Blog & News



With Amy Dickinson, L.Ac/11.5 PDAs

Includes 3 hours at the Dal Ward Training Center on the CU Campus

Saturday, April 18, 9-6:00
one Monday morning on campus- 8:45- 12:30

A Team approach to sports medicine is the way of the future. 

More and more professional and collegiate teams are hiring acupuncturists to work alongside their team of therapists.  This seminar presents a unique opportunity to observe this now.

Saturday in class focuses on strategies in treating sports medicine injuries.  Participant then chooses one Monday to observe Amy working on the athletes at CU’s Dal Ward Athletic Training Center.

Participants will be required to sign a non-disclosure form for the treatments they observe, and understand they cannot take photos or in any way use the Buffalo mascot for self- promotion.  Participants will be requested to dress professionally on the day they visit CU.

For more information, please contact Amy Dickinson/720-470-7079

Facebook- Acupuncture Ortho Ed

$275 both days, $245 AAC members


Action Needed: The CSA Wants to Help Us

Dear AAC Member,

The AAC continues to stay involved at the national level. We will be sending two representatives to the annual Council of State Associations (CSA) meeting next week. The CSA is a collaboration among 37 state associations, representing the most inclusive umbrella yet achieved in our profession. The AAC has been involved with this group since its inception. The knowledge and support that we gain from attending these meetings empowers our board to be more efficient and effective for you, our members.

In order for them to be more effective and represent us more cohesively, the CSA would like to know what is important to our members in terms of support for the profession as a whole, our individual practices, and our patients’ needs. Please take a few minutes to complete their survey.

Time is of the essence as the meeting takes place March 11th, so thank you for taking the survey now (click on link below):
Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at OUR conference in April!


Warmest regards,
Kimberley Benjamin, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Vice President, Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Foundations of Sotai Movement Therapy Sotai 1

Sotai 1

Sunday, April 12, 2015

9:00am – 4:00pm

$175 practitioners

$125 students

AAC members 15% discount 


Taught by
Jeffrey Dann, LAc, PhD
& Hasan Kozan, LAc 


1441 York Street #202

Denver, CO 80206

To register contact
Hasan at:




Learn the fundamentals of Sotai movement therapy:
* natural movement
* connected movement
* movement away from pain

After you have balanced a client’s qi, released blocked channels, and improved
muscle tone, how can you teach your patient new movement patterns?

Click here to see flyer!!

The Colorado Acupuncturist – January 2015 edition

Jeffrey Yuen to Headline the 32nd Annual AAC Conference!



The AAC is pleased to announce information for the 2015 Annual Conference to be held April 25th - 26th at the beautiful Embassy Suites in Colorado Springs. 12 PDAs will be offered (NCCAOM pending).


Conference Presenters

Master Jeffrey Yuen

JeffreyYuenJeffrey Yuen is one of the most sought after speakers on Chinese Medicine throughout the world. He is an 88th generation Daoist priest from the Jade Purity School, Lao Tzu sect and a 26th generation priest of the Complete Reality School, Dragon Gate sect. He apprenticed for more than 20 years in Classical Chinese Medicine and other Daoist healing arts with Master Yu Wen, who transmitted his lineage to Master Yuen before Master Wen’s death at the age of 108. He is recognized internationally as a Master of Acupuncture, Classical Chinese Medicine, Daoism, Chinese Herbology, Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong. He emphasizes the importance of Daoism in cultivating one’s life and spirit to maintain health, and the use of Chinese Medicine for understanding and treating illness.

Master Yuen conveys Chinese Medicine from a deeply spiritual perspective rooted in Daoism. His ability to elucidate and bridge western medical thought within the context of Chinese medicine offers an essential clarity to his students. Currently he lives in New York where he is president of the International Tai Chi Institute, and maintains a private practice with a special focus on helping people with cancer. He will be discussing the Chinese concept of Wind and how it relates to western Psycho-Neurology.

Daisy Dong, OMD, L.Ac.
Daisy Dong is the senior Chinese medicine practitioner and the first hired clinician of the Integrative Medicine Program of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Dong received her medical training from the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and finished fellowship at Dongzhimen Hospital for Acupuncture. She also received three Master degrees in International Health, Health Administration and Oriental Medicine in the United States.

Dr. Dong has been a professor at Southwest College of Acupuncture for 14 years teaching Clinical Herbal Pharmacology and Integrative Traumatology. She has been a clinical faculty member of the University of Colorado School of Medicine teaching Integrative Medicine since 2005. Her background includes training and experience in all components of TCM including acupuncture, herbology, Tui Na, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, in addition to allopathic general medicine. She will be sharing her practical experience for running an effective evidence-based practice.

Butch Levy, MD, L.Ac.
Butch Levy is an integrative practitioner: board certified in Family Medicine and NCCAOM certified in Acupuncture. Dr. Levy has been in private practice for 37 years, including care from obstetrics and pediatrics to geriatrics and hospice care. In the late 1980’s Dr. Levy attended acupuncture school, completing many of the classes, but apprenticed with and was mentored by Miki Shima to complete his requirements for certification.

Dr. Levy’s training in Chinese Medicine is in the Japanese style of herbal diagnosis using abdominal patterns, Fukushin, and his acupuncture style is distinctly toward The Extra Vessel and Divergent Channels. Dr. Levy’s current practice integrates allopathic care with Chinese medicine and Functional Nutritional Medicine, bridging east and west with comprehensive, practical approaches to illness. He sees a wide variety of patients, and his focus of interest is toward complex chronic disease including supportive care for cancer and autoimmunity. Dr. Levy will present an overview of his style of care with a direction toward explaining his approach using the Japanese training he has been most fortunate to receive from Dr. Shima.

Conference Schedule
Saturday, April 25
7:00 – 8:00      Breakfast* / Visit Vendors
8:00 – 9:00      Registration / Visit Vendors
9:00 – 12:30    Jeffrey Yuen
Contemporary Problems: Chinese Medicine & Psycho-Neurology
12:30 – 2:00    Complimentary Lunch / Acupuncture Association of Colorado Annual Meeting
2:00 – 6:30      Jeffrey Yuen
Contemporary Problems: Chinese Medicine & Psycho-Neurology, continued
6:30 – 7:30      Post Conference Complimentary Embassy Suites Evening Reception**

Sunday, April 26
7:00 – 8:30      Breakfast* / Visit Vendors
8:30 – 12:00    Daisy Dong
An Effective Evidence-Based Acupuncture Practice
12:00 – 1:00    Complimentary Light Lunch / Visit Vendors
1:00 – 3:00      Butch Levy
An Overview of the Japanese Approach to Complex Chronic Diseases

*Complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast is for conference attendees lodging at the Embassy Suites.

** Complimentary Evening Reception is for conference attendees lodging at the Embassy Suites.


The Embassy Suites
7290 Commerce Center Drive
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80919

  • The AAC has arranged a suite room rate of $99/night beginning Friday, April 24. Please make your reservation before Wednesday, March 25 to guarantee a suite at this rate.
  • The $99 rate includes a two room suite with one king or two queen sized beds and a living room, complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, complimentary evening reception, and complimentary parking.
  • Check in time is 3PM. Check out time is 12PM.
  • To make your reservation, please call 800-362-2779. The event name is “2015 AAC Annual Conference,” or use the following link:


Please watch your email and snail mail for registration invitations and fun incentives!

Stephanie Shober, L.Ac.
Conference Chair – Acupuncture Association of Colorado



Thanks to Golden Flower Chinese Herbs for being one of our conference sponsors.  Golden Flower Chinese Herbs will be showcasing their latest Chinese herbal formulas and a fabulous line of artisan-quality essential oils. Enter the raffle at their booth for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate for the GFCH formulas of your choice during the drawing at Sunday’s lunch break!





Blue PoppyWe also thank Blue Poppy for being one of our conference sponsors.  They offer herbal formulas at a price you can afford! They will be sponsoring Saturday’s lunch!



Message from the President – Working for Change

bio-pic1-258x300Happy New Year!!!  As we move in to a new year it brings new opportunities. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we have worked diligently to resolve the issues surrounding injection therapy. We have started a process that will once again allow acupuncturist to procure substances for injection and hopefully prevent this issue from happening in the future. It has been a long and difficult process that has involved multiple meetings with DORA, the medical society, and the pharmacy board. Again, we have come up with a solution that should permanently rectify the situation. I ask for your continued patience as we work to implement this solution.

Dry Needling has continued to be at the top of our agenda. The AAC considers dry needling to be an acupuncture technique and strongly objects to anyone practicing it who does not explicitly have the right to perform acupuncture within their scope of practice.  Again, with this new year come new opportunities to protect our patients and ensure that acupuncture is only practiced by qualified practitioners. But we cannot do it without your help and support.

The only way that we can fight these battles and protect our scope of practice is through the physical and financial support of our members. We have an amazing lobbyist who is helping to educate our state representatives on the problems we are facing. We also have an extremely talented lawyer who has been working with the AAC for years and is very familiar with the legal arguments regarding dry needling. While everyone on the board is a volunteer, our lobbyist and lawyer are not. We cannot effect change without their help, and we cannot utilize their expertise without a strong membership base and financial support.

If you are tired of other professions ignorantly using our medicine and you want to utilize the full scope of your training, I strongly encourage you to come to our conference. Learn how you can take an active role in furthering our profession. Invite your friends to come. Encourage other acupuncturists to become members. It is only through unity that we will survive and thrive.

As always, I am happy to answer questions about what steps we are taking. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and I look forward to seeing you in April.

