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Hawaii Acupuncture Medicine Association     


Hawaii Acupuncture Medicine Association (HAMA) periodically receives questions regarding licensing verification and potential misconduct of those practicing Acupuncture Medicine in our state. It is not the role of HAMA to pursue any concerns/complaints within our profession. Below are the resources for individuals to do so: 

  Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) —to verify Hawaii business licenses:

  RICO (Regulated Industries Complaints Office) — to submit formal complaints regarding misconduct and/or non-licensure:

Help Wanted - Opportunities 

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Hawaii Acupuncture Medicine Association  

Representing Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine for all of Hawai’i        


We are more than two years into a global, generational event known as the Covid pandemic Finally the light at the end of the tunnel is bright enough for Hawaii to begin replacing masks over our mouths and noses with sunglasses to shield the brightness from our eyes. We will notice most of our community celebrating their facial freedom restored and appreciation will be visible with smiles flaunting teeth instead of just sparkling eyes. However, some in our community will find themselves possibly more fearful than any other time in the past two years as they will need to go to stores for provisions and be surrounded (no longer physically distanced) by mask-less neighbors. Regardless of how we feel about the mask mandate or the removal of the mandate today, we as licensed healthcare providers and compassionate caregivers need to be aware of how these changes affect our patients and communities at large.

Many of us provide care for patients with a wide range of health concerns. Some seek acupuncture medicine for sprains and strains while others are seeking assistance in mitigating side effects from immunosuppressant therapies. Regardless of our specialties we are responsible for providing a safe space for our patients to receive our treatments. Therefore, Hawaii Acupuncture Association suggests the following guidelines for continued public health safety in the clinics and practices of licensed acupuncture medicine providers


  • 1.    Pre-screen patients for infectious disease symptoms and Covid infection status to determine if in-person, telehealth, or phone consultation is safest procedure.
  • 2.    Continue use of PPE. Use of at least a high-quality exam mask for providers and minimally a cloth mask for patients while in close contact (treatment rooms and common areas). Further PPE such as eye protection, gloves and gowns are not necessary, unless treating potentially infectious individuals.
  • 3.    Physical distancing. Create common areas including but not limited to waiting rooms, reception, check-out with posted physical distancing suggestions and barriers in place, if needed.
  • 4.    Be informed. We are often the first and sometime only source for healthcare information for our patients. Respect the responsibility of this status to read validated research, study global and community trends of infection surges and viral variants ensuring our ability to answer questions from an evidence-based perspective. Blending modern research with our classical medical education will make us very effective clinicians during any public health crisis.
  • 5.    Covid vaccines are not designed to protect against infection, just severe disease, and hospitalization, but can be another valuable tool as they do offer some degree of protection against breakthrough infection. CDC reports data suggesting fully vaccinated individuals are roughly 50% protected against Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) (

In summary, HAA recommends this guidance to continue with mitigation efforts as also recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for at least the near future. If any patients question your decision to continue implementing the use of face masks, or any other mitigations, it can be helpful to lean on the guidance offered by your state acupuncture medicine association, as well as the CDC. Further, these “inconveniences’ are employed to help increase the safety for all patients.

                                                                                    Sincerely and in solidarity,

                                                                                    Jeffrey A Tice, DACM, DAc

                                                                                    Vice President

                                                                                    Hawaii Acupuncture Association

HAA Board of Directors

President, Barbara Ota, DACM, DAc.

Vice President, Jeffrey Tice, DACM, DAc.

Treasurer, Becky Jacobs, DACM, DAc.

Secretary, Heather Block, MAc, MOM, LAc.

Director, Janet Boyd, DACM,Lac.

Director, Denice Murphy, MSOM, Lac.

Director, Soraya Faris-Applegate, DACM, Dac.

Director, Dustin Dillberg, DACM, Lac.

Hawaii Board of Acupuncture


     DCCA Hawaii 

     Board of Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions

       Board of Acupuncture Meeting Minutes 

ASA  American Society of Acupuncturists 

ASA Website

ASA COVID-19 Resource page

NCCAOM National Certification Commission For Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

NCCAOM Website

NCCAOM Presentation Slides from 10.18.2020 Annual Meeting

NCCAOM   PDA HandbookCli

Proposed legislation for the Acupuncture Scope of Practice in Hawaii

These rules would NOT go into effect before July 1, 2023

Coming soon!

2021 Annual Meeting Questions & Answers

Dr. Joni Kroll, DAc., Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Acupuncture answers a few questions from HAA about the proposed legislation for acupuncture licensing and continuing education. Here are her answers. 

1. if NCCAOM is responsible for the ‘counting of CE’s’ and our colleagues are not diplomates, how will that exactly work?

The NCCAOM is NOT responsible for counting the CE's of Hawaii Licensees.  Each Hawaii licensee is responsible for counting their own CE's.  (If you happen to be a diplomate, it is easy because NCCAOM does that for you.)

According to the Board of Acupuncture’s Executive Officer, who serves on other Hawaii Boards that require CE's, this is how the process works:

  • Upon application to renew your license, the licensee checks a box on the form ATTESTING that they have met the CE requirements.  
  • The staff at the DCCA does random audits of applications (about 10% of renewals).  If you are audited, the DCCA will send you a letter asking you to provide documentation of your CE hours.
  •  Documentation includes certificates of attendance for things like a webinar, or a signed self statement for activities like legislative work, or a letter from a school if you did a lecture, or a letter from an organization like HAA or AcuPlan if you served on their board, or a copy of a published article. (examples from the NCCAOM are below)
  • NCCAOM's role is in analyzing courses/instructors and giving their "seal of approval" that it is a legitimate course taught by a qualified instructor.  The certificate of attendance will have a line that states the NCCAOM approved course number on it.  The DCCA can look up on the NCCAOM website to confirm that the course number matches an approved course.  Yes, it does cost an instructor or organization a fee ($200?? - need to ask Mina this) for the NCCAOM to do its review.

