Michigan based state chapter of the AMMA and is comprised of over 2000 Michigan residents all of whom are trained in the practice of clinical acupuncture modalities. 384 MMAA members currently report the practice of acupuncture as a primary clinical modality. All of our Michigan based MMAA members have been denied regulatory registration by the Michigan Board of Acupuncture.

The passage of the Michigan Acupuncture Registration Law in 2006 has had a negative economic impact on the growth of our Michigan based organizations and has hurt the growth of our member's practices and adversely affected their businesses. The acupuncture registration law is a clear example of an anti job law.

There are several diverse acupuncture groups based in Michigan and the Granholm administration only recognized one of smaller groups of "acupuncturists" and placed this group with approximately 65 members in control of the Board of Acupuncture which then promoted rules that only provided registration to their own members. The acupuncture board did not carry out the intent of the legislature regarding the regulation of acupuncture for the protection of the public, violated the inclusionary language of the law, and promoted unfair trade practices. Further, the administrative rules mandate the study and practice of traditional Chinese medicine based upon Taoist religion, a violation of the 1st Amendment.

The ORR, in its April 2012 report to Governor Snyder, cites several reasons for its recommendation to deregulate the profession of acupuncture in Michigan - and both the AMMA and the MMAA fully agree with the ORR Committee's conclusions and recommendations to the Governor.

These ORR reasons for deregulation include:

  1. "The health and safety benefits arising out of the current registration requirement are minimal."
  2. "Anyone may practice acupuncture under the supervision of a physician, as long as they do not call themselves an "acupuncturist.""

The ORR Committee further states, "According to Attorney General Opinion No. 4832, the practice of acupuncture falls within the statutory definition of the practice of medicine. Therefore, acupuncture must be performed under the supervision of a licensed physician. This requirement provides the appropriate level of protection to the public from unqualified or incompetent practitioners."

The MMAA would add to this list the following:

  1. The Board of Acupuncture's failure to provide registration and regulation for the entire Michigan community of acupuncture professionals promotes unfair trade practices.
  2. The negative job and economic impact of the illegal and prejudicial actions of the Acupuncture Board in denying registration to medical acupuncturists.
  3. Failure of the Board of Acupuncture to enforce the physician delegation and supervision requirement upon currently registered "acupuncturists" in Michigan.

The Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association fully supports, and requires as a condition of membership, that its members are educated about, and comply with, Attorney General Decision 4832 which mandates physician delegation and supervision of the practice of acupuncture. MMAA members are state regulated health care professionals that practice Western, rational, evidence based medical acupuncture.

The AMMA and its Michigan state chapter, the MMAA, ask that acupuncture be deregulated and that existing laws pertaining to physician delegation and supervision be enforced.

American Manual Medicine Association
Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association
November, 2012


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