Scott Richardson, L.Ac.
President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Vice President’s Report – Council of State Associations

KB_Headshot_Orange_2013The AAC continues to stay involved at the national level. We will be sending two reps to the annual CSA (Council of State Associations) meeting in March. The collaboration and support that we gain from attending these meetings empowers our board to be more efficient and effective for you, our members.


The CSA began as an informal networking group of state association presidents that met during annual AOM conferences. The presidents would explore issues facing their states and offer support and solutions to one another. This evolved into a more formally structured meeting referred to as the President’s Council (PC). Eventually, as additional state leaders began to join in, the PC expanded to include non-president representatives. It ultimately developed a charter, bylaws, code of conduct, and a new name: the Council of State Associations (CSA). The CSA has grown to be a collaboration among 37 state associations, representing the most inclusive umbrella yet achieved in our profession. The AAC has been involved with this group since its inception and feels it’s important to continue to be involved on behalf of Colorado acupuncturists.

As we announced last fall, the CSA is supporting a peer-reviewed journal, Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As a member of the AAC we are providing you with a pdf download of the Fall issue here: Meridians Journal Fall issue. When updates to our AAC website are complete we will be providing login and password information for future issues in the members’ area.

The editors of Meridians are accepting submissions for their Clinical Pearls section on the topic of Thoracic Pain by February 1st, 2015. Please see their website for more information.


I look forward to seeing you all in Colorado Springs for a fantastic conference!

 Kimberley Benjamin, L.Ac.
Vice President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Treasurer Report – Technical Difficulties Being Addressed

Katie RobinetteYou’ve heard the saying, “Whatever can go wrong, will.” While in the process of doing some essential website updates that certainly seems to have been true for us. We are still working out some kinks including issues with processing credit cards through PayPal is working fine. This should all be fixed soon, but we are so sorry for the inconvenience this has caused many of you. We are grateful to have you as fellow members, and we thank you for your patience as we diligently work within our budget to correct the problems.

Here are some of the improvements we are making: We’ve updated our current website as a temporary fix until we can budget in a new one that is “more responsive,” as our developer likes to say. We’ve also switched one of our payment processors to BancTek, who is giving us excellent rates and customer service. Another update is to our membership software, which was very outdated and starting to cause problems. Last but not least, we’ve hired a new bookkeeper, who specializes in non-profits and will be a great asset to keeping the AAC running smoothly.

Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience, and we thank you for your patience as we continue working to improve your state association. See you in April at the conference!

Katie Robinette, L.Ac.
Treasurer – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


 Legislation Report – 2014 Election Recap


George G.The AAC would like to thank all of the members who contributed their hard earned money in the waning days of the election. With your help and that of our friends at Blue Poppy and CSTCM we raised a few thousand dollars in a very short period of time. It enabled us to make a strong statement to officials that we deeply care about the advancement of the profession of acupuncture. And, we all voted—right?

The AAC would also like to congratulate all of the candidates who won state house and senate seats in the November 4, 2014 election. Of the 20 candidates we supported, 15 retained or gained seats in the house and senate. We look forward to productive and meaningful relationships with all of them. Though many obstacles have been overcome by acupuncturists, many challenges lie ahead in this legislative session. With your continued membership support and participation our voices will be heard. Please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to me at the conference in April!

George Graf, L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair– Acupuncture Association of Colorado


The 9News Health Fairs Are Coming!!  Educate Your Community and Grow Your Practice!!

Jacqui StrikeOne of the best ways to create awareness of our amazing medicine is to reach out to our communities. Yes, it is that time of year again. The 9News health fairs run from late March through April in various locations across Colorado. These fairs are Interactive Educational Centers (IECs) that are comprised of many different local and statewide organizations. They provide a wide range of health, wellness and safety information and education for the community. They draw thousands of participants—prospective patients!—every year.

9 News health Fair sample TableThis is an excellent no-cost opportunity to get your name and face out into the community. I encourage everyone who has not reached full capacity in their practice to seek out the 9 News Health Fair in their area and volunteer to represent your profession through the AAC. I will be posting available health fairs both on the AAC Yahoo group and the AAC Facebook page as I receive invites. Donating your time to this worthy cause will help people understand our medicine while gaining valuable exposure for your practice. Sign up with a friend and make a fun day of it! The AAC will equip you with a 9News Health Fair Kit. Please contact me if you are interested. Then you can tell me your success story at the conference at the end of April!

Jacqui Strike, L.Ac.
Public Relations Committee Chair – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Student Rep Report – Student Survey Forum at CSTCM


We have created a brief survey for the acupuncture student population of Colorado. We are trying to get an overview of how the students perceive the AAC as a whole and what types of services you expect from your state association. There will be a forum on Saturday, February 7th, at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver at 12:00 p.m. to introduce the survey. Lunch will be provided as well as an opportunity to ask the president of the AAC any questions you may have. If you can’t make it to the forum do not fret, there will be a copy of the survey on Survey Monkey that you can take to help us in our quest for understanding. The link will be released in a few weeks. Thank you in advance for giving us your time and opinions as the more students who respond, the better the AAC can endeavor to meet your needs. Have an excellent semester and stay sharp!

Brittney Chowning, CSTCM Student
Student Representative – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


AAC Membership

There are options to becoming a member of the AAC. You can make a once yearly payment or use our automatic monthly payment option. Click on the link below. The PayPal option is fully-functional and we appreciate your patience as we continue to work to rectify any difficulties you may experience with our other payment options.


The Colorado Acupuncturist – October 2014 edition

Volume 10 / Issue 4 / October 2014

The mission of the AAC is to provide a unified voice to practitioners and students of AOM by involving and
communicating with members, educating the public, and influencing legislation to promote and protect AOM
in Colorado.

Message from the President –
An Opportunity for Change

It is rare that a week goes by and I don’t get a phone call or an email from a practitioner asking what can be done to improve an issue within our scope of practice. Right now, during this election period, every single one of us has the opportunity to let our voice be heard and help improve how our medicine is perceived and practiced in our state. We each need to learn about who is running in our area. Who is the better candidate? Who will cultivate an environment that allows us to treat our patients the best way we know how and to have a thriving practice? Please read the Legislative Chair’s report below to see key districts in this election and use to find out if you reside in one of them.

Our organization is not as big as, and does not have the funding of the other medical associations. We cannot make the same size donations that they can. The best way we can let our voice be heard is by people volunteering with a candidate and walking his or her area. It provides an opportunity to learn who your representatives are and to let them learn about who we are as a profession. We are getting calls almost daily from campaigns asking if we are going to contribute again to specific candidates. Believe me when I say that they remember who donated and volunteered when it comes time to vote on a piece of legislation. We need as many of you out there as possible representing our profession and helping to move it forward.

The AAC needs to make more donations before the election. If you can contribute any amount at all to help us make an impact, please use this secure PayPal button.

Please make some donations

We have a big year coming up. There are problems that need to be fixed and we have an amazing group of people working to make that happen. If there are issues coming up that you don’t like, please help us make a change. If you want to see this powerful medicine be more fully utilized within our healthcare system, help us make that happen. We cannot do it alone. We are here to represent you and the only way we can do that effectively is if you work with us.

Again, we have an amazing group of professionals on the AAC board. I feel honored to have the opportunity to work with them. If you don’t know who we are, or don’t know the issues we are facing, please—come to a meeting, introduce yourself, and take an active role in our profession.

Scott Richardson, M.S., L.Ac.
President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Legislation Report –
November 4th Election Alert!

There are many tight legislative races in Colorado this election and the AAC is doing all we can for state legislative candidates who advocate for acupuncturists. In August Leo Boyle (our awesome lobbyist) and I went to a fundraising event in downtown Denver that was well attended by many of the candidates who support acupuncturists. We handed out our budgeted $2000 in campaign contributions to key candidates to remind them we are here and want to be counted. Unfortunately that amount is a drop in the bucket compared to other organizations that were giving the maximum amount of $400 per candidate. Our budget only allowed us to give half that to the candidates at this event (and there are others who are calling daily to ask if we can support them again this year). This was a soft touch event and I was still able to bend the ears of several candidates, reminding them of our continued plights: fighting professional discrimination, not being able to procure injectables, getting to the table to achieve essential health benefit status and the dry needling controversy—I was a bit of a nudge.

Now that we have dipped as deeply as we could into our coffers, we are asking you, AAC members, to contact campaigns in your districts and give your time by phone banking, giving a personal money contribution or door knocking. This would be great exposure for us professionally and can really make a difference for these legislative campaigns that operate on shoestring budgets. The election is just a few weeks away and the candidates in your districts can really use your help in the home stretch.

Here is a list of candidates in key races that you can contact. Their websites are easy to find by searching their names. You can use to easily find out if you reside in one of these key senate and house districts.

Rhonda Fields 303-866-3911 HD 42
Joann Ginal 303-866-4569 HD 52
Jenise May 303-866-2945 HD 30
Elizabeth McCann

303-866-2959 HD 8
Dianne Primavera 303-866-4667 HD 3
Jonathan Singer 303-866-2780 HD 11
Dave Young

303-866-2929 HD 50
Irene Aguilar 303-866-4852 SD 32
Jeanne Nicholson 303-866-4873 SD 16
Leroy Garcia 303-866-2968 HD 46
Tracy Kraft Tharp 303-866-2950 HD 29
Mike Foote 303-866-2920 HD 12
Su Ryden 303-866-2942 HD 36
Mike McLachlan 303-866-2914 HD 59
Max Tyler 303-866-2951 HD 23
Judy Solano SD 24
Rachel Zenzinger 303-866-4840 SD 19
Pete Lee 303-866-2932 HD 18

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you.

