Frequently Asked Questions

For Practioners

How Do I Become an NCCAOM Diplomate?

PLEASE NOTE: NMSAAM has no involvement in this process.  The information below is provided as a courtesy.

To become an NCCAOM Diplomate, applicants must pass the NCCAOM Examinations. There are 4 exams: Acupuncture with Point Location, Biomedicine, the Foundations of Chinese Medicine, and Chinese Herbology. There are 3 certifications available.  For acupuncture certification, applicants must pass the Acupuncture with Point Location, Biomedicine, and Foundation of Chinese Medicine examinations. For Chinese herbology certification, applicants must pass the Biomedicine, Foundations of Chinese Medicine, and Chinese Herbology examinations.   For those seeking certification in Oriental Medicine, all four examinations must be passed. Study guides are available.

There are several routes possible to be eligible to sit for the NCCAOM examinations.  The most common route is with formal education in the United States, at a school that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). ACAOM is a specialized accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). International students may also apply; however, the programs must meet requirements and are subject to third-party review. Other than the formal education route, students who have completed apprenticeship educations may also apply. However, this route will be terminated on December 31, 2021. Education should follow ACAOM standards and have to be approved by the NCCAOM. Finally, a combination of apprenticeship and formal education may be submitted for NCCAOM approval for examination eligibility.

Those who were previously NCCAOM Diplomates, but have lapsed in their renewal, may be able to apply for reinstatement.

How Do I Renew My NCCAOM Diplomate status?

PLEASE NOTE: NMSAAM has no involvement in this process.  The information below is provided as a courtesy.

NCCAOM diplomates are responsible for renewing their certification every four years and are expected to maintain their status by participating in Professional Development Activities (PDA). Diplomates must earn a minimum of 60 PDA points during the four-year period immediately preceding the expiration of their certification. The NCCAOM renewal process is completed online. Diplomats can renew up to 6 months prior to the expiration date of their certification.

Active Status diplomates must complete the online form, complete a minimum of 60 PDA points and submit payment. Diplomates are required to complete a CPR course plus a minimum of 30 PDA points/ CEU credits in Core Competency coursework in the following areas. All 60 points may be earned in the Core Competency section. One can also choose to have up to 30 points in the Professional Enhancement category. Please review the NCCAOM® Recertification Handbook for more information.

For lapsed or terminated diplomates, additional requirements will be applied. Please visit NCCAOM.org for more information.

How Do I Become Licensed in New Mexico?

PLEASE NOTE: NMSAAM is a professional association for acupuncturists in the state of New Mexico, NOT the licensing body for the state, which is the New Mexico Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  We are including the information below as a courtesy to those interested in practicing in New Mexico. We cannot answer questions about licensure.  The BAOM can be found here: NM BAOM


An applicant for licensure as an Doctor of Oriental Medicine shall submit an application to the Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (the board).

The application must include:

  1. Application Fee ($525 as of 19 Nov 2019)
  2. Completed application form, in English. Must use form provided by the board (link above).
  3. Two (2) passport-type photographs of the applicant taken not more than six (6) months prior to the submission of the application
  4. The applicant must answer all questions on the application form including:
    • Any other names the applicant has used
    • Prior convictions (not including traffic violations)
    • An disciplinary action taken against the applicant for the practice of acupuncture
    • Any malpractice claims / trials against the applicant
    • Any voluntary surrender of license or certification
    • Any outstanding child support payments / warrants
    • Weather the applicant has ever withdrawn or surrendered a license during pending misconduct investigations
    • Statement understanding all rules and laws for practicing acupuncture in the state of New Mexico
    • Release of records authorization for the board to verify above statements.
  5. an official license history, which is a certificate from each jurisdiction stating the disciplinary record of the applicant, from each jurisdiction where the applicant has been licensed, certified, registered or legally recognized to practice any profession, including health care professions, in any jurisdiction, pursuant to any authority other than the New Mexico Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practice Act
  6. an accurate translation in English of all documents submitted in a foreign language; each translated document shall bear the affidavit of the translator certifying that he or she is competent in both the language of the document and the English language and that the translation is a true and faithful translation of the foreign language original; each translated document shall also bear the affidavit of the applicant certifying that the translation is a true and faithful translation of the original; each affidavit shall be signed before a notary public; the translation of any document relevant to an application shall be at the expense of the applicant.

Examinations

The applicant must complete the following exams and submit the scores to the board within 24 months from the date of the initial application for licensure. NB: The application is submitted prior to taking the state skills exam.

