Sunset Review Hearing 2018

Sunset Review Hearing 2018

On Monday, February 26, 2018, the California Acupuncture Board faced its Joint Sunset Review Hearing by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions & Economic Development and the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions. The public event was held at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

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CSOMA Update: February Stakeholder Meeting

CSOMA Update: February Stakeholder Meeting

February 2nd and 4th marked a historical day for the acupuncture profession in California.

CSOMA President, Tiffany Tuftee and Board of Director Representative, Bruce Gustafson were in attendance to discuss unification of the profession. Assemblymember Evan Low and his colleagues helped organize the meeting to open the dialogue about why it is important to unite our profession in California. The takeaway message from our meeting:

To be heard on legislative initiatives that move our profession forward, we must have a clear and consistent message from the acupuncture profession as a whole.

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Resolution on adopting the NCCAOM exams for CA licensure to replace CALE

Resolution on adopting the NCCAOM exams for CA licensure to replace CALE

January 25, 2018

WHEREAS the California Acupuncture Board (CAB) requested that DCA’s Office of Professional Examination Services (OPES) complete a comprehensive review of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (NCCAOM) examination program. The NCCAOM examinations consist of four exam modules: Foundations of Oriental Medicine (FOM), Biomedicine (BIO), Acupuncture with Point Location (ACPL), and

Chinese Herbology (CH);

WHEREAS the purpose of the OPES review was to evaluate the suitability of the NCCAOM examinations as part of the requirements for licensure as an acupuncturist in California. OPES convened a panel of licensed California acupuncturists to serve as subject matter experts (SMEs) to review the content of each of the four NCCAOM examinations and to compare this content with the test plan for the California Acupuncture Licensure Examination (CALE), as based on the 2015 California Acupuncture Occupational Analysis (CAOA) performed by OPES;

WHEREAS the OPES audit found that the NCCAOM examinations adequately assess most, but not all, of the general areas of entry-level California acupuncture practice (e.g., acupuncture treatment, herbal therapy, diagnostic impressions, etc) identified in the 2015 CAOA;

WHEREAS the OPES audit found that the NCCAOM examinations do not assess California-specific areas of entry level acupuncture practice, including content related to the laws, regulations, and practice requirements specific to California.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that CSOMA supports the adoption of the NCCAOM exam modules in conjunction with a California-specific supplemental exam provided that:

  1. The NCCAOM modules in combination with, as appropriate, a California-specific supplemental exam that adequately covers all tasks and knowledge relevant to entry-level practice in California;

  2. The NCCAOM modules in combination with, as appropriate, a California-specific supplemental exam that adequately covers task and knowledge related to the laws, regulations, and practice requirements specific to California; and

  3. The adequacy of covered tasks and knowledge is confirmed by qualified, third-party psychometricians.

Additional Information Resources

  1. National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM®) Fact Sheet: Information for California Licensed Acupuncturists and Other Interested Stakeholders about the NCCAOM Testing and Certification Program – January 8, 2018

http://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/NCCAOM%20Fact%20Sheet%20CA%20Updated.pdf

  1. Review of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Examinations by the California Acupuncture Board – January 2016

http://www.acupuncture.ca.gov/pubs_forms/nccaom_audit.pdf

  1. Q & A on Follow-Up Questions Submitted to the NCCAOM Based on the Audit, and How the NCCAOM Can Provide Exam Development and Administrative Services to the CAB for Purposes of Licensure: A Presentation to the CAB – June 11, 2016

http://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/NCCAOM%20QA%20for%20CAB%20Meeting%20June%2011%202016.pdf

Sincerely,

Tiffany-sig.png

Tiffany Tuftee, CSOMA President

president@csomaonline.org 

ra-sig.png

Ra Adcock, CSOMA Executive Director

ra@csomaonline.org

CSOMA to Weigh in: Acupuncture Association Stakeholder Meetings Scheduled for 2018

CSOMA to Weigh in: Acupuncture Association Stakeholder Meetings Scheduled for 2018

In preparation for the upcoming 2018 Sunset Review of the California Acupuncture Board (CAB), Assemblymember Evan Low will be holding three Acupuncture Association Stakeholder Meetings in both Southern and Northern California as well as in Sacramento over the next two months. Assemblymember Low chairs the Committee on Business and Professions, which oversees the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and the California Acupuncture Board (CAB).

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CSOMA Statement regarding “USC Dry Needling”

CSOMA Statement regarding “USC Dry Needling”

August 24, 2017

To our Membership:

We would like to take this time to clear up any confusion about the most recent Instagram post regarding the alleged: “USC Dry Needling” in the Biokinesiology Department at the University of Southern California. There have been several posts circulating Facebook and Instagram, with pictures, videos and captions titled “Dry Needling being performed at the USC Biokinesiology Department”. There were several concerns from the acupuncture community that the students may have been needling, and or being taught acupuncture, and or dry needling instruction which is not within the scope of practice of a Physical Therapist in California.

There were several posts on the Facebook Group “Keep Acupuncture Real” with statements made that the USC students and staff were dry needling and or being taught dry needling. I would like to inform everyone that I made contact with the Director of the Kinesiology Department at USC today, Dr. Chris Powers, who provided us with some clarification on the matter.

According to Dr. Chris Powers, from the University of Southern California “ There was a demonstration of acupuncture and dry needling performed by a licensed Acupuncturist at USC. The students only observed and did not perform needling techniques on each other or any patients. This was a one-time seminar class and is not part of our standard curriculum.”

To clear up any confusion, there are currently no instructors performing, teaching or allowing students to perform dry needling and or acupuncture at the University of Southern California.

According to the California Practice Act (2015) Notwithstanding any other law, any person, other than a physician and surgeon, a dentist, or a podiatrist, who is not licensed under this article […], who practices acupuncture involving the application of a needle to the human body, performs any acupuncture technique or method involving the application of a needle to the human body, or directs, manages, or supervises another person in performing acupuncture involving the application of a needle to the human body is guilty of a misdemeanor.

At CSOMA, we take dry needling allegations and the practice of acupuncture without a license in this state very seriously, because we are dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the practice of Acupuncture, and the well-being of the general public.

If you have any questions, and or concerns please feel free to contact Tiffany Tuftee, L.Ac, President of CSOMA or Ra Adcock, L.Ac, Executive Director.

Sincerely,

Tiffany Tuftee
CSOMA President

Ra Adcock
CSOMA Executive Director

Reach us at memberservices@csomaonline.org

Dr. Wheeler Opinion Paper on Herbal Tea Poisons Two San Franciscans

Dr. Wheeler Opinion Paper on Herbal Tea Poisons Two San Franciscans

Letter to CSOMA Colleagues from Dr. Jordan Wheeler, LAc.

Dear CSOMA Colleagues:

On March 10, 2017, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) issued a press release regarding the poisoning of two persons, who in separate incidences consumed medicinal teas from Sun Wing Wo Trading Company in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Both patients were hospitalized. While the man in his 30’s has recovered, unfortunately Yu-Ping Xie, a 56-year old mother of two, was not so fortunate. According to her family, she passed away on March 18th from complications related to a prolonged hospitalization. We would like to take a moment to acknowledge Yu-Ping’s passing and send our condolences to the family as they deal with this tragedy.

According to press release from the SFDPH the toxic alkaloid aconitine was discovered in the lab tests of both patients as well as the tea samples they provided. It is incredibly important to note that there has yet to be a positive visual identification of Fu Zi in the formulas and the written formula did not include Fu Zi as one of the prescribed herbs. It is possible that cross contamination occurred at some point in the supply chain or that the leaf or flower was mistaken for another species. CSOMA would like to take a moment to address the situation and provide accurate information so you may answer your patient’s questions.

Like all the substances contained in our materia medica, Fu Zi is an incredibly useful and powerful medicine when used correctly. The medicinal is the processed daughter root of Szechuan aconite and can be incredibly toxic unless properly prepared. Unprepared Fu Zi (Sheng Fu Zi) should never be taken internally though the toxicity can be lessened through processing into the following products: Yan Fu Zi (salted aconite lateral root), Hei Shun Pian (Black sliced aconite lateral root), and Bai Fu Pian (White sliced aconite lateral root)[1]. In addition to processing, Fu Zi should be decocted for 30-60 minutes before adding the remaining herbs to the decoction.

The root and tuber contain the highest amounts of alkaloids and are therefore the most toxic portions, however the leaf and flower are also poisonous if consumed. Aconite poisoning causes neurological, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal side effects (a review of aconite poisoning and the mechanism of toxicity can be found here). While there is no antidote to aconite poisoning, there are several ways to manage accidental ingestion. Activated charcoal can be administered if poisoning is suspected, but must be taken within the first hour. After that point, management of the patient is supportive by monitoring blood pressure and cardiac rhythm.[2]

As inquiries regarding these incidences have been prevalent over the last few weeks, CSOMA would like to respond with some talking points should your patients have questions.

It is important to note that on the unlikely occasion that these types of poisonings occur, it is often due to improper self-administration or a result of buying herbal teas from unlicensed herbalists.

Remind your patients that as a licensed acupuncturist you have undergone 4-years of training and passed the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam. This means you received proper training for the application and prescription of our materia medica, including those substances with potential toxicity.

Reliable vendors in the United States should be able to provide a certificate of analysis. This certificate is a printout that includes detailed information regarding the herb, macroscopic and microscopic identification, and test results for heavy metals, pesticides, and microbiologicals completed prior to export from China.

Upon receipt of a batch of raw herb, vendors will complete a visual inspection in order to identify the plant species and retest if visual ID is inconclusive. It is unlikely that the small herbal shops found in your local Chinatown can provide the same level of identification and certification. These details aside and the few toxic substances notwithstanding, our materia medica is generally fairly mild.

According the Donald Light at the Harvard Center for Ethics, as of 2014, it is estimated that “about 128,000 people die each year from [prescription] drugs prescribed to them”[3]. Comparatively, deaths from prescribed herbs are much less frequent. While the incidence in San Francisco is tragic, it is important to note that it is also the exception in our medicine. The poisonings occurred in a shop that is unlicensed and unregulated outside our supply chain. By utilizing prepared Fu Zi and boiling for the appropriate amount of time, aconite is an incredibly effective and important herb in our materia medica.

CSOMA represents practitioners, schools, and professional vendors and takes this situation very seriously. We will be completing an internal review on responding to these types of situations. We also plan to discuss ways in which to ensure the safety of our herbs and how best to educate the general public on our medicine. Lastly, we encourage you to educate your patients on the importance of obtaining herbal medicine from a licensed practitioner.

Dr. Jordan Wheeler, DACM, L.Ac.
CSOMA Board of Directors

[1] Zhao Z and Chen H. Chinese Medicinal Identification. Paradigm Publications. Taos, New Mexico: 2014.
[2] Chan TY. Aconite Poisoning. Journal of Clinical Toxicity. 2009;47(4),:279-285.
[3] Light D. New Prescription Drugs: A Major Health Risk With Few Offsetting Advantages. Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. http://ethics.harvard.edu/…/new-prescription-drugs-major-he…. Published 2014. Accessed March 28, 2017.

CSOMA Statement regarding “USC Dry Needling”

CSOMA Statement on USC Dry Needling Post

August 24, 2017

To our Membership:

We would like to take this time to clear up any confusion about the most recent Instagram post regarding the alleged: “USC Dry Needling” in the Biokinesiology Department at the University of Southern California. There have been several posts circulating Facebook and Instagram, with pictures, videos and captions titled “Dry Needling being performed at the USC Biokinesiology Department”. There were several concerns from the acupuncture community that the students may have been needling, and or being taught acupuncture, and or dry needling instruction which is not within the scope of practice of a Physical Therapist in California.

There were several posts on the Facebook Group “Keep Acupuncture Real” with statements made that the USC students and staff were dry needling and or being taught dry needling. I would like to inform everyone that I made contact with the Director of the Kinesiology Department at USC today, Dr. Chris Powers, who provided us with some clarification on the matter.

According to Dr. Chris Powers, from the University of Southern California “ There was a demonstration of acupuncture and dry needling performed by a licensed Acupuncturist at USC. The students only observed and did not perform needling techniques on each other or any patients. This was a one-time seminar class and is not part of our standard curriculum.”

To clear up any confusion, there are currently no instructors performing, teaching or allowing students to perform dry needling and or acupuncture at the University of Southern California.

According to the California Practice Act (2015) Notwithstanding any other law, any person, other than a physician and surgeon, a dentist, or a podiatrist, who is not licensed under this article […], who practices acupuncture involving the application of a needle to the human body, performs any acupuncture technique or method involving the application of a needle to the human body, or directs, manages, or supervises another person in performing acupuncture involving the application of a needle to the human body is guilty of a misdemeanor.

At CSOMA, we take dry needling allegations and the practice of acupuncture without a license in this state very seriously, because we are dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the practice of Acupuncture, and the well-being of the general public.

If you have any questions, and or concerns please feel free to contact Tiffany Tuftee, L.Ac, President of CSOMA or Ra Adcock, L.Ac, Executive Director.

Sincerely,

Tiffany Tuftee
CSOMA President

Ra Adcock
CSOMA Executive Director

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