George Graf, MTOM, L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair
(719) 278-9696


Treasurer Report – Political Contributions Limited by Low Funds

In this election year our lobbyist Leo Boyle carefully chose candidates for our $2,000 contribution budget this year. He requested an extra $3,000 to keep our contributions on par with the physical therapists and chiropractors. Unfortunately, we were unable to comply. These other organizations have triple the membership and higher dues than we have. Our political fund consists of half of the dues we collect. We use this fund to pay our lobbyist, to pay our lawyers when they are combating issues such as dry needling, and also for campaign contributions to keep our interests in our legislators’ minds. In Colorado we still have 70 percent of acupuncturists who are not yet members of the AAC. Please help us spread the word that their support would make a big difference!

I once again want to thank all board members for a terrific job. Their work shows on the home page of the AAC website, it shows on YouTube, it shows on Facebook, and we are showing all of this to the public. BRAVO!

Katie Robinette, L.Ac.
Treasurer – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Fundraising Chair Report

The Fundraising committee has been busy promoting classes through Standard Process with Michael Gaeta as the presenter. June’s class on the Thyroid was held at SWAC, September’s class on the Autoimmune System was just held in Castle Rock, and we can look forward to the class on the Cardiovascular System October 29th at CSTCM. These classes have been fundraisers for us. With the money made we will be able to provide public forums on acupuncture at libraries, “lunch and learn” classes at key businesses, and education on the benefits of our services to insurance companies. We are currently developing a PowerPoint presentation to allow anyone to be able to present, educate, and spread the word.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Angie Pierce, Deb and David Martin and Mark VanOtterloo for coming forward to volunteer their services to the AAC board and its committees. This is a great time for our profession and a great opportunity to serve on the board, so again, I thank you.

Sue West, MA, L.Ac.
Fundraising Chair


It’s Not Too Late to Promote AOM DAY and Revitalize Your Practice!

As you probably already know, AOM Day is observed nationally on October 24th as part of an effort to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Both Governor Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock have proclaimed October 24th as Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day in Colorado again this year.

The Colorado Acupuncture Association would like to see as many events in the state as possible during October. You don’t have to stick with one day! Several marketing packets have been created to help you generate campaigns. Consider putting an event together yourself, or join with other practitioners in your area. In these toolkits are helpful descriptions for setting up health fairs and how to re-activate your patient contacts. You can download them all here Free Toolkits. Click here AOM Day for more information.

The Council of State Associations has prepared materials to help us all implement a National AOM Day Outreach Campaign. Click here to download the Council of State Associations’ Outreach Toolkit.

Acupuncture Media Works has been a generous supporter of this event. They have been instrumental in the creation of a free marketing kit and will donate profits to the Council of State Associations from the sale of AOM Day brochures that you can personalize with your clinic name.

We want to hear back from everyone what events you are planning. AAC Members can post on the Yahoo Group email what you are offering so we have a full calendar of events listed on our website. You can also submit your event to be listed on the national AOM Day website. Let’s see how big an impact we can make!


Zombie Apocalypse!

Halloween morning Friday, October 31st, Longmont United Hospital will hold a mock disaster drill with the theme of “Zombie Apocalypse”. The drill, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will simulate an authentic zombie Armageddon, complete with moulage and tons of fun! The Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps has been invited to set up a disaster clinic at the event, and volunteers are needed to treat an estimated 100 people with the NADA protocol. ANY Colorado licensed acupuncturist may participate; you do not need to be a CAMRC member to volunteer.

Please contact Monica Edlauer if you are willing to brave the zombie apocalypse!


Monica Edlauer, MSOM, L.Ac.
(303) 859-7556


AAC Membership

There are options to becoming a member of the AAC. You can make a once yearly payment or use our automatic monthly payment option. Click on the link below.


Diamonds in Your Own Backyard

Embracing Acupuncture and

Oriental Medicine

With the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Western Medicine and insurance
carriers are in a period of transition. We are looking for ways to efficiently provide
cost-effective, humane healthcare care for millions of people with a shift in focus to
preventative care. That is one tall order.

This past year, the Denver Post declared that the state of Colorado would be short
about 1,000 primary care physicians with the implementation of the ACA. There will
be not enough resources to go around… Patients waiting weeks if not months to get
help. This shortage will create unhappy patients on an overworked healthcare system.
Not to mention that system is without a long-term cost effective solution to healthcare.

The solution has been staring them in the face. This shortage is man-made. There are
almost 1,300 active licensed acupuncturists in the state of Colorado who are highly
trained, competent health care professionals who specialize in functional medicine.
Functional medicine is the medical practice of getting to the root cause of the disease.
In other states like New Mexico, Acupuncturists would be licensed as Doctors of
Oriental Medicine, however in Colorado we are not.

As you may already know, over half the world’s population currently uses Oriental
Medicine. It is a complete medical system that treats internal problems as well as
musculoskeletal issues with outstanding success. Oriental Medicine is very effective at
treating various chronic conditions that keep patients on medications forever like:
depression, anxiety, chronic pain, stress, and digestive disorders.

We spend a lot of time educating our patients about nutrition, exercise and life-style
choices. This information will empower them to lead healthier lives and lower the
ultimate burden on the whole health care system. We prescribe sophisticated herbal
formulas that have thousands of years of proven efficacy behind them. We also use
modern nutritional supplements that have western scientific studies behind them.

We are required to take over 2,000 hours of western biomedical courses including:
anatomy and physiology, biology, botany, western diagnosis, and physical exam,
western pathology, western pharmacy, medical terminology, research design,
toxicology of herbs. This is in addition to all of the coursework on Chinese differential
diagnosis, theory, herbology, nutrition, counseling, western referrals, and western
diagnosis, and hours of closely supervised hands-on clinical experience.

We have an effective medicine that can deliver powerful results to the aging America.
We are the solution to the overburdened medical system that lacks a cost effective
preventative medical program. Donate to the Acupuncture Association of
Colorado (AAC) and support legislation for Oriental Medicine in Colorado.

Banctek Solutions

Acupuncture Association of Colorado is pleased to formally announce a
strategic alliance with Banctek Solutions (one of the nation’s fastest growing
merchant services organizations) for the sole benefit of its Members. We know
that keeping operating costs low is a common goal of every AAC Member
which is why we partnered with Banctek Solutions to offer a wide array of
payment related products and services at greatly discounted pricing.
Banctek processes credit cards for thousands of merchants nationwide and
have the resources available to help streamline your business and improve your
bottom line. Their simplified low cost pricing structure, award winning products
and dedication to their customer base, sets them apart from the competition.
We know that choosing a merchant service provider can be a formidable and
confusing task, that’s why we’ve partnered with Banctek, to help alleviate those
difficult decisions and help all our AAC members improve their merchant
services experience.

Banctek Solutions Information – click here

The Colorado Acupuncturist – July 2014 edition

Volume 10 / Issue 3 / July 2014

The mission of the AAC is to provide a unified voice to practitioners and students of AOM by involving and
communicating with members, educating the public, and influencing legislation to promote and protect AOM
in Colorado.

2015 Conference Save the Date &
2014 Conference Feedback

The 2015 AAC Annual Conference will be Saturday, April 25 through Sunday, April 26. Based on survey feedback, the conference will be held south of Denver in the vicinity of Castle Rock or Colorado Springs. Please mark your calendars!

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the 2014 conference. Here is what some of you had to say:

“The AAC is doing great re: keeping our profession in the ‘light’ – Rock On!!”

“Best conference in at least 2-3 years.”

“Time management was off. Maybe shorten the presentations.”

“The facility, while a cool old building, just was NOT a good place for this conference.”

“The facility (lodge) was awesome.”

“Great location, easy parking. Too long a day for both days.”

“Including the business meeting as a part of the conference was a mistake. It made the AM session on Sunday way too long. Loved the Tai Chi!”

“All you ask of us is $$$ and everything is always in Denver/Boulder.”

“Excellent. Informative about current and future issues concerning our profession.”

These survey comments are a good example of the many responses we received. We appreciate the feedback and are using it to shape the 2015 conference.

These are the areas attendees said they want the AAC to focus efforts:

  • Dry Needling
  • Public education campaign about L.Ac.  training versus DC, PT, etc.
  • Loan forgiveness programs
  • Getting primary health care designation for acupuncturists
  • Lobbying
  • National level of organization
  • DOM status
  • Help with starting a business
  • Protection of scope

Thank you again for your participation and feedback, and for your membership support. Happy Summer!

Stephanie Shober, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Conference Committee Chair


Report from the President – Injection Therapy Status

I know many of you have been following the injection therapy status. It has been a frustrating battle and we have good news and bad news. We have been working with DORA for the past 6 months to try and create a solution, but unfortunately there is nothing that we can do until the next legislative session in January. That means that for the next 6 months there are going to be limitations on being able to procure B12 and other substances for injection. So what’s the good news?

Through this process, we have been working with the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) and the pharmacy association. Both organizations are supporting us getting the ability to procure the substances to do injection therapy. The CMS has also stated that they will help us write the bill for the next legislative session that will become law. I am not aware of any other time in our association’s history when the medical society has been as supportive and helpful to our profession in maintaining its scope of practice as they are right now. I believe that this is a great step forward in increasing communication between our two professions and building bridges that will only help us in the future.

The other aspect of this is that when we pass this bill it will be law, and hopefully we will not have to deal with this again.

I am sorry for the issues and frustrations that this has caused many of us trying to run a practice and provide the best care we can to our patients. There are a few places around the country that are rumored to be selling to LAcs. If you know of any, please tell your fellow practitioners. If you need help purchasing, especially B12, send me an email and I will do my best to help.

Remember, the state still recognizes our ability to do injection therapy. If you are able to obtain the substances for injection, you can still do it. It is our ability to procure the substances necessary for injection therapy that we are trying to get back.

