Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association

Our Professional Standards

The acupuncture profession in the state of Michigan is represented by a diverse community of acupuncture practitioners.  These practitioners are represented by different state and/or national associations that have different ethical, educational, and professional standards.

The various acupuncture practitioners in Michigan may belong to the following organizations:  (this list may not include all groups)

National Acupuncture Trade Associations

State Acupuncture Membership Associations

  • Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association
  • Michigan Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

In addition, there are many acupuncturists practicing in Michigan who are not affiliated with any state or national acupuncture organization.

The practice of Acupuncture in Michigan is unique in that Michigan is the birth place of evidence based medical acupuncture.  The term medical acupuncture was first used by Dr. John Amaro, an Arizona based chiropractor and acupuncturist, who trademarked the name medical acupuncture.  Dr. John Amaro has graciously provided the American Manual Medicine Association, of which the Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association (MMAA) is a state chapter, with permission to use the term medical acupuncture.

A Matter of Choice

The MMAA does not believe that any one state or national association has professional superiority over any other acupuncture group.  It is simply a matter of choice.  It is a matter of choice because each of the different acupuncture associations has evolved different professional standards that relate to acupuncture education and certification via a national certification exam process.  The MMAA believes that any of the organizations listed above provide a competent and safe choice for the consumer of acupuncture health care.

MMAA members are health care professionals that represent many different fields from conventional medicine to alternative and complementary health care.  Medical acupuncture is one of two categories of acupuncture available to the consumer in Michigan and the other choice is what is referred to as Traditional Chinese (or Asian) Medicine.  TCM or TAM (as it is abbreviated) is an ancient form of acupuncture that is based upon the original shamanistic and Daoist religion methods used a long time ago in China and other Asian countries.  Modern acupuncture in Asian countries today is now mainly practiced as medical acupuncture and is less likely to be practiced as shamanism.  The shamanistic and metaphysical practice of acupuncture has been championed by TCM/TAM groups in the US and continues with some popularity in this country.

Choosing your Acupuncture Professional

In choosing an acupuncture professional the MMAA suggests the following:

  1. Choose an acupuncture professional who has graduated from a state licensed, approved, and/or accredited health care and acupuncture training program that meets the standards and recommendations of a nationally recognized acupuncture trade association.
  2. Choose an acupuncture professional who has completed an accredited national and/or state examination and certification process.
  3. Choose an acupuncture professional who has been trained in conventional medical and health sciences and who practices contemporary evidence based acupuncture.
  4. Choose an acupuncture professional who works with licensed medical physicians, hospitals, medical clinics, and who is a licensed/certified/registered allied health care provider.
  5. Choose an acupuncture professional who belongs to a national and/or state acupuncture trade association that has a strict ethical code that mandates compliance with evidence based acupuncture practices and methods including clean needle and cross infection control.

The Michigan Public Health Code requires that acupuncturists who are not licensed medical physicians must work under the delegation and supervision of a medical physician.  At the current time many acupuncturists in Michigan are violating this state law and are working outside of the medical profession.

The MMAA requires, as a condition of membership, that its members must comply with Michigan law and the Michigan Public Health Code.  Therefore, all members of the MMAA must work under the delegation and supervision of a licensed medical physician.

The final recommendation of the MMAA is that you do not seek treatment from any acupuncturist who is unwilling to comply with Michigan state laws pertaining to the practice of acupuncture.  Delegation and supervision is defined as a medical physician writing a prescription for your acupuncture treatment, directing the acupuncturist in the delivery of the acupuncture treatment, and supervising your acupuncture treatment throughout its delivery to you.

Your Personal Safety

If your acupuncturist is not working under medical delegation and supervision they are breaking the law.  As a consumer this should be your be your first concern, not what group they belong to, if they are registered or certified, or if they are trained in TCM or not.  What is foremost is whether they have the ethical character to obey the law and to work as a team member with your licensed medical or primary health care provider.

If a consumer or patient wishes to file a complaint against an acupuncturist whom they believe is in violation of the Michigan Public Health Code pertaining to the practice of acupuncture please direct that compliant to the MMAA we will assist you in filing your compliant with the appropriate state agency.

MMAA Professional Code of Ethics:

  1. All members are required to adhere to these same ethical standards.
  2. Practice only the techniques and modalities in which you have been professionally trained and certified.
  3. In no way participate, engage, or suggest any type of sexual activity with your client.
  4. Maintain a safe clean and professional environment for patients at all times.
  5. Members must comply with clean needle and cross infection office procedures.
  6. Members must comply with applicable state and local laws.
  7. Members must comply with the Michigan Public Health Code requirements for medical referral, delegation, and supervision.
  8. Any legal issues that arise due to a member's unethical behavior will be referred to legal authorities for review and action.
  9. Violation of the ethical code or state law will result in the rescinding of membership and may lead to civil and criminal action against the member.
  10. Members are also subject to federal and state laws, as will as ethical standards regarding the issue of patient confidentiality.

All Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association Members are expected to adhere to the highest standards in our industry.  If for any reason, a member has violated the Code of Ethics, that member will be reviewed for appropriate action.  By submitting a signed application to the Michigan Medical Acupuncture Association, a member agrees to abide by this published Code of Ethics and understands that a violation of any of the above codes will be cause for appropriate action or dismissal by the association.

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