The point of having the NCCAOM do the reviews is that they are an accredited organization with experience and protocols in place for evaluation and less likely to have any special interest compared to smaller state boards that could have conflicts of interest (avoiding favoritism).

2.  If one is a diplomate, does one have to do the 30 CE every 2years, or can one just do 60 all at once on the last year of the 4 year cycle ?

Good question, and one I will run by the Deputy Attorney General.  I'm pretty sure that Diplomates will only have to confirm/attest to active diplomate status every 2 years.  If I'm correct, then it will not matter when you get your total 30/60 hours.  The renewal form will need to have two boxes, one for diplomates to check active status and one for non-diplomates to check for 30 CE's.   Proof of active diplomate status may not even need to be attached to license renewal form as it is something the DCCA can readily confirm online. 

3. How will non-diplomates access the NCCAOM site, to register for a course, or access their database?    

Non-diplomates do NOT have to go through the NCCAOM site.  You register for whatever courses you want, however you want, and ask the course instructor if they are NCCAOM approved.  

However, the NCCAOM website does allow non diplomates to search their approved courses:

NCCAOM has 1,500 PDA Providers and 3,000 approved courses.  

4. Will those that aren’t diplomates now, be diplomates through the ‘grandfathering’ in, of their license?

No.  This is NOT a route to become a diplomate.  No fees to NCCAOM will be paid by non-diplomates.   Those licensed in Hawaii prior to these changes are EXEMPT from maintaining Diplomate status but they must attest to 30 hours of CE's (NCCAOM approved) upon license renewal.  Those licensed in Hawaii after these changes take effect will be required to maintain diplomate status in order to renew their license.

Hawaii Acupuncture Licenses renew on June 30 of odd numbered years.  So I anticipate that the EARLIEST these rules would go into effect is July 1, 2021, which would give licensees a full two years to meet the new requirements. 

CE (called Professional Development Activities or PDAs's by NCCAOM) credits can also be earned through Volunteer efforts, as outlined on the NCCAOM PDA handbook (see attached or go here):

AOM Volunteer Service Opportunities:

  • Serve on a Professional Board 10 PDA points maximum (5 per year) 
  • Advocate Legislation 10 PDA points maximum
  • Donate Acupuncture and OM Services 10 PDA points maximum 
  • NCCAOM Exam Item Writing 10 PDA points maximum 
  • ACAOM Site Visitor 10 PDA points maximum 
  • AOM Teaching & Scholarship Opportunities Clinical Supervision 10 PDA points maximum Teach or Lecture 20 PDA points maximum 
  • Research in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine 20 PDA points maximum
  • Publications Varies AOM Knowledge and Skills Opportunities Course Work 30 PDA points Peer Reviewed Posters or Exhibits 10 PDA points maximum 
  • Passage of NCCAOM Certification Exam 20 PDA points maximum 
  • Clinical Experience 10 PDA points maximum 

Lastly, these rules will still go through a public hearing process sometime in early Spring.

Mina Larson, CEO of NCCAOM

Mina Larson, CEO of NCCAOM, answers a question from HAA member Koji Kajiwara about Dry Needling. 

Question from Koji Kajiwara: What is the NCCAOM stance on Physical Therapists doing what they call Dry Needling?

Answer from Mina Larson: 

The NCCAOM is very concerned and proactive in stopping the practice of dry needling by PTs and others with very little education/training. The NCCAOM has published a fact sheet, position statement and Q&A on dry needling that can be accessed through this link: 

We are also continuously working with state regulatory boards and state associations on providing letters, testimonies and information on education, training and assessments needed to practice dry needling and all forms of acupuncture safely. Public education is also a very important tool to educate consumers on selecting qualified acupuncturists for dry needling and all forms of acupuncture. This is where we have information and data our national certification  board to showcase to regulatory boards and the public about the safe and component practice of all forms of acupuncture and are working with national and state associations to share this information. There is definitely room to do more and we would like to partner with HAA and other associations for more opportunities to work together to stop the practice of dry needling by PTs. The APTA and state PT state associations are very well organized and well funded so we have to continuously work together to educate everyone about our qualifications and training as compared to the little that they complete. 

Thank you,


Mina M. Larson, M.S., MBA, CAE

Chief Executive Officer, NCCAOM     

Ph/Fax: (202) 381-1115 Direct

Cell: (703) 314-2908

Main Ph: (888) 381-1140 / Fax: (202) 381-1141



Link from Anita Chen Marshall, DAOM, Pharm.D, L.Ac.

Here is the link to the book chapter "Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology" authored by Dr. Anita Marshall for your review and reference. 

*Note - the final draft of the manuscript didn't make it from the editing team to the publisher before it was printed so there are some mistakes that weren't corrected. referenceworkentry/10.1007% 2F978-3-319-56637-5_60-1   

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Hawaii Acupuncture Medicine Association
PO Box 104

Kamuela, HI 96743


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