Scott Richardson M.S., L.Ac.
President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado


Legislation Report

Members are always asking what their association is doing for them. Your board is working hard within the political machinery on several important issues. The first one is getting legislation passed so that we can get prescriptive authority to procure substances for injection therapy. Through an oversight at DORA when a new bill was passed for the pharmacy industry in 2006 we were not included as being able to buy the substances that we have always purchased for injection. The problem has only been recently identified and was not on the radar screen when we did our sunset review. We have been working with the Colorado Medical Society and DORA and the Pharmacy board to come to a resolution. At this time it looks like we will have to have a bill passed by the legislature.

THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN: To get legislation passed we need FRIENDS in the legislature. To make friends we need to help our friends get elected.THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR. This summer we need each member to be a registered voter. It doesn’t matter how you identify yourself. Register as an independent if you don’t know where you fit in the political system. Be sure and VOTE in the November election.

Why does this matter? If we need you to call your legislator in the winter a staff member will check to see if you are a voter that needs to be paid attention to or if you are of no consequence because you do not vote.

EVEN BETTER: find out who is running in your legislative district and offer to work on their campaign or send in a donation. Go talk to the candidates. Let them know that you are an acupuncturist. Stuff envelopes or offer to walk a neighborhood with them. Your board is working very hard for all of us. We cannot do this alone.Legislators want to hear from their constituents (people who elect them and that they represent).

Dry needling is still on our radar and we continue to work on an effective strategy and long term solution to this thorny issue.

We are also working behind the scenes to see how we can get a seat at the table so that we can be included as an essential health benefit in the part of the Affordable Care Act that goes into effect in 2016 that includes “alternative therapies.”

George Graff is working to organize us into effective legislative district groups that can be mobilized on short notice when we need to influence legislation. Please return his call or e-mail if you are contacted by him.

Thank you for your membership, your support and interest, and all that you do to help our community.

Anne Chew, L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair


Secretary Report

Hi! My name is Robin Schiesser and I am the new Secretary for the Board of Directors. Even though I’d been a member of the AAC off and on for the past several years, last April’s conference was the first I’d attended and it really opened my eyes! This is an exciting and challenging time for our profession: We have the opportunity to be included as an essential health benefit in Colorado under the Affordable Care Act. We could receive our own professional classification under the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Standards Occupational Classification. We are facing discrimination by insurance companies for reimbursement of the services we are trained to provide and are trying to re-gain the right to procure injectables. These issues take time, energy and financial support. After practicing quietly for 12 years (four in Los Angeles, and eight in Boulder) I decided it was time to pony up and give back to the profession that I’ve so deeply enjoyed.

I’ll be supporting the Board by working with our Office Manager and Newsletter Editor, Charissa Haines; coordinating the agenda and keeping minutes of our board meetings, which have increased to twice quarterly due to the amount of work to be done; and helping other committees with their projects as needed.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas. Most of all–please consider volunteering for a committee and encourage any acupuncturist friends you have that aren’t members of the AAC to join. As we all know, medical doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists are very well organized and their professional associations have large numbers of members. That translates into greater financial and political power. Together we can turn up the volume on the voice of Acupuncture!

Robin L. Schiesser, L.Ac., Dipl. OM


Easing the Pain of an Acupuncturist-less Birth

Announcing Acupuncture Services in Labor and Delivery

at Boulder Community Health

When I was pregnant with my first child in 2001, I looked for a hospital in the area which offered midwife-led births and alternative medicine services. Unfortunately, these services were nonexistent in Boulder at the time. Thankfully, by the time I was pregnant with my third child, and newly licensed as an acupuncturist, the multifaceted health options for which Boulder was renowned had resurfaced at Boulder Community Hospital (now Boulder Community Health). The hospital was blessed with the Boulder Nurse Midwives, a team of exceptionally loving and gifted birth professionals.

My midwives provided an amazingly supportive team, but I was determined to further enhance my birth experience with acupuncture. So, naturally I brought my own needles to the hospital. After 24 hours of leisurely labor, I became impatient and decided it was time have a baby. I treated myself as enthusiastically as I could, in the places I could reach, and went into transition shortly after pulling out the needles. Little Eevee made her appearance 20 minutes later.

So who wouldn’t want the extraordinary support of acupuncture to reduce pain, increase the efficacy and expedience of labor, and support mom’s and baby’s health during delivery? Of course this became a priority in my private practice. My patients knew they could rely on acupuncture and herbal medicine to support them through fertility, conception, pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. Full service!

Several years after my BCH birth, another one of my dreams manifested itself, and I became credentialed to practice acupuncture in the hospital – one of a handful of acupuncturists on staff as Allied Health practitioners. We worked hard to provide treatments to inpatients in every department where acupuncture services were requested. Every department save one.

Acupuncturists at BCH have lacked the legal department’s clearance to treat patients in the Family Birth Center’s Labor and Delivery unit. To perform acupuncture in labor would have required an additional malpractice insurance addendum. The price tag on this particular addendum: up to $12,000 annually in addition to their current premium. An impossible amount for just about any acupuncturist.

For two years I tried to find a way to bring acupuncture into L&D, spending hours of time calling, emailing, and note-writing the credentialing, legal, insurance, and birth center powers-that-be. I looked for loopholes in the legalese. I sought alternative malpractice coverage through a variety of companies. I appealed to the Center for Integrative Care at BCH to extend their department to complementary care in the Birth Center. I solicited letters of support from the ever-willing midwives and local acupuncture college. I sought employment directly through Family Birth Center. I went as far as to consider going back to school for a nursing degree so that I could become an employee of the hospital and gain privileges to the birth center directly. All, to no avail.

The turning point actually came at this year’s Acupuncture Association of Colorado Annual Conference. Drew Henderson (also credentialed at BCH) and I both approached Marilyn Allen of the American Acupuncture Council to see what could possibly be done to make acupuncture in labor a feasible possibility for us. She said she would get back to us after the conference. It almost sounded promising.

We did hear back, and what we heard was even more promising than we’d hoped. “You are covered,” Marilyn said. I wanted to frame those words in sunshine and hang them on the wall! But first, I needed to spend another couple of months emailing back and forth with the insurance underwriters, BCH credentialing, and the legal department to finalize and fine tune 7 pages of Acu-Labor-Addendum-ese and spend a few hundred (NOT a few thousand) dollars. SO WORTH IT!

And as of June 26th, 2014 I am able to proudly announce (drum roll please)… Acupuncture Services in Labor and Delivery at Boulder Community Health! I feel like this has been my longest labor ever. Thank goodness for acupuncture to ease the pain.

Monica Edlauer, MSOM, L.Ac.
AAC Member and CAMRC Volunteer


Communications Co-Chair Report

Hello, I am excited to be a board member of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado. I think our profession is awesome, and I joined the board to support our ability to be successful providers of this amazing medicine here in Colorado. Hopefully, we will serve as an inspiration for providers of this ancient art and science across the nation. Improving public awareness and access to this healing art is a big deal in today’s age of environmental toxicity and seemingly limited answers.

My role is Co-Chair of Communications, and some of the things I’m working on right now are:

  1. Working with Carol Braverman, Chair of Public Education, to increase education of the public through increased media messaging (acupuncture is awesome!), and toward that end, making the AAC YouTube channel a place for posting videos that serve to educate about our chosen field.
  2. Working with Jacqui Strike, Committee Chair of Public Relations, to increase knowledge for those in our profession on ways they can improve their success as practitioners, educators and activists through providing posts to information on AAC’s Facebook page. (And every video posted on the YouTube channel will have a link from the Facebook page for streamlining.)
  3. Serving as a liaison with the student council of Southwest’s Acupuncture College in Boulder so that they know what actions we are taking to further our profession. And to encourage them to take action now and after graduation.

Hopefully you find the idea of acupuncture having a stronger sway on public opinion to be a step in the right direction. Please share if you feel inclined! If you have videos on Chinese Medicine that you think should be on the AAC YouTube channel, or if you have articles on Chinese Medicine that you think should be on the AAC Facebook page, please e-mail me at:

Sa’bura J. Goodban, L.Ac., DOM, RMT, NCTMB, MSW
Communications Co-Chair


Fundraising Chair Report

I would like to congratulate and welcome our new members to the AAC. I look forward to working with you and will plan a visit with you to see how we can all work together. Please contact me at anytime. We all would love your ideas and help.

I do want to thank all of the board members, and in particular Stephanie Shober, for a fantastic conference this year! We want to spread the word about our medicine and this conference was especially helpful.

We had the opportunity to meet Brad Claus, the COO of Zen Vault, at the conference where he was very helpful in meeting and talking to the members about Zen Vault. Brad has just informed us about the new opportunities that Zen Vault has to offer such as the technology to correspond with our patients via HIPAA-compliant e-mail. Please go to our website under Special Events to learn more about Zen Vault and all of the benefits in becoming a member. Remember to enter code AAC20 to receive 20% off Zen Vault.

BancTec is a new fundraising project for the AAC. We have teamed up with BancTec to provide credit card processing for our businesses. BancTec provides more benefits for our members and a profit sharing opportunity for the AAC.

We are working hard to provide education and advertising of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Please access our AAC website often to see all of the updates and member benefits that we are adding.

We are working with Michael Gaeta to present two fundraising classes this fall. These classes are 3 hours, giving  you 3 CEU’s.  We will hold a class on the Autoimmune System October 2nd, 6pm to 9pm, at the Library in Monument, Colorado. This gives everyone who practices south of Denver easy access to one of our classes. The next class will be held at CSTCM on October 29th, 6pm to 9pm, and will be on Blood Sugar. E-mail’s will be forthcoming to sign up for these events.