NCCAOM is the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

  1. NCCAOM foundations of oriental medicine module
  2. NCCAOM acupuncture module
  3. NCCAOM Chinese herbology module
  4. NCCAOM biomedicine module
  5. NCCAOM point location module
  6. NCCAOM approved clean needle technique course;
  7. the board approved and board administered jurisprudence examination covering the act and the rules
  8. the clinical skills examination; the clinical skills examination includes examination in acupuncture, herbal medicine and biomedicine competencies

Educational Program

The applicant must have completed an approved educational program. Transcripts must be sent to the board office in a sealed envelope directly from the educational program.

Sufficiency of Documentation

The board shall determine the sufficiency of the documentation that supports the application for licensure. The board may, at its discretion, request further proof of qualifications or require a personal interview with any applicant to establish his or her qualifications. If requested by the board, all further proof of qualifications shall be received at the board office at least forty five (45) days before the clinical skills examination date. Any required personal interview will be scheduled as determined by the board.

Deadline for Documentation and Notice

Documentation required for licensure shall be received at the board office no later than 24 months after the initial application is received at the board office

The applicant shall be notified of approval or denial of his completed application requirements including examination requirements by mail postmarked no more than twenty one (21) days from the board’s receipt of all required documentation

How Do I Renew My New Mexico License?

PLEASE NOTE: NMSAAM has no involvement in this process.  The information below is provided as a courtesy.

  • All Doctors of Oriental Medicine must renew their license by July 31st each year if they wish to continue practicing in the state of New Mexico.
  • Renewal may be done online at: mylicense.rld.state.nm.us
  • Each licensee should receive an email with their registration code prior to July

Continuing Education Requirement

New Mexico requires Doctors of Oriental Medicine to demonstrate continuing education in one of two ways either current NCCAOM certification or 15 hours/CEU credits each year

New Mexico accepts all NCCAOM approved CEU courses and courses approved by other acupuncture or oriental medicine licensing authorities.

CPR Requirement: Starting in 2020, applicants renewing a license as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine must have: proof of current Basic Life Support, BLS, and CPR with proof of having completed an American Heart Association or American Red Cross approved course; hands-on supervised practice of clinical skills is required; the didactic portion may be completed on-line; a current copy of this card shall be submitted to the board at the time of each annual license renewal.

NMAC 16.2.9.8 B (emphasis added)

What is RLD?

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD) is the department of the state government that issues licenses to Doctors of Oriental Medicine in the state. In New Mexico, RLD provides licenses for everything from body art professionals (e.g. tattoo artists) to barbers. RLD also maintains records of licensee information, and you can look up a license on their website.

What is the BAOM?

PLEASE NOTE: NMSAAM is not connected with the BAOM.  The information below is provided as a courtesy.

The New Mexico Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (BAOM): consists of seven members appointed by the governor for three-year terms. Four members are licensed doctors of oriental medicine that have lived and practiced in New Mexico for the past five years or more. Three members are public members and are not acupuncturists, or have not practiced acupuncture or oriental medicine, and do not have any other financial interest in the profession. No board member shall be the owner, principal, or director of an institute offering educational programs in acupuncture and oriental medicine. No more than one board member may be from each of the following categories:

  1. a faculty member at an institute offering educational programs in acupuncture and oriental medicine;
  2. a tutor in acupuncture and oriental medicine
  3. an officer or director in a professional association of acupuncture and oriental medicine.

A board member shall not serve more than two consecutive full terms, and a board member who fails to attend, after he has received proper notice, three consecutive meetings shall be recommended for removal as a board member unless excused for reasons established by the board.

Members of the board shall be reimbursed as provided in the Per Diem and Mileage Act [10-8-1 through 10-8-8 NMSA 1978] and shall receive no other compensation, perquisite or allowance.

More information at the board’s website.

