Moving forward with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in New Mexico


Town Hall In-Person Sponsored by NMSAAM


Date: July 16, 2023


NM DOMs, LAcs who are licensed to work in other nations and states, students, and those in the process of becoming licensed in NM


Golden Flower Chinese Herbs, 2724 Vassar Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107


Dr. Yvonne Wylie Walston, DOM, CMI, with a talking stick


1:00 – 4:30 pm with potluck, beverages, desserts, and snacks


RSVP: or



During the 2023 Legislative Session, SB421, which would have created an acupuncture-only licensure level, was submitted by one acupuncturist. It was tabled (killed) due to a tied vote in its first committee, Health and Human Services on February 17. That is, it came very close to passing that committee and being able to advance. (An identical bill with a different number, SB 461, was also submitted by the same person.) The committee chair, Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, seeing that the issue had not been worked out among DOMs and that there was conflict, stated that he wants the profession to come to a consensus before any more legislation is introduced in a future session. This is totally reasonable and necessary.

To follow Senator Ortiz y Pino’s recommendation, Dr. Walston had lunch with Dr. Nityamo Lian, who had been called as an expert witness for the bill at the hearing, to begin dialoguing. They agreed that it would be good for the professional acupuncture association of the state, NMSAAM, to sponsor a Town Hall, which Dr. John Scott had recommended after the committee hearing on SB421. Dr. Scott graciously offered physical space in the classroom at his business, Golden Flower Chinese Herbs (GFCH).


Topics & Schedule:

1:00 – 1:20

Opening remarks by Dr. Yvette Arellano, DOM, LMT, Native American and Shaman,  NMSAAM VP and Chair of PR and Legislative Committees. She will talk about the field of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, along with alternative sources of herbal medicine training now that SWAC is closing in August for sure.

1:20 – 1:30

Report by Dr. Yvonne Walston, DOM, CMI, NMSAMM President: Discuss NCCAOM and states with herbal medicine.


Discuss proposed tier of acupuncture licensure:

1:30 – 1:40

Proponent Dr. Nityamo Lian, DOM will discuss SB421 and how it could benefit both the current profession and NM patients. She will include results from her recent personal survey of NMDOMs.

1:40 – 1:50

Proponent Eleni Fredlund, LMHC, LAc (Oregon), EMT-I, author of SB 421, will discuss why she wrote the bill and how it could help NM.

1:50 – 2:00

Opponent Dr. Brandon Taylor, DOM, Chair of BAOM, will give his assessment of SB 421.

2:00 – 2:10

Opponent Dr. Robert Bibeau, DOM, DAOM will give his assessment of the bill and tiered licensure.

2:10 – 4:30 Open Floor

5-10 minute comments, discussion, and debate from attendees, recognized one at a time. Discuss solutions and actions.

Note that we plan to audio record this meeting on site so that all can participate without any one person having to take minutes in real time.

There will be a sign-in sheet for attendees.