I encourage you to go to our website often to see all of the activities from all of the committees. We have a busy and fun filled year ahead of us creating unity, education, and advertising of our great Medicine.

I hope to see you soon.

Sue West MA, L.Ac.
Fundraising Chair


Recruiting Acupuncture
Medical Reserve Corps Regional Coordinators

What A Regional Coordinator Does
  1. Networks your area to recruit volunteers
  2. Keeps a list of CAMRC volunteers in your region
  3. Helps to schedule local trainings if enough interested people want to become volunteers
  4. Is a resource for local volunteers
  5. Works with the incident command during an event
  6. Stores incident ready kit for your area
  7. Coordinators do not have to be the Incident Commander if an incident occurs in your area!!!

Applicant must be a CAMRC registered volunteer or intend to be within the next month.

Please email me at if you are interested in being a regional coordinator or have any questions!

11 Regions In Colorado:

North Central (AA): Eastlake, Westminster, Brighton, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Northglenn, Centennial, Aurora, Denver, Thornton, Littleton

North Central (BBG): Golden, Boulder, Niwot, Longmont, Lyons, Louisville, Jamestown, Allenspark, Lafayette, Broomfield, Hygiene, Nederland, Longmont

North Central (DE): Highlands Ranch, Parker, Elizabeth, Castle Rock, Lone tree, Franktown, Sedalia, Littleton

North Central (Denver): Denver

North Central (JC): Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Arvada, Broomfield, Pine, Golden, Morrison, Evergreen, Kittredge, Edgewood, Westminster, Conifer

North East: Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Arvada, Broomfield, Pine, Golden, Morrison, Evergreen, Kittredge, Edgewood, Westminster, Conifer

San Luis Valley: Crestone, Antonio, Moffat, Alamosa

South Central: Colorado Springs, Salida, Palmer Lake, Leadville, Buena Vista, Cascade, Florissant, Woodland Park

West/Southwest: Durango, Pagosa Springs, Gunnison, Montose, Cortez, Delta, Paonia, Dolores, Cedaredge, Bayfield, Helperus, Ridgeway, Telluride, Ophir, Telluride, Crested Butte


Regional Coordinator: Gloria Cappetto-

Pueblo, Florence, Canon City, Cuchara, West Cliffe


Public Relations Report

In true fashion, the Year of the Wooden Horse has speedily and deliberately raced by. Wow, we have six more months to go until this year is recorded in history. So what would our highest and best self do in the next six months to make this year memorable?

First of all, reflection! Thank you to all of those who helped out with the Nine News Health Fair. Once again your communities thank you for your participation and education. I hope, in return, you received a growth in your business and a clearer idea of how to present yourself in front of the public. We do have a few more Nine News Health Fair events happening in Aurora in October if you would be interested in introducing yourself to your community. Keep an eye on the AAC Facebook page, and/or Yahoo Group for further details. Of course you may always contact me at

This year we teamed up with the Colorado Acupuncture Emergency Response Corps (COMRC) and had a display at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. The intention was to do sample treatments but with the temperatures being in the upper nineties this was not conducive. We hope to do this event again next year so keep the weekend of the 4th of July on your radar if you would like to volunteer.

What is next? Our next event that all acupuncturists can use to cheaply advertise and draw more clients is Oriental Medicine Day (AOM day). The 24th of October is proclaimed AOM day by both Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver, and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. We will be sending out useful tips on how to introduce yourself to the community and in return attract potential clients.

Our work on the Non Profit Chapter of the AAC, The Colorado Acupuncture Outreach and Education, is not yet complete and so my task is to gallop on and have this project finalized so that we can better assist all the Non Profit ventures in Colorado. For example, the Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps (CAMRC) and the Acupuncture for Veterans and their Families (VAF). We would also like to sponsor summertime booths at farmer’s markets around Colorado to introduce local volunteer acupuncturists to their communities. If you would like to serve on the committee of the Colorado Acupuncture Outreach and Education, Non Profit subsidiary of the AAC, do email me at

The CAMRC is currently recruiting regional coordinators. Look at their article (above) to see if you qualify.

Make these next 6 months of the Year of the Wooden Horse count. Get into your flow and participate in your acupuncture community as well as your neighborhoods.

Jacqui Strike, LAc., MSCTM, CMT

Public Relations Committee Chair


Legislative Committee Chair Report

Hi my name is George Graf. I am a licensed acupuncturist here in Colorado and  the new Legislative Committee Chair for the Acupuncture Association of Colorado, I’m honored and gratified to have been given this opportunity.  I’ll do the best I can to make a meaningful contribution to our profession and I know that I have a great mentor in Anne Chew who has done a fantastic job over the past several years as the Legislative Committee Chair.

The legislative challenges we face will take time and patience to resolve and we will need the whole acupuncture community to be involved in some way to overcome these challenges. Everything from voting to participating in the legislative phone tree. We need to respond quickly to regulatory issues that can have a profound affect on our ability to practice without being discriminated against by insurance, DORA and other health care interests.

I have been practicing in Colorado Springs for the past 14 years and 2 years previously in California. I enjoy a thriving practice here, but I am aware that this is not the case for some acupuncturists in Colorado and that is a travesty. Everyone in our profession should be busy helping people with their health and wellness. We are the only experts in using needles to promote healing. No other profession can even come close when it comes to acupuncture or anything remotely looking like acupuncture. We are it; we should be confident that we have the most and best training in our field. But in Colorado professional discrimination has created barriers  for acupuncturists to build busy practices.

The reason I joined the AAC this past March and then accepted the position on the board, was that it became abundantly clear to me that a small group of people on the AAC board had worked tirelessly to protect our profession from deregulation and manipulation by other health care interests. Those changes would’ve put me and you out of business–I didn’t want to move back to California.

Over the next several weeks I will be calling as many acupuncturists as possible to say hi and to get e-mail addresses of non-members of the AAC so that we can keep you informed about legislative issues, too.

George Graf, L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair


AAC Membership

There are options to becoming a member of AAC. You can make a once yearly payment or use our automatic monthly payment option.

Click on the link below.





Look under “Acupuncturists” above. Click on the Classified Ads button.

Is AAC taking a stand?

The following is an email from one of our AAC members. The response from the AAC President and one of the other Board members is included.

“Why are we even bothering with acupuncture training and licensure? Everyone now is doing it: RN’s, MD’s , Chiro’s, Physical therapists, addiction counselors, phsychologists…… As far as I can see, we have not fought hard enough to keep OUR licensure to US. It is time to take a stand. the hospitals are using RN’s to deliver acu. Those could have been jobs for our profession. We need to take a stand. Please let me know what we are doing about it. Even the NADA program is being taught to non-acu people. This hurts our profession.” From an AAC Member

Hello —-,
Thank you for your message. My name is Stephanie Shober, and I am one of the volunteer Board Members of the AAC. We couldn’t agree with you more. As a matter of fact, your concerns are one of the main topics of our upcoming Annual Conference on April 26-27.
One of our sessions is titled The State of Acupuncture in Colorado, and protecting ourselves and our scope of practice is going to be the main theme.  Valerie Hobbs will be one of the leaders of this session, and she has been fighting for us legislatively for decades. Marilyn Allen, a national figure who has a vested interest in our success, is flying out from California on her own dime to present at the conference. I cannot wait to hear her speak, because the concerns you shared are her passion. She has a three hour session on Sunday to talk about The Affordable Care Act and how we can unite to protect ourselves and get into the mainstream with preventative medicine.
Have you received the invitation to register? If not, I am happy to forward it to you. You can also feel free to call me on my cell phone at ——-.  Please come and join us!
Kind regards,
AAC Board Member
Thank you for your concern.  These are areas we have been working on for several years.  We are limited on what we can do, because it is illegal for one organization to regulate another organization’s scope of practice.  Chiropractors had acupuncture as part of their scope of practice before acupuncturists were a licensed profession in CO.  Nurses and doctors literally have millions of dollars at thier disposal for lobbying and political campaigns.   PTs have over 1300 members of their state association, we have 300.  Despite the difference of funding, we have testified at the capital, have a lobbyist that is working for us, and even hired a lawyer pointing at the illegal expanse of scope of practice to include dry needling.  It was unsuccessful despite our sound argument.  Less than 25% of the acupuncturists in the state are members of the association, and an even smaller percentage are willing to help when it comes to these political issues.  We have even had people leave the organization because part of the membership funds go towards political support.  We have and continue to work on these issues to protect our scope of practice, but we are seriously out gunned and fighting against misconceptions about our training and ability to treat effectively.  If you are willing to volunteer you time, we would be happy to have you help with the legislative chair or PR committee to help with these issues.
Scott Richardson M.S., L.Ac.
President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)

Based on the work of Acupuncturists Without Borders and several of our profession who have provided compassionate care and psychological first aid in times of crisis, the head of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in Washington, DC gave us the go ahead to create the first Acupuncture only based MRC group. Colorado will be the first in the nation, and hopefully a model for others to start in other states.

If you are not familiar with the Medical Reserve Corps, it was created after 9/11 when medically trained individuals showed up to help, and the emergency crews had no way of knowing who could do what.  The federal government created the MRC as a way to ensure proper training and verification of licensure.  There are some existing groups around this state – Boulder County and Rocky Mountain MRC, which comprise of various health care professionals. By joining one of these groups, you can then be “properly” mobilized (if you choose to) during a disaster.

We are working hard to get this group up and running, and have lined up a day of training for some courses for people to attend.  Everyone who joins our group will be asked to complete the following items:

  • take the ICS 100 and 700 federal courses, which allows us to understand Incident Command Systems and how to interact with other groups present onsite
  • take Psychological First Aid – allows us to provide compassionate and consistent care to victims, rescue personnel and other volunteers in a crisis situation
  • register with Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer – helps us track members, performs background check, and provides notification system in emergency; this will be our application process to CAMRC
  • provide current First Aid and CPR certificates
  • take the CAMRC training (dates to be announced)

The ICS 100, 700 and PFA are being offered March 30th up in Boulder – see links below.

To join the Colorado Volunteer Mobilizer organization, please log onto  Under organization click on the name Colorado Acupuncture MRC and then click on the add button next to the Colorado Acupuncture MRC. We are encouraging everyone to join their local MRC (if available) too.  You should be able to choose multiple organizations.  Once you have taken the ICS 100, 700 and PFA, you can upload your certificates directly into the CVM.  We will have someone present at the March 30th training to help you get started with this process if you need it.

If you would like to register for any of these classes, please contact Monica at


MRC Psych Class Flyer



Sunday, June 8, 2014

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


6620 Gunpark Dr., Boulder, CO 80301

7 PDAs (pending)


Please contact Monica Edlauer,
Outreach Coordinator at 303.859.7556,

Click here for CAMRC Volunteer Training flyer

A one-day training geared towards teaching acupuncturists, NADA certified practitioners and other volunteers how to participate in a CAMRC disaster relief effort. The training will cover the structure of the unit, the mobilization process, the logistics of setting up and operating a mobile disaster relief clinic, the roles a volunteer may find themselves in, as well as information on the NADA protocol itself. The training will conclude with a practical exercise where volunteers are mobilized, a clinic is set up and patients are treated.

Zen Vault

With medical information heading into the technological age, is your practice ready? Do your patients have a way to keep their medical records accessible and secure? Help the Acupuncture Association of Colorado bring your practice up to date, secure your patient’s paperwork, and support the same entity that supports your legal right to treat patients, bill insurance, and grow your practice in Colorado.

The Acupuncture Association of Colorado would like to introduce Zen Vault, a HIPAA compliant vault, supported by Cloud Technology.  We are asking you to inform your patients of Zen Vault as a fundraising opportunity for the AAC.  We have made the process very easy for both you and your patients.

Follow the two links at the bottom of this page.  The first link is an introduction to your patients.  The second link contains the instructions to sign up and obtain the discount. Zen Vault has generously offered a 20% discount to anyone signing up and they will donate 50% of the proceeds to the AAC. Please spread the word by printing or emailing out the content to your patients, friends, and family.

My personal experience in talking with my patients has been very favorable.  My patients are impressed with the opportunity to have and handle all of their own and family’s medical records.  I am signed up and I hope you will sign up as well. I am available to answer questions in your office, over the phone, or via email. Send questions to Include the best way to contact you, and I will return your message shortly thereafter.

We appreciate your efforts on this because we need to fund advertising and education concerning Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We continue to promote education at the patient level and the governmental regulation level. We are here to promote health, wellness, and full practices.

AAC Letter for Zen Vault

Zen Vault Information

AAC Conference Vendors – 2014

Golden Flower Chinese Herbs has been providing practitioners with high-quality traditional and innovative herbal formulas since 1990. For your convenience, we also carry a complete line of acupuncture needles and supplies. Visit us on the web at or call us toll-free 800-729-8509.


Golden Sunshine Int., Inc. –, 970-323-5168
BioMat Store –, 970-484-2507
Miridia Acupuncture Technology –, 208-846-8448
Acudragon Wellness System – 212-947-7111
NCCAOM –, 904-674-2474
PunctureNote –, 888-506-8825
Health Soure Products, Inc. –, 626-279-5666
Health Concerns –, 510-639-0280×111
Dr. Dave’s Herbal Medicine –, 970-704-1186
Blue Poppy Enterprises,, 303-447-8372
Young Living Essential Oils –, 308-760-0428
Far East Summit –, 541-937-2449
Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine & Evergreen Herbs – and 626-810-5530

Newsletter Blog

From the President
Scott Richardson, M.S., L.Ac.

I hope that everyone had a safe holiday filled with friends and loved ones.  As we start 2014, we have some great things happening for our profession!  There is a little nervous apprehension about how the Affordable Care Act is going to effect our profession and healthcare in this country.  I am actually excited about how much our profession can thrive in an environment where there are incentives for patient satisfaction for reduced hospital visits.  There are numerous studies that show the effectiveness of acupuncture and TCM lowering medical costs and helping people reduce medication usage.  As we expand awareness in the medical field of how we provide a valuable service that patients are asking for, the demand for qualified practitioners is just going to grow.  I invite you all to our annual conference to learn more about the changes that are coming, and how we are perfectly positions to be an essential part of where healthcare is going.

I feel very lucky to be working with a great group of practitioners on the board that are doing all they can for our profession.  We have some really cool things coming up this year.  One of our main areas of focus is educating the public and other healthcare professionals about what we do and our credentials.  We hope to have a major announcement at the annual meeting (fingers crossed).  Read through the other messages in the newsletter.  Listen to all the hard work that is being done to help all of us.   The more united we are, the more effective we will be in our efforts.  Volunteer, help out, join or renew your membership.

Again, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to seeing you at the conference.


From the Vice President
Carol Messina Braverman, L.Ac.

2014 looks to be an important year for the acupuncture profession, and here’s why.

We’ve seen the results of our medicine and know it has great value on so many levels. In some states, acupuncture is already a sought-after treatment alongside conventional medicine. With the implementation of the ACA (aka Obamacare), our profession has a window of opportunity, within the state of Colorado, to expand our patient base, and rare is the person who wouldn’t want that.

Part 1 of the ACA is insurance reform- that’s what all the back-and-forth has been about.

Part 2 of the ACA is shifting the paradigm of care to outcomes- where we excel and have a place.

Part 3 of the ACA is a focus on prevention- ACO’s (Accountable Care Organizations), using the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics model of coordinated care, are coming online in 2015. This is experimental and will evolve gradually, but that’s what makes ACO’s a forum where we can create opportunities for ourselves. We need to show up and claim our seat at the table and the more of us, the better.

If you believe no one does prevention quite like acupuncture, and I’m betting you do, then please step forward and join us as we build bridges in health care.

How can you help?

  1. Volunteer: we’re an efficient board but could use help. This amounts to an hour of your time every few weeks, in an area that interests you.
  2. Join: become a member of the AAC if you’re not already. We have a new system for automatic payment to make it super simple.
  3. Express: we want to hear what you think can or should be done to protect and uphold our system medicine? If you want to help speed the process along, please call (303) 572-8744 or email the AAC to get in touch.

What’s the benefit to you?

  1. Community: you get to swap ideas and enact them with an amazing bunch of practitioners. Important for good Heart qi J.
  2. Giving back: being part of the living tradition that is eastern medicine is very gratifying.
  3. Free NCCAOM CEU credits: volunteering with the AAC can get you 10 PDA’s for recertification and while getting you in touch with the people- potential patients- in your community. Email for more information.


From the Treasurer
Katie Robinette, L.Ac.

Financial Empowerment Starts Now

Financial planning can be an intimidating topic for everyone, but especially for the self-employed.  Staying on top of quarterly tax payments and paying student loans can be difficult enough.  We also need to regularly set aside money for retirement.  Although we love being acupuncturists, at some point we will want to retire.  In order to do that successfully, we need to know our own financial situation inside and out.  There are many great books, coaches, advisors, and groups out there to help you.  With support from the right people, managing money well and saving for the future is an empowering way of life.

In his book “Smart Women Finish Rich,” David Bach promotes the “pay yourself first” principle.  What this means is that, even if you have debt you are paying off, invest some of your income into your retirement fund before it goes to bills.  He recommends saving 12% of your income in retirement funds.  Where should we invest this money?  To help us begin to navigate this complex world, I asked Bethany Neumann with Modern Woodmen for advice.

Me: Bethany, can you please tell us what you do, and what is Modern Woodmen?

Bethany: Modern Woodmen is a member-owned fraternal financial services organization.  We are not-for-profit, and we specialize in life insurance and investment products.

Me: What is the greatest advantage of having your own business when it comes to saving for retirement?

Bethany: A SEP IRA is only available for self-employed people.  You can contribute up to 25% of you’re your income, which is much higher than other retirement vehicles. It is also a good option because your contribution can be a tax write off, which is helpful when you are just starting a business.  But in my opinion, a Roth IRA is better.

Me: Why is the Roth IRA better?

Bethany: The downside is that a Roth is not tax write off, but the benefit is that you pay taxes on it now, when you are presumably at a lower tax bracket, instead of paying taxes on it when use the money during retirement.  We will probably pay higher taxes when we retire, either because we are in a higher tax bracket, or because taxes are higher in general.  You will probably spend less in taxes on your retirement account if you pay for them now.

Me: What are some tricks to save money and pay yourself first?

Bethany: Starting a business is no easy task.  Set up an auto transfer into your IRA account.  You can transfer as little as $25 a month.  That is $300 a year.  That is less than a dollar a day.  Setting up an auto transfer that you know you can pay each month ensures that you are always contributing something.  Then, look at your income for the month, and put away extra on the months you make more.

Me: What is the best way to earn on your investment without taking much risk?

Bethany: Aside from a savings account with a low interest rate, I often recommend investing in a life insurance plan that will provide protection for your family, and also will give you a decent return in the long run that will add to your retirement portfolio.

Me: What has helped you most in creating a successful business?

Bethany: Building relationships, getting out there and meeting people has been the best thing I do for my business.  I’m big on positive thinking and the law of attraction.  I believe that focusing on making a difference for other will help you grow your business.

Me: How can people contact you if they would like to learn more?

Bethany: For a free consultation, and to get advice on starting a plan, call 720-217-6178, or email   I’m happy to answer questions.

Me: Thank you, Bethany

One more thing I would like to mention is the importance of having a wealth mentality.  Invest in yourself.  Take courses, hire an advisor, and keep up your membership with the AAC to maximize what is possible for our profession.  Investments bring a return back to you, and are essential for building wealth.

Facing your finances honestly can be downright terrifying. Push through, get the help you need, and know that being financially empowered is well worth the battle. On that note, take advantage of the aspect of retirement savings that acupuncturists know best.  Conserving Kidney energy and maintaining a healthy, energized being is the best gift we can give ourselves.

Here are some books to get you started:

David Bach Smart Women Finish Rich

Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover

Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich

Thomas Stanley and William Danko The Millionaire Next Door

If you would like more information, contact Katie Robinette at


From the Public Relations Chair
Jacqui Strike, L.Ac.

Happy New Year to one and all. As we get ready to invite the year of the Horses (Wood) on January 31st, it could be a good time to plan your strategies to take advantage of this predicted  fast-paced, free-spirited year.

We are all interested in increasing our business so that we can best serve our clients and offer our amazing services to possible new clients.

Here are a few dates to mark on your calendar. These are particularly auspicious times to reach out to current contacts and gather new contacts.

January 31st- Chinese New Year  horse (Wooden)
March – April -9 news health fair
May 10th- Mother’s Day -woman’s health focus
June 15th- Father’s Day- men’s health focus
July- Dragon Boat festival
September 1st- Labor Day -grandparents day aging
October 24-Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine day- increase public awareness
November 11th- Veterans Day- PTSD /stress

If you would like to know more about marketing supports -8 no cost strategies to attract new clients. Explore the video by Acupuncture Media Works

Become a committee member.

To make the most of all I’ll public relations opportunities this year we need to expand all subcommittees. All of these positions are available do volunteer for any of these committees.

  • 9 News Health Fair: improve quality and experience of Interaction and Education Center booths and manage volunteers.
  • Festivals: seek out and Staff events.
  • Press: create and post press releases monitor and respond to current events
  • Social Media: manage Facebook, Yahoo groups, and Linked In.
  • AOM: day create an event.

Please email me as I invite you to become involved in all public relations

As Always wishing you enthusiasm and exceptional health.


From the Fund Raising Chair
Sue West. M.A., L.Ac.

Happy New Year to everyone!
I want to Thank all of the Board Members and Charissa Haines for all of the hard work laying the groundwork for the upcoming year.  This year looks to be exciting, fun, and prosperous!

I would like to thank the members of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado and our other peer Acupuncturists around the State of Colorado for participating and getting our first fundraiser, ZENVAULT, off to a great start.  The response has been very good and will help start the education and advertising process of the benefits of Acupuncture in our communities.  This in turn will help all of us and our practice of Oriental Medicine.  Thank You again, and lets continue to offer this program to our patients, friends and families.

I have had the opportunity to talk and meet with a number of Acupuncturists: not only about fundraising with Zen Vault, but about our Medicine as a whole and how we are coming to the forefront in the Medical field.  I would like to continue to meet with as many of you as I can to build better communication and to increase the support of the AAC towards your practice.  I will be in Pueblo and Pueblo West on January 20th and plan to follow I-25 north to include:
Colorado Springs, Monument and Castle Rock in February
Centennial, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Englewood, and Littleton in March
Denver and Lakewood in May
And, Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins in June
My visits to the Mountains and The Western Slope will occur in July and August.
I look forward to these visits and encourage your communication, so please contact any member of your Board at anytime.

An update on the 5K race is forthcoming as details are still coming together.

I Thank You again for the success we are having with Zen Vault, and I do look forward to meeting you.

Looking for work or office space? Check out the AAC Classifieds!

Classified Ads section may be found under the tab “Acupuncturists” and then selecting “Classified Ads.”

New Benefit for AAC Members!

Click here to see AAC and Speer Annoucement

Howdy all!

Part of my job as president of the Board is to help all the members as best I can. I know we are all interested in ways to save money nowadays, and Hermann Li has helped me a lot, and I’d like to share that help.

Personally I’ve had Hermann as my insurance agent for years. Every year or so he’ll give me options on how to save money or improve my coverages – this year he reviewed my homeowner’s insurance and my personal car insurance, got me better coverage and saved me over $400 a year from what I was paying! I’ve never had an insurance person who is as pro-active as he is and contacts me about various ways to save money – it’s always been that I found something cheaper on my own and then the past insurance people were scrambling to get me to come back. Hermann is a preventative insurance person – much like we’re preventative medicine people. And with the addition of extra funds to the AAC, his offer couldn’t come at a better time!!! He is as interested in your success as we are in yours!

Hermann is an independent insurance agent who specializes in working with the AAC membership on their business, homeowners and auto insurance needs. What makes this relationship special is Hermann’s ongoing dedication to helping AAC members get the proper coverages, providing excellent customer service and often saving them quite a bit of money! He works on your behalf and represents over 30 top-notch companies and understands their individual strengths and weaknesses. No two insurance companies are exactly alike in their coverages, costs, and claims-handling procedures – that’s why having a knowledgeable and caring advocate like Hermann working for you can help.

The key to the success of this program will be when members realize that this not only could benefit you, your employees and even your family; it can also benefit the AAC immensely. In order for this true partnership to work effectively, it can’t be just one memo to the membership or hidden away on the website. You are so busy trying to run your practices and most people are not attentive to their insurance coverages since that is hardly ever “top of mind” to them – until they need it. Hermann will do his best to be a valued partner to the membership/Association.
So here’s the deal – when you submit your current home, auto or business policies to him (at no obligation) for review, he will donate money to the AAC! Additionally, when you refer others to Hermann, he will donate even more money to the AAC!

He has graciously agreed to extend this offer to your employees, associates and family members personal insurance needs as well Each person must include, “AAC code 4380″ in communications with him for this campaign.

Here’s his contact information to get started so give him a call or send him an email:

Hermann Li, Independent Agent
Speer Insurance Services
9000 E. Nichols Ave., Suite 105 Centennial, CO 80112
O: (303) 792-0455  F: (303) 649-1931 C: (303) 210-5830 Url:


yer pal,

Greg Shim, L.Ac.
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado

Sunset Review – Feb. 20, 2013

There has been a lot of activity the past few days on our Sunset bill.  We decided to initiate an amendment to the bill that includes the word “modern”  “The practice of Acupuncture is based on traditional and modern Oriental Medical concepts.”

There is a second amendment that we put in. It specifically prohibits us from doing chiropractic adjustments.

The third amendment is from our sponsor Linda Newell. It asks DORA to reinstate the sending of disciplinary letters by certified mail.

WE met with DORA policy makers today and we believe that we have their support for the change in wording.

The actual hearing is  Thursday, Feb. 21, at 1:30.  If it gets the votes needed (we expect it to easily pass) the next step is that it will go to the whole Senate for a “second” reading.  Leo and I met with most of the committee members today and he will meet the rest of them in the morning.  Leo is very effective as a lobbyist. We are lucky to have him.

When we met with Senator Cowder ( R ) he said that he had heard from some of us and he didn’t understand why we would want to be regulated but he would support our bill.  So our efforts to contact our base is paying off.

Thanks for all that you are doing to help our profession.
Anne Chew

UPDATE: Out Sunset bill has passed the senate Health committee with two amendments. One amendment says that “The practice of acupuncture is based on traditional and MODERN Oriental Medical Concepts”.  The second one says that we cannot do Chiropractic manipulation and mobilization.

It will go to the appropriations committee and then to the Senate floor of a second and third reading. (Not yet scheduled).  The senators had heard from their constituents and we only had Sen Lunburg vote against us.  So far we are in good shape.  Anne Chew

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Acupuncture for Veterans

Longmont non-profit organization, Acupuncture for Veterans and their Families, needs Licensed Acupuncture practitioners to volunteer with a community acupuncture clinic at the Longmont American Legion:
315 South Bowen
Thursdays from 5:30 to 7pm
Contact:  Daisy Lear at 303.587.3557 or
AVF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides health care for veterans, those on active duty, and their immediate family members, at no cost to them.  More information at

LEGISLATIVE NEWS – February 1, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Well, the 2013 Legislative Session has begun in earnest and that means the Acupuncture Practice Act is now in its legislative process.  We had our first preliminary hearing at the Capitol yesterday.  This hearing was basically to vote that the DORA report will continue on and become a bill.  It was heard by the Senate Health Committee.  Senator Linda Newell will sponsor this bill, so if you are in her district (26 – Denver and Arapahoe Counties), you can send her an email ( ) or a hand written note thanking her for sponsoring our bill.

The next step will be a more formal hearing before the same Committee; at that time, the report will officially be a bill.  There may or may not be debate on aspects of the bill; the public is entitled to testify if they wish.  There is currently no date set for the next hearing, but we will let you know when it is.  Anyone is welcome to attend the hearings.

Injection therapy may come up during this process; we have had some opposition from some medical groups, but no one was there yesterday to testify about this. We will keep you informed if there is any news in this area.

There may also be another auricular therapy bill coming up during this session, and we’ll keep you posted on that as well as any other legislative news that comes up.

Nancy Bilello

SIGN NOW! White House Petition SSA

Sign the White House Petition to Designate ‘Acupuncturist’ as a Recognized Healthcare Provider under the Social Security Act

Dear Friend,
There are only days left to sign a crucial petition to alert the Obama Administration to the fact that acupuncturists are not currently recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act and, therefore, cannot get reimbursement for services provided to Medicare patients.
The Social Security Act does recognize other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, and clinical social workers.

By changing the compensation structure allowed under Medicare, we can ensure that patients have access to their local acupuncturist.
The petition, started one month ago, needs 25,000 signatures by February 10 to get a response from the White House regarding the inclusion of acupuncturists in the Social Security Act. Currently, we have over 10,000 signatures. If you have not yet signed this important petition, please do so now by visiting the following link by February 10:
Please immediately spread the word and forward this petition to your friends and family as every signature counts!

Thank you for your support and action!.


AAC Newsletter – January 2013

Now available – the January 2013 AAC Newsletter! Read here . . .

Jan. 2013 Newsletter

YOU DID IT! – Rule 211

Dear Fellow Acupuncturists,

Thanks to your strong response to Rule 211, the PT Board has decided to drop Rule 211 from the November 30th hearing! Pat yourself on the back, open a bottle of champagne, and then get ready for even more of this kind of group effort.

We’re bringing our practice act to the legislation this coming January and we have to be on the ball. If you know someone who is not a member of the AAC, demand that they join to get the law WE want passed! Even if they just join for one year, this is the one year they need to join.

We’ll be sending out writing points on issues we anticipate to pop up during the legislation – so you won’t be in the dark.
It was your response that got the PT Board to act, and it will be your response that keeps the practice of acupuncture legal in Colorado.

yer (proud of the membership) pal,
Greg Shim, L.Ac.
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado

ACT NOW!! Rule 211 for Physical Therapists!

New email address information:

Howdy all!

Please send your emails to:



(she’s super nice and our buddy! Your email might be a little angry, so maybe send her a little extra email saying how awesome she’s doing, because she really is)


I went up to DORA yesterday to meet with them and finally got some clarification on the addresses. DORA did just go through a huge restructuring, and most everyone is new – but they’re there for us and we have a great relationship with them.

Also, the November 6th date is a soft date, so you have until the 30th to get your letters/emails in (but get them in soon!). Mark your calendars to be at the hearing 11/30/12 at 9:00 am. We’ll keep you informed!

yer pal,

Greg Shim
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado

The AAC just sent this letter – it’s time to stop this nonsense!

Here’s a copy of what we sent:

November 5, 2012

RE:  Rule 211 for Physical Therapists

Dear Ms. Larson,

The Acupuncture Association of Colorado has a number of very strong concerns regarding what physical therapists are doing in Colorado under Rule 211. We have drafted this letter to point out 9 items of which we feel you need to be aware.

1.) Dry Needling is Acupuncture.
The Colorado PT Board has adopted an argument that how one thinks about a medical procedure changes what the procedure is. This is not good public policy. Under this same logic, PTs could practice any medical procedure by redefining it to a PT diagnosis.  Licensed Acupuncturists could expand their authority to include pharmaceutical prescriptive authority. This sets a precedent within Colorado law that is beyond the statutory authority of the PT Board. Only the legislature can set policy that scopes of practice can be expanded to include any medical procedure as long as the definition of terminology is changed. Of particular note, the PT Board has no authority to expand the definition of a manual therapy technique to include procedures that incise the skin with a class II medical device.

2.) Economic Impact
The Acupuncture Association of Colorado requests an economic impact statement on small business. Many acupuncturists are complaining, including myself, that because PTs are billing acupuncture under the manual therapy code 97140, people are using their insurance that doesn’t cover acupuncture to get acupuncture from PTs. This makes it very hard to compete in a market that allows physical therapists to unfairly bill insurance for the same procedure that Licensed Acupuncturists cannot bill. Even if PTs change the code to something else, they are still performing acupuncture. If they coded it under what they are doing, Acupuncture 97810, insurance companies would not pay for it. This gives PTs preferential treatment by insurance companies.

3.) Expansion of Scope
In amending Rule 211, the Physical Therapy Board and profession clearly intends to change the definition of dry needling to expand it further to apply to any treatment of any disorder through the use of acupuncture needles (dry needling).  This further expansion of scope means that PTs will functionally expand their scope to be indistinguishable from the practice of acupuncture. The statue for the practice of acupuncture is a legislatively conferred standard for the minimum education and certification in order to protect the public and establish safe standards for effective practice. The PT Board does not have the authority to expand by rule the majority of practice under an established statute.

4.) Training
The training required to allow PTs to do dry needling is minimal and does not meet WHO standards for the application of acupuncture techniques. This minimal training presents a public safety hazard as the limited training in needling means that PTs can and are learning this technique in a weekend.

The technique has no national standard developed, and is not taught in any accredited PT programs. The content of the training is not regulated, and  the profession has not come forward with any standard nor set curriculum for this training.

5.) No supervised clinical training is required
There is no supervised clinical training required. Rule 210, the rule that allows PTs to work on animals, is similar to dry needling in that this expands the scope of PTs to practice beyond the content of their entry-level training. Under Rule 210, 120 hours of supervised clinic is required. It appears that the PT board requires a higher level of education to treat animals than it does to insert acupuncture needles in a human, and this rule shows that the PT board recognizes that techniques that significantly expand practice and are not part of entry level training require some supervision of the trainee in order to prevent harm.

6.) No registration or expanded authority mechanism
There is no registration of professionals who practice this technique. The Board allows a practice of a procedure that carries risk of harm to the patient without requiring any standard for education, continuing education, or otherwise requiring any disclosure or registration. There is no mechanism to assure the public that a PT has met any requirements or is regulated in any way to practice an invasive technique.

7.) Failure to seek legislative authority
The PT profession failed to seek legislative authority for expanded practice including dry needling. In its 2010 sunset to renew their statutory authority, the PT profession sought special practice authority for all rules in which it had expanded its scope in CRS 12-41-13, but did not seek to expand its scope to practice dry needling. Because dry needling, using acupuncture needles, meets the definition of surgery, the PT Board has no authority to expand its scope, especially when there was opportunity for legislative review.

8.) Failure to enforce its rule
The PT Board has failed its duty to enforce the rule on dry needling. Because they have failed to regulate this practice, they have abrogated their authority to expand this practice by rule. The Board has shown that it will fail to regulate this practice unless statutorily defined. The board has failed to enforce its rule in the following ways:

The training mandated by the rule is not being enforced. The Board has knowledge that PTs are practicing dry needling with half the number of hours than required by rule and have not enforced their own rule.

The Board has evidence the Colorado providers are teaching techniques of acupuncture that far beyond the scope of the rule, and yet they neither enforce the rule nor specify exactly what training can be taught.

The Board has knowledge that current practice of PTs in Colorado exceeds the current definition of dry needling that is limited to trigger points, and has failed to enforce the rule.

9.) Potential for Insurance Fraud
Many insurance companies mandate that this procedure is billed under codes for experimental procedures. Current PT courses teach the use of billing through a manual therapy code 97140, and this practice is being instituted in Colorado. What is being taught is that the use of this code should not be used for Medicaid patients, but PTs are regularly billing for this procedure from private insurance under a manual therapy code.

We thank you in advance for your time and consideration of our concerns. If there is any other way we can assist in clarifying our points, please do not hesitate to ask.
Very Sincerely,

Greg Shim, L.Ac., MTCM, M.Ed.
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado
Certificated in Integrative Sports Medicine
Diplomate in Oriental Medicine
Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner

URGENT!! ACT NOW! Your profession is about to be hit HARD!!!

Dear Fellow Acupuncturists,

This is a Professional emergency!!! Stop what you’re doing and take action this minute!

The Physical Therapists are making a rule change to include all body points for dry needling and to change how they bill by calling acupuncture a physical intervention.

We just got notice this, so If you think it’s a problem for a PT to be needling someone after 23 hours of training (with a promise to do 23 hours more) after you’ve spent a minimum of 660 hours of supervised training in needling, please email the director:

Bruce Harrelson
with feedback (including harm to your business) relating to Rule 211.
Here’s the link for the proposed Rule 211 changes:

Just like us, you have until November 6th to complete this – and yes, we just found out, too. The AAC will be sending a formal letter today, November 5th.

After you send the email, print it out and send it by snail mail:
Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform
Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
1560 Broadway, Suite 1550
Denver, CO 80202

Ann Chew, the board, and I will keep you abreast of what’s happening. I, for one, will be sending a $100.00 check to the AAC to help support this important issue. I hope that I am leading by example here. We will be hiring an attorney to help us navigate this horrendous situation. PT’s are billing Medicare and other insurance companies that don’t accept acupuncture. I have had patients use their non-acupuncture insurance to get dry needling, only to eventually come to me and pay cash when they got no satisfactory results. If you feel that dry needling is cutting into your business, please put that in writing and send it to Mr. Harrelson. And even better, after you send the letter, show up November 30th and make your stand for acupuncture!

We’re about to have our entire scope of needling annexed by another profession if we do nothing.


Anne Chew, Legislative Chair

Greg Shim, President
ps, below is the email we received the other day (note, they gave us the wrong email address – use the one above!).


This is to notify you that the Department of Regulatory Agencies – Physical Therapy has submitted a draft proposed rule or amendment to an existing rule concerning:

The rulemaking concerns the initial proposal of Rules 101, 102, 212, and 214, and proposed amendments to Rule 211.

The proposed rule or amendment may be found at:

A hearing on the proposed rule or amendment is set for Friday, November 30, 2012 at 09:00 am at 1560 Broadway, Conference Room 1250 C, Denver CO 80202. For more information about the proposed rule or amendment, you can contact Lisa Hill, Program Manager at 303-894-2987 at the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

In the next few days, we will be analyzing the proposