Making Your Acupuncture Website Accessible

Making Your Acupuncture Website Accessible

Most healthcare providers and other business owners know that they must make their physical environment accessible for all members of the public, including those with disabilities, as required under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, some may not be aware that accessibility also extends to the virtual environment; websites must also comply with accessibility requirements under the ADA.

Recently, MIEC has fielded a number of calls from concerned members regarding how they can comply with accessibility requirements for their websites. Many of these calls have come from the acupuncture community, although this issue exists for all types of healthcare providers who maintain a public website.

Furthermore, MIEC has seen a recent trend in claims against acupuncturists involving “surf-by” lawsuits, in which an individual who is not a patient files a lawsuit alleging that the provider’s website failed to meet accessibility requirements under Title III of the ADA.

“Surf-by” claims often start with a single individual who visits a large number of websites specifically for the purpose of evaluating compliance with accessibility requirements for those with disabilities- like having text-based alternatives to content like photographs or graphics, allowing full functionality using just a keyboard, etc.  Businesses whose websites lack these features are named in lawsuits which, in California, can also permit the recovery of statutory damages under state law under the Unruh Civil Rights Act.  Additionally, these claims can be very difficult to defend, and they often involve limitations in or a complete lack of coverage under malpractice insurance policies.

It is worth noting that a standalone website, if not associated with a physical place of business, may not be subject to ADA requirements. However, for physical businesses offering any website-based services (such as making an appointment online), courts have generally ruled that their websites must also meet public accommodation requirements under the ADA.

Unfortunately, there are few laws or specific regulatory standards that outline the requirements for website accessibility; the ADA was passed in 1990 and it did not address e-commerce, nor has it been updated to address website compliance.  Interpretation of the ADA has expanded gradually to address website accessibility, but there has been no official change in the law- a proposal by the U.S. Department of Justice to establish website compliance standards was withdrawn in 2017, and has not been reissued.

In the absence of government standards, healthcare providers and other business owners should follow the private guidelines established by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  These standards have often been referenced by courts in determining ADA compliance and remediation, and they provide the best guidelines for those attempting to achieve compliance in website accessibility.

The current standard is WCAG 2.1, available here. There are 3 different levels of WCAG compliance; level AA has generally been the accepted standard for compliance.

In summary, the WCAG standards address the following areas:


  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
  • Provide captions and other alternatives for multimedia.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways, including by assistive technologies, without losing meaning.
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content.


  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Give users enough time to read and use content.
  • Do not use content that causes seizures or physical reactions.
  • Help users navigate and find content.
  • Make it easier to use inputs other than keyboard.


  • Make text readable and understandable.
  • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes.


  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user tools.

Some specific examples of WCAG compliance include:

Alternative Text for Images

  • Images should include equivalent alternative text (alt text) in the markup/code.
  • If alt text isn’t provided for images, the image information is inaccessible, for example, to people who cannot see and use a screen reader that reads aloud the information on a page, including the alt text for the visual image.
  • When equivalent alt text is provided, the information is available to people who are blind, as well as to people who turn off images (for example, in areas with expensive or low bandwidth). It’s also available to technologies that cannot see images, such as search engines.

Keyboard Input

  • Some people cannot use a mouse, including many older users with limited fine motor control. An accessible website does not rely on the mouse; it makes all functionality available from a keyboard. Then people with disabilities can use assistive technologies that mimic the keyboard, such as speech input.

Transcripts for Audio

  • Just as images aren’t available to people who can’t see, audio files aren’t available to people who can’t hear. Providing a text transcript makes the audio information accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as to search engines and other technologies that can’t hear.
  • It’s easy and relatively inexpensive for websites to provide transcripts. There are also transcription services that create text transcripts in HTML format.

Fortunately, healthcare providers have several options for determining whether their website meets the standards set by the WCAG. Auditing sites such as the one hosted by the Bureau of Internet Accessibility provide free compliance reports and links to resources.

Additionally, there are several options for achieving and maintaining compliance with current standards for website accessibility. Large practices with in-house IT support may choose to develop disability access features directly on their web platform; however, this would also necessitate constant monitoring, auditing and updating as standards change or new content is added.

For smaller practices and/or those with websites that are infrequently updated, there are several third-party vendors that offer software solutions. Please note that MIEC has not evaluated and cannot specifically recommend any vendor, but some of the available third-party solutions include:





WordPress Plugin

For healthcare providers selecting a third-party vendor, it would be advisable to choose a vendor that offers a defense and indemnification provision that requires the vendor to defend any claims that arise from website accessibility issues, and to pay any damages that result. If a vendor does not offer any legal protection, ask them to add it to their contract.

It is worth noting that, for some practices, it might be more cost-effective to redesign a WCAG-compliant website than to address individual changes to move an existing website into compliance.

For more information, please contact MIEC’s Patient Safety & Risk Management team at or (800) 227-4527.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Licensed Acupuncturists

Coronavirus: Info Sheet

CSOMA and the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) want to ensure members are informed about COVID-19 (2019 novel Coronavirus). Here is the latest information we have about COVID-19 that is important for acupuncturists and other healthcare workers:

Coronavirus: Info Sheet (PDF)

For the latest information on the Coronavirus, public health emergencies, and your role in the health care field, we recommend the CDC website.

AOM Links

AOM Links

Over 600 resources, from ADA to insurance coding and more!

Please note this list is for reference purposes only; it does not constitute endorsement by CSOMA.
Special thanks to CSOMA past president Dr. Greg Sperber for providing the bulk of this list!
(*) Indicates CSOMA Corporate Member.

ADA ¦ B Biomedical Supplies,  Services & Info ¦ Books ¦ Business (State & Federal Forms, Permits & Regulations) ¦ Business  (Planning, Growing & Support) ¦ C Chinese Language ¦ Continuing Education  ¦ E Education ¦ F Financing ¦ H Herbs – Suppliers & Info ¦ HIPAA ¦ I Insurance – Billing Products & Services ¦ Insurance – Coding ¦ Insurance (Malpractice, General Liability & Property) ¦ Insurance (Third-party, HMOs, Medi-Cal, Workers Comp) ¦ J Journals, Research & Publications ¦ L Laws & Regs ¦ Legal Services ¦ M Marketing ¦ Misc ¦ O Organizations (General) ¦ Organizations (State) ¦ R Reference ¦ S Skeptics ¦ Suppliers (General) ¦ Suppliers (AOM) ¦ T Tea ¦ Technology (General) ¦ Technology (AOM) ¦ Telecommunications


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Biomedical Supplies, Services & Info

Bibero Systems, Inc. Medical office supplies

BioHealth Diagnostics Lab services

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM)

Dee Cee Laboratories, Inc.: Supplement manufacturer

Diagnos-Techs Inc.: Saliva testing laboratory:

Doctor’s Data, Inc.:

Express Scripts: Drug-drug interactions:,4109,,00.html

Food and Drug Administration safety information:

Genova Diagnostics:

Health Forms Systems: Medical forms:

Health Gear® Inc.: Gown manufacturer:

IDS/QIDS: A validated depression instrumen:t

ImmunoScience, Inc.: (CAM) laboratory:

Intracellular Diagnostics Inc.:

JTech Medical: Advanced computer interfaced ortho-neuro testing equipment:

Mail Back Sharps Disposal: Where to buy mail-back sharps containers:

Medico Professional: A linen service dedicated to the medical profession:

Metametrix Clinical Laboratory: (CAM) Laboratory:

Moore Medical:Medical supplies:

Mission Linen Supply:

Performance Attainment Associates: ONE testing equipment:

Professional Co-op Services: A co-op for lab services:

US BioTek Laboratories: (CAM) blood labs:

Vinco Inc.: A supplement producer:


Acupuncture Desk Reference: A small book with lots of TCM summary info:

Blue Poppy Enterprises, Inc.: Chinese Medicine publisher:

Eastland press: Publisher of CAM books:

Inner Traditions Bear Company: Book publisher for spiritual and healing traditions:

Jade Mountain: Publisher of Archetypal Acupuncture:

Monkey Press: Publisher of Chinese medical books:

Redwing Books: Distributor of CAM books:

Shang Han Lun: Complete English translation:

Spirit Path Press: Lonny Jarrett’s publishing and seminar company:

Thieme Medical Publishers: Big Germany based publisher that publishers many books on Acupuncture:

White Dove Publishing: The Acupuncture Answer Book:

Business – State & Federal Forms, Permits & Regulations  Official site of the U.S. Government that helps small businesses understand their legal requirements and locate government services:

State forms:

“Essential Government forms”:

Home based business:

Obtain Licenses & Permits:

Calbizcentral: Many products for remaining compliant with California and Federal labor laws: Business Permits and Licenses: Zoning Regulations:

California Acupuncture Board: Title 16, Article 7. Acupuncture Corporations:

California Corporations Code, Section 13400-13410: (source: )

IRS: tax forms:

Business – Planning, Growing & Support (see also: MarketingFinancing)

The Acupreneur: A website to help acupuncturists to be successful in practice:

Acupuncture Business School: A website dedicated to running an acupuncture business:

ADA Home Page: The government’s Americans with disabilities act website:

AlternativeHealthPractice.comBuild: A blog for building CAM practices: Online appointment booking:

Authors and Experts: A website that lists authors and experts for others to call:

BizStats: Statistics and financial ratios: A good resource for business planning, free sample business plans:

Build your dream practice: A business coach:

Bulletproof Business Plans: Business planning advice from a investment company:

Calbizcentral: Many products for remaining compliant with California and Federal labor laws:

California Business Portal:  This website provides a portal to a number of resources for starting, growing, financing, expanding or relocating a business in California:

Center for Business Planning: A good resource for business planning:

ChiroEco: Website for the free Chiropractic Economics Magazine having useful business information for acupuncturists:

CityRating: A site with minimal demographic information on many cities:


David Singer Enterprises: A business consulting company for Chiropractors and Acupuncturists:


Entrepreneur: The website for the magazine geared to small business owners :

Epodunk: Demographics website:

Fed Stats: Demographcs:

GeoLytics Demographics:

Go It Alone: Free business book—has good reviews:

Greenlight Office: Business supplies:

Health World Online: Referral service for finding a practitioner:

Inc: Website for business magazine :

Insights-for acupuncturists: Practice management info:

Lawyer Charles Witham: Business lawyer who works with acupuncturists and healthcare providers:

Microsoft Office Live:

Mimeo business solutions (brochures, manuals, newsletters):

My Own Business: Information about starting and running a business:

My Receptionist:

National Federation of Independent Business:

NIH Small Business Funding:

Paper Tiger filing system:

Patient Call appointment reminder service:

Physicians Practice: An online magazine for physicians:

Professional Practice Specialists, Inc: Appraisals and sales of acupuncture businesses:

Rejuvenate Training: Holistic practitioner coaching and consulting:

SCORE: Service Corps of Retired Executives:

Small Business Association (SBA):

SBA business plan tutorial:

Small Business Bookkeeping Services:

SBA Loans:

Startup Nation:

Survey Monkey:

3 Statements that can change the world: Mission, Vision, Values:

Ultimate Office supplies:

Voice receptionist:

Withers Mann LaManna Certified Public Accounts:

Zip Skinny: Shows demographic data for a particular zip code:

Chinese Language

Chinese Pod:

FSI Language Courses: Chinese language resources:

NJSTAR Resources:

Wenlin Software for Learning Chinese:

Continuing Education (see also Education)

California Acupuncture Board’s current CE approved list:

Please confirm that these courses provide CEUs for your state:

Academic Services International: “Acupuncture for Spiritual Insight” CEUs:

Acufinder’s list of Events & Classes:

Blue Poppy Enterprises, Inc.:

CEU Online:

Chinatown Wellness Center: Continuing education classes:

Continuing education: CEU courses for Acupuncturists and other medical professions:

East-West Seminars:

HealthCMI: CEU provider:

Integrated Medical Solutions:

Integrative and Sports Medicine Center:

Life Circles, Inc.: Distance CEUs:

Master Tung’s Magic Points:

Neonpinktiger: CEUs and networking:

Options for Wellness, Inc: Correspondence CEUs:

Peter H Fairfield L.Ac: CEUs in “Transformational Energetics”: A TCM community website with lots of TCM information and social features:

Shang Han Lun Seminars: Various aspects of the Shan Han Lun are explored:

Spirit Path Press: Lonny Jarrett’s publishing and seminar company:

Technical Learning College:

The Whole Circle:

Yellow Emperor:

Education (see also Continuing Education)

Many of these also offer Continuing Education classes.

Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences:

Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin:

Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College:

Advanced BioStructural Correction: A program to help spinal problems:

Alternative Medicine Seminars:

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine *

Arizona School of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine:

Auriculotherapy: Seminars and certifications:

Ayurvedic Institute:

Bastyr University:

Center for Integrative Psychology:

Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine: Formal academic group dealing with integrative medicine:

CranioBiotic Technique:

Dave Winton’s Center for Herbal Studies: conducts a 2 year herbal studies course:

Dong-guk Royal University of America:

Dr. Wei-Chieh Young’s Main Page: Conducts education on Master Tung’s acupuncture:

Five Branches Institute *

High Falls Gardens:

Integrative Healing Society: Educational tours to Asia:

International BodyTalk Association:

Intitute of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture Inc.:

Korean Hand Therapy:

Lerner Education:

Nambudripad’s allergy elimination techniques:

National College of Naturopathic Medicine:

NCCAM Training: The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine training page:

New England School of Acupuncture:

New York College of Health Professions:

NMT: The Feinberg Technique:

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine:

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine *

Rocky Mountain Herb Institute:

Samra University of Oriental Medicine:

Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine:

South Baylo University:

Southern California University of Health Sciences:

Southern California University School of OM & Acupuncture:

Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: A well respected school offering herbal education:

Tai Sophia Institute:

SIT Study Abroad:

The Ultimate Facial Rejuvenation Program:

University of East-West Medicine:

Yo San University :

Zheng Gu Tui Na:

Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture:

Financing (see also: Business – Planning, Growing & Support)

21st Century Leasing: equipment financing:

Accion San Diego: small business loans:



CIT Small Business Lending: SBA (Small Business Association) lender:

Direct Capital Corporation: Loans and commercial leases:

Henry Schein:

Prosper (Money!):

Studebaker-Worthington Leasing Corp:

Virgin Money USA: Loans of all types:

Herbs – Suppliers & Info

1st Chinese Herbs:

ActiveHerb Wholesale: Chinese herb company:

Ageless Herbal Products and encyclopedia:

American Healing Technologies, Inc:

Anfala: Herbal manufacturer:

Annie Appleseed Project:

Ashi Research:

Bio Essence Corporation:

Blue Chinese Herbs:

Blue Dragon Chinese Herbs:

Brion Herbs:

Cap-M-Quick machines:

Capsule Connection:

Capsuline Capsule Machines:

Chinese Herb Cards:

Chinese Herb Company:

Chinese Herb Photos:

Chinese Herb Photos:

Chinese Herb Seed:

Chinese Medicine Herb Farm:

Crane Herb Company:

Dragon Herbs:

East Tao Corp: Chinese herbal manufacturer and distributor:

Eclectic Institute:

Eden Labs: Herb manufacturing equipment:

Elim-An-Ache: Pain relieving herbal spray made by PCOM alum:

Elixir Farm:

Emily Baby & Adult Skin Soother: A Chinese herbal crème for many skin conditions especially in babies

Evergreen Herbs & Medical Supplies *

Express Scripts: Drug-drug interactions:,4109,,00.html

FDA Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide:

Federal Register: June 25, 2007: FDA GMP rules:

Golden Flower Chinese Herbs:

Golden Lotus Botanicals: Chinese herbs and private labeling:

Golden Sunshine:

Guangdong Yifang Pharmaceutical Co.:

Health Concerns *

Henriette’s herbal homepage: Medicinal herb information

Herbalmax: Chinese herb products:

Herbmed: An excellent herbal databas:e

Herbs and Helpers:

High Falls Gardens: US Chinese herb farm:

Honso USA:

Horizon Herbs:

Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy:

Kan Herb Company *

KW Botanicals: Herb formulas combining western and Chinese herbs:

Legendary Herbs: Herb company:

LifeCycle Herbal Products:

Life Rising: distributor if herbal products:

Mayway, Inc.  *

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Herb Info:

Merry Clinic (Skin herbals):

Mountain Rose Herbs: Organic herbs and spices, teas, essential oils, etc.:

Natlink Lifestyle: Herbs, granules, and other TCM products:

Nefeli: Herbs and herbal cosmetics:

Nuherbs co.:

Nutritional and Herbal Solutions:

One Garden:

Pacific Biologic:

People’s Herbs:

Plant It Herbs:

Po Chai Pills:

Po Sum On:

Prince of Peace Enterprises:

Richters herb Specialists:

Rosenthal Center Botanical Medicine Information Resources:

Schumacher’s Wisconsin Ginseng:

Spring Wind:

Sun Ten Laboratories:

Standard Process *

TCM Formula Finder: Online TCM herbal formula database

Treasure of the East:

VitaSpring Health:

Wise Woman Herbals:


General information:

Fact sheet:

Insurance – Billing Products & Services

Acu-Care: A company that helps set up acupuncturists to bill within managed care:

Acuclaims: An insurance biller who specializes in acupuncture:

California Professional Insurance Services:

Consumer Directed Health Care:

H.J. Ross Company: Insurance billing educators:

Little guy software: CMS 1500 form filler:

National Plan and Provider Enumeration System:

Office Ally: Free online insurance billing:

Insurance – Coding

AMA CPT Schedule: the American Medical Association’s CPT page:

CDC Classifications of Disease: ICD (International Classification of Diseases) resource:

Flash Code (Online ICD-9): ICD-9 database:

Mays Systems: ICD-9 database:

Insurance – Malpractice, General Liability & Property

American Acupuncture Council *

American Health Source: Sells many types of insurance including malpractice, health, and disability:

Eastern Special Risk :

Healthcare Providers Service Organization : Liability and malpractice insurance:

Medical Insurance Exchange of California (MIEC) *

OUM Healthcare: Acupuncturist malpractice company:

Scott Danahy Naylon Insurance Brokers:

 Schlitt Services: Full line insurance including business and malpractice:

The Wood Insurance Group:

Insurance – Third-party, HMOs, Medi-Cal, Workers Comp

Acu-Care *

American Specialty Health (ASH): Third-party medical benefits provider:

California Workers Comp, Medical Provider:

California Workers Comp fee schedule (do a “search” for the codes in Acrobat.)