References

References

  1. About Us. Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. https://acaom.org. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  2. Welcome Applicants. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. http://www.nccaom.org/applicants. Accessed January 22, 2019.
  3. The NCCAOM Certification in Acupuncture. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. http://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Acupuncture%20Cert%20Brochure.pdf. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  4. The NCCAOM Certification in Oriental Medicine. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. http://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/OM%20Certification%20Brochure.pdf. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  5. The NCCAOM Certification in Chinese Herbology. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. http://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/CH%20Certification%20Brochure.pdf. Accessed January 22, 2019.
  6. State Licensure Requirements Interactive Map. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. http://www.nccaom.org/state-licensure. Accessed January 25, 2019.
  7. Clean Needle Technique Course. Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. http://www.nccaom.org/state-licensure. Accessed January 25, 2019.
  8. Standards and Criteria Manual: Postgraduate Doctoral [DAOM]. Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. https://acaom.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ACAOM-DAOM-Standards-and-Criteria-Manual.pdf. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  9. Postgrad Doctorate [DAOM] >> Directory of Accredited/Pre-accredited Programs and Institutions. Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. https://acaom.org/directory-menu/directory/?cn-s=&cn-cat=28. Accessed January 22, 2019.
  10. Transitional Doctorate for Acupuncture Graduates. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. https://www.pacificcollege.edu/prospective/programs/online/transitional-doctorate. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  11. Doctorate of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine (DACM). Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. https://www.pacificcollege.edu/prospective/programs/san-diego/medicine/doc. Accessed February 3, 2019.
  12. Miller J. A Brief History of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Doctoral Programs. Acupuncture Today. 2017;18(3).
  13.  McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: a comparative literature review (Revised edition). https://www.acupuncture.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/28-NOV-The-Acupuncture-Evidence-Project_Mcdonald-and-Janz_-REISSUED_28_Nov.pdf. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  14. Ma Y, Dong M, Zhou K, Mita C, Liu J, Wayne PM. Publication Trends in Acupuncture Research: A 20-Year Bibliometric Analysis Based on PubMed. Plos One. 2016;11(12). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168123.
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  16. Zhang Z-J, Wang X-M, Mcalonan GM. Neural Acupuncture Unit: A New Concept for Interpreting Effects and Mechanisms of Acupuncture. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;2012:1-23. doi:10.1155/2012/429412.
  17. Zhao Z-Q. Neural mechanism underlying acupuncture analgesia. Progress in Neurobiology. 2008;85(4):355-375. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2008.05.004.
  18. Harris RE, Zubieta J-K, Scott DJ, Napadow V, Gracely RH, Clauw DJ. Traditional Chinese acupuncture and placebo (sham) acupuncture are differentiated by their effects on μ-opioid receptors (MORs). NeuroImage. 2009;47(3):1077-1085. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.05.083.
  19.  Unschuld PU. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text: with an Appendix, the Doctrine of the Five Periods and Six Qi in the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen. Berkeley: University of California Press; 2003.
  20. What is Herbal Medicine? The National Institute of Medical Herbalists. https://www.nimh.org.uk/whats-herbal-medicine. Accessed January 18, 2019.
  21.  Choi T-Y, Lee MS, Kim JI, Zaslawski C. Moxibustion for the treatment of osteoarthritis: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Maturitas. 2017;100:33-48. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.03.314.
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  23. Li T, Li Y, Lin Y, Li K. Significant and sustaining elevation of blood oxygen induced by Chinese cupping therapy as assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy. Biomedical Optics Express. 2016;8(1):223. doi:10.1364/boe.8.000223.
  24. Chi L-M, Lin L-M, Chen C-L, Wang S-F, Lai H-L, Peng T-C. The Effectiveness of Cupping Therapy on Relieving Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016;2016:1-7. doi:10.1155/2016/7358918.
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What is the ASA?

The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is your primary national-level professional association.  It coordinates activities at the national level, including working with a lobbyist in Washington D.C. to represent the profession, holding national conventions, and offering national-level opportunities for student and licensed practitioner involvement.  http://www.asacu.org/.

NMSAAM is a member association of the ASA.

What is CCAOM?

The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) is a 501(c)(6) voluntary membership association for acupuncture schools and programs in the U.S. Established in 1982, the Council’s primary mission is to advance AOM by promoting educational excellence in the field. Currently, the Council consists of 53 acupuncture schools. As a requirement of membership, all of the Council’s member schools have obtained either full accreditation or accreditation candidacy status with the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), the national organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit AOM schools and programs in the U.S.  The Council administers a national needle safety course known as the Clean Needle Technique Course.  http://www.ccaom.org/  

Recommended reading:  http://www.ccaom.org/downloads/PaperOfLixinHuang.pdf

What is ACAOM?

The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is the national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit Master’s-level programs in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession.  As an independent body, ACAOM accredits first professional Master’s degree and professional Master’s level certificate and diploma programs in acupuncture and first professional Master’s degree and professional Master’s level certificate and diploma programs in Oriental medicine with a concentration in both acupuncture and herbal therapies. The Commission fosters excellence in acupuncture and Oriental medicine education by establishing policies and standards that govern the accreditation process for acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs.  Currently, ACAOM has over 60 schools and colleges with accredited or candidacy status with the Commission.   http://www.acaom.org

Recommended reading:  http://www.ccaom.org/downloads/PaperOfLixinHuang.pdf

What is NCCAOM?

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), was established in 1982 as a non-profit organization currently operating under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The mission of the NCCAOM is to establish, assess, and promote recognized standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public. There are currently over 14,000 active Diplomates practicing under NCCAOM certifications in Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology and Asian Bodywork Therapy. In year 2017, NCCAOM celebrated its 35th anniversary.  http://www.nccaom.org/about/about.html