Medi-Cal: Medi-Cal exclusions and reductions :

Journals, Research & Publications

Acupuncture in Medicine Journal:

Acupuncture Today:

Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine:A peer reviewed journal:

Chinese Medicine Journal:

Chinese Medicine Times:

Journal of Chinese Medicine:

The Lantern: a Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine:


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

NIH Consensus Development Program (NIH Consensus Statement):

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements:

Pharmacognosy Journal: An online journal dedicated to pharmacognosy:

PubMed Central: The US National Institutes of Health free journal database:

QI: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness:

Society for Acupuncture Research: An organization dedicated to researching acupuncture:

Laws & Regs

California Acupuncture Board:

CamLaw: Complementary & Alternative Medicine law blog:

State Laws:

State Licensure information:

Legal Services

Charles Witham: Business lawyer who works with acupuncturists and healthcare providers:

Shawn Steel & Associates: A leading personal injury (PI) attorney helps chiropractors and acupuncturists:

Marketing (see also: Business – Planning, Growing & Support)

99 designs: Logo design bidding service:

Acupuncture MediaWorks:

Acupuncture website design:

Alternative Health Marketing:

AOL Advertising:

Constant Contact: A well known email marketing and online survey website:

ContextWeb (Web advertising):

Fast Pitch Networking:

Greener Printer: eco-friendly printer:

iContact: An email marketing service:

Logotournament: A website that posts graphics jobs and gets multiple solicitations, a great resource for graphics professionals:

MelissaData: Mailing lists:

Modern postcard:

SendOutCards: An easy and quick way to send personalized cards (use for thank yous, birthday greetings, etc.):


Best Book Deal:

Best Deal Magazines:

Cafepress: T-shirts, mugs, and other with an acupuncture theme:

Cartoon Stock (Acupuncture Cartoons):

The Cartoonist Group:

Chinese Astrology:

DealTaker: A bargain hunting website:

Herbal Accents: supplier of soap making supplies:

iStockphoto: Where to find photos of any sort:

Off the mark online store (Acupuncture cartoons):

Steal Deals:

Steven Foster Group Inc., Herb and Plant Photography:

Yi Jing, the Book of Changes: An online Yi Ching resource that includes an electronic oracle:

Organizations – General

Accreditation Commission for AOM:

Acupuncture and Integrated Medicine Specialists:


American Association of Integrative Medicine:

American Association of OM:

American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM): A specialty board for reproductive medicine:

American Herbalists Guild: Organizations for herbalists:

American Medical Association:

AOM Alliance (in Chinese):

AOM National Coalition:

American Academy of Medical Acupuncture:

Association for Professional Acupuncture in Pennsylvania:

Auriculotherapy Certification Institute:

British Medical Acupuncture Society:

California Acupuncture Board:

Chinese Herb Academy:

Community Acupuncture Network:

Council of Acupuncture & OM Assoc.:

Council of Colleges of AOM:

Herb Research Foundation:

Institute for Traditional Medicine:

Integrated Medical Solutions: Training for and by the National Board of Internal Medicine for Acupuncturists:

International Association For the Study of TAM:

International Institute of Holistic Medicine: An organization promoting the integration of biomedicine with TCM: An organization for local growers of Chinese herbs:

National Acupuncture Detoxification Assoc:

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and OM:

North American Association for Laser Therapy:

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine:

Society for Acupuncture Research: An organization dedicated to researching acupuncture:

Society for Integrative Oncology:

TCM World Foundation:

Toyohari Home Page: International Toyohari Association (Japanese style acupuncture):

Traditional Chinese Medicine Association and Alumni:

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Health Information Organization:

Upledger Institute: Craniosacral and other therapies:

Organizations – State

Alaska: The Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association of Alaska:

Arizona Society of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture:

California State Oriental Medical Association:

Colorado: Acupuncture Association of Colorado:

Florida State Oriental Medical Association:

Idaho Acupuncture Association:

Illinois Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine:

Indiana Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

Maryland Acupuncture Society:

Michigan Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

New Hampshire Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

New Jersey Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

New Mexico: The Oriental Medicine Association of New Mexico:

New York: Acupuncture Society of New York:

North Carolina Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

Ohio Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

Oklahoma Acupuncture Association:

Oregon Acupuncture Association:

Pennsylvania: Association for Professional Acupuncture in Pennsylvania:

Rhode Island Society of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

Vermont Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine:

Virginia: Acupuncture Society of Virginia:

Washington Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association:


AcuBaby: Website for fertility acupuncture:

Acupuncture Bookstore:

Acupoint Codes, Names, Translations & Locations:

Bodies The Exhibition:

Calflora: A web site on native California plants including pictures :

The CAM Report : A blog about Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Chinese Herb Academy:

Chinese Herb Cards:

Chinese Medicine Doc:

Chinese Medicine Sampler:

Comprehensive Services of TCM:

CranioBiotic Technique:

Current Bibliographies in Acupuncture:

Dictionary of Chinese Herbs:

Doc Misha’s Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine:


Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth:

Evidence-based CAM:

Express Scripts: Drug-drug interactions:,4109,,00.html


Global Smile: Traditional Chinese Medicine Knowledge Base:

HDP9: A TCM perspective on marijuana:

Healthy Child:

High-Tech Acupuncture:

Integrativepharm: Dr. Greg Sperber’s drug-herb interaction website:

Medboo TCM Training:

Medical Acupuncture Facts: A website explaining the difference between medical acupuncturists and acupuncturists:

NCCAM Use of CAM in the US: Excellent resource on numbers and demographics of integrative medicine usage:

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Library Page: A fantastic source of research for the profession:

Points of 14 Channels: Graphical web resource of points in both Chinese and English:

Sacred Lotus Arts Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Shang-han Lun:

Shen Nong:

Skin Health Info: A blog about Chinese medical dermatology:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Chinese ethics:

TCM Central:

TCM Info:

TCM Student:

TCM Tests:

Townsend Letter: “The Examiner of Alternative Medicine”:

US FDA/CSFAN – Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide:

Yahoo email lists:

Yin Yang House:


Center for Inquiry:

The Committee forSkeptical Inquiry:

National Council Against Health Fraud:

Quackwatch: Website for skeptics of all sorts:

          Acupuncture specific:

Suppliers – General (see also Suppliers – OMTechnology – OM)


Boiance (face cradles):

Capsugel supplement formulator:

The Chemistry Store:

Chi Evolution (Salt lamps):



E. D. Luce Packaging:

Emerson Ecologics:

Enhanced Living: Ionic footbaths and other products:

Enzymes, Inc.:

Feng Shui Emporium:

L.A. Lighter:

Loomis Institute: Plant enzyme therapy:

Lotus Bodycare:

Mingzhou Oriental Imports:

Natren probiotics:

O. Berk Company: A bottle company:

Pacific Biologic: CAM therapies:

Serenity Health:

Specialty Bottle:

Sunburst Bottle Company:

3Lac candida remedy:

Top Ten Wholesale: Search engine for wholesale suppliers:

U.S. Jaclean, Inc.: Massage tools:

US Plastic: Bottle company:

Vibrational Beauty:

Yankee Containers: Sells bottles:

Suppliers – OM (see also Suppliers – General;Technology – OM)

A & A Medical Supplies: Distributor of herbs and OM supplies:

ACP Medical Supplies Inc.:

Acu-International Supplies, Inc:



Bodywork Emporium:


EarthLite: Massage table manufacturer:

East Earth Trade Winds:

Go Acupuncture:


Golden Needle: TCM supplier:

Grand Stone Corporation: TCM supplier:

Helio Medical Supplies:

Institute for Traditional Medicine:

Japan Trend Shop: Scented moxa:

Jaspro Instruments, Safety Warmer:

Kenshin Trading Corp:

Kiiko Matsumoto Style of Acupuncture:

KM Supplies:

Lhasa OMS *

Mail Back Sharps Disposal: Where to buy mail back sharps containers

Massage Warehouse:

Medico Professional: A linen service dedicated to the medical profession

Meyer Distributing:

Miki Shima:

Mission Linen Supply:

Nefeli: Herbs and skin care products with a TCM spin

Pain-free Acupuncture:

Prime Herbs:

KM Supplies:

Seirin America *

Sinic Avenue:


The Supply Center:

Treasure fo the East:

Value Acupunture:

Vital-core Biosystem:

Yan Jing Supply:


Adagio Teas Wholesale:

Dragonwater Tea Company:

Generation Tea:

Imperial Tea Court:

Mark T. Wendell Tea Company:

Mighty Leaf Tea:

Monin Gourmet Flavorings: Flavored tea concentrates:

Rishi Tea:

Silk Road Teas:

Tao of Tea:


Tea Fountain:


Upton Tea Imports:

Technology – General (see also Technology – OM)

AirSet (organizational software):

Apple Computers:


Basecamp: Online project management:

Business Plan Software: Free and low cost business planning software:



Deal News:


Eclise: Advanced practice management software:

Elephantdrive: An online storage service:

FreeCRM: Free (or cheap) customer relationship management software:

FormLogix: Form building for websites:

iContact: Email newsletter publishing:


Isynergy: IT, Web, Consulting:

Jeffer Software:


LogoMaker: An online logo program:

Motion Computing:

Network Magic: Makes setting up a network easy:

PC Magazine:

PC World:


Reputation defender:

Tech Bargains:

Thinkfree (Online Office software):

37 Signals: A website with several organizational websites/software:

Veetro (Online business management software):


Zimbra (collaboration software):

Zoho Show(presentation software):


Technology – OM (see also Technology –  General)

A Chrono Acupuncture software:


AcuNotes: http://www.acunotescom

Acupartner Clinic Management software:



Avicenna Laser Centers of Excellence:


Electro Meridian Analysis System: An OM computerized system for assessing patient:

Electro Meridian Imaging: An OM computerized system for assessing patients:

Gingko Software:

Healing Light Seminars:

Herbs and Helpers:

iOpenAcu: iPhone acupuncture software

Little guy software: Inexpensive insurance oriented programs:

Medical Pocket PC:

Medical Quant USA (Lasers):

Medical TabletPC:

MicroStim Technologies Inc.:

Miridia Technology (AcuGraph II):

Powered Templates: Acupuncture PowerPoint templates:

Pulse Analysis System:

QiSource: Palm TCM software & study charts:


Safety Warmer:

ShenProfessional 2.0:

SofTCM: Chinese medical software:


TCM Formula Finder: Desktop software for herbal formulas:

TCM Organizer: Practice Management and Medical Record software:


Trigram Software:

Zhangmen Acupuncture:



Free Conference Call:

Freedom Voice Systems:

Linksys Networking:


Packet8: http://www.8×

Toll Free Live:

Used Phones:


Practice Management Tools

Practice Management Tools

Updated November 10, 2019


Practice management tools for acupuncturists, including ICD-10 cheat sheet, SOAP Notes, new patient brochure and more!
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Lessons learned

Lessons learned

What were the biggest lessons learned in your first few years of practice?

Bruce Gustafson, LAc:

Lesson 1: “Regardless of how popular or effective one is as an intern with patients in the school clinic, most patients do not follow you into your private practice. Venture out! Practice building takes time OUTSIDE of your school clinic patients and outside of your network of students and other acupuncturists. I relied too much at first on expectations of the former.”

Lesson 2: “Don’t wait after hearing you’ve passed the CAB exam to receive your actual license to get started setting things up. There’s plenty to do in the mean time. You can go on the CAB website, find your name and get your license number, then start applying for your NPI number, build a website/FB page, continue networking, start looking for liability insurance that best meets your needs, etc. I started these things and it helped with the waiting and down time.”

Lesson 3: “There are a number of good practice management/electronic health records/appointment booking software or APP programs out there – BUT: evaluate your true need for these as you build a practice. I jumped in a little too early before I was busy enough, and found that I didn’t need the expense, nor was I making good use of the full features of the software.”

Mike Morgan, LAc:

Lesson 1: “It is important to provide your patient with a context of the healing process for Acupuncture. The healing process is very different than what we have come to expect. Sometimes the initial results may seem worse than better.”

Lesson 2: “Healing is a process and it takes time for that process to unfold. Healing is like a rose it can only unfold, you cannot just open it.”

Lesson 3: “Healing takes a lot of energy (qi), a great deal more than the energy needed to just maintain life. You need to have enough energy to actually heal.”

Christy Vitiello, LAc:

Lesson 1: “Pick your location wisely”
– Choose a place that isn’t an acupuncture practice, for example chiropractor, skin care, or MD office. The cross-referrals are very helpful when starting out.
– Find a place that has a successful business model, and learn from them.
– Treat them for free. They’ll have more reason to talk about you (to their clients, colleagues) from having a positive experience with you, and how you are helping them with their health ailments.
– Seek out a place that isn’t even renting. Figure out where you want to be every day, and just ask! You’d be surprised what’s actually available.

Lesson 2: “Use your downtime wisely”
Instead of worrying that you don’t have patients, try one of these tips:
– Once you’re settled into your new space, send a postcard to new businesses that you just moved into the area. Follow up with a visit to the location to introduce yourself – especially to the front desk staff who have lots of face time with patients/clients.
– Offer a free treatment (you have the time, right?) This will get people talking about you.
– Attend a health fair. It gets you face-to-face, plenty of opportunities to educate people about acupuncture and TCM, and you might get a client or two.

Lesson 3: “Don’t rely solely on acupuncture at first as your income”
– Take a part-time job so you can alleviate some pressure from not (yet) having a full schedule of patients.
– If possible, make that part-time job flexible so you can see patients on the days you rent your office space.
– Quit that job when you are comfortably paying your bills and able to live on your professional earnings.

Lesson 4: “Enjoy what you are doing”
– Know that it will be challenging at times and you won’t “cure” everyone, but you will learn from every patient.

The Benefits and Risks of Self-Diagnosing Health Conditions and Self-Prescribing Treatments

The Benefits and Risks of Self-Diagnosing Health Conditions and Self-Prescribing Treatments

By Dr. Bruce Gustafsen

Do your patients sometimes bring their own solutions to the treatment room?

With wide access to all sorts of health and medical information and products these days,  the chances are pretty good.

Many of our patients, understandably, look to the web to be better informed. Some of this access contributes to informed understanding, decision-making and availability of helpful products, and this can indeed be a good thing for many. But such access is also being used to self-diagnose, self-prescribe and self-treat in ways that can inaccurately address that client’s very unique patterns, physiology and constitution, and can lead to self-selecting products and treatments that are at best ineffective. This is where we, as trained acupuncturists and East Asian Medicine practitioners often need to step in.

The old patient-healthcare practitioner model was one in which “patient” deferred that responsibility to the medical “experts.” In times past, the uninformed patient followed the advice of the doctor or practitioner, without question, and often as a consequence, never took any active part in their own health or understood their own role in a healing process, which we now know is an important aspect in maintaining one’s health. More often is the case now, health seekers in our contemporary world want to be informed, and more personally involved in their health care. This is an important evolution in assuming personal responsibility for all the elements of ones own well being, yet an approach that can have some limitations and pitfalls.

Our Traditional Chinese Medicine model uses the tree analogy when explaining the dynamics of health imbalances; there is the concept of both root and branch of a particular symptom or illness. While this can be an oversimplification, the root of course is the true source pattern of the issue, while the branch can be simply the symptom of how the imbalanced pattern manifests in the body, mind or spirit. A “headache” would be considered a branch symptom, while the root could be from any number of differing causative factors or imbalances. From our acupuncture training it is not wholly or always incorrect to think of treating the branch of an issue, and sometimes that is warranted as the first or truest option; but the source of one’s “headache” could be attributed to multiple factors that were different for each person. Even from a Western standpoint, any one or more of many of these familiar “roots” could be the true origin of the headache: stress and muscular tension in the neck and shoulders; lack of quality sleep for a long period of time; heavy metal toxicity or drug/medication reactions; menstrual cycle imbalances; too much sun exposure; hypertension; photophobia; dehydration, and of course other causes. Typically, Western Medicine, Internet symptom searches and our patients do not grasp this distinction.

We are often asked by patients in our practice: “Can you give me something for my insomnia?” “Can you help treat this cough I’ve had for weeks?” “I’ve had hypertension now for years, can acupuncture and herbs help?” The answer to all of these is certainly, yes, but there is more to it than looking at the branch complaint – the insomnia, the cough, the hypertension, the catchword named symptom. This is where we differ from the Western model that is more familiar to many patients. It’s up to us, as trained health care practitioners, to discern and treat these deeper root patterns to facilitate a better healing result, and of course not to mask any issues or send the root patterns of the imbalance elsewhere in the body/mind/spirit of the client; I’m suggesting that it might be equally important to educate any of our internet savvy, self-diagnosing patients accordingly.

A good portion of the health care information and product out there seems to reinforce the approach of treating the catchword diagnosis or symptom. Healthcare products and treatment solutions are often marketed or presented to the consumer using this “name-the-branch method;” and while the intention or integrity of such information or product might be sound, the uninformed use of such approaches or products could be problematic, or at the least, inadequate.

To rely solely upon whatever name-the-branch information or product is out there in the online or other trendy media resource for self-diagnosis and treatment presents risk and requires careful consideration. This is why it remains important for a collaborative care model between patient and a trusted practitioner; the health-seeking patient brings in as much input as they care to explore about themselves; we, as informed acupuncture practitioners, bring the training, our herbal product knowledge and holistic perspective to each unique patient centered treatment. Such sharing of knowledge about one’s illness, health imbalances and available product and treatments is relevant to each individual, as we are all profoundly unique in our make up and our responses to treatments. In this way we can realize optimum care that is very personal, and helps result in a correctly informed, focused and successful treatment outcome with even better patient compliance.

In each unique, person centered healing process, usually one size does not fit all.



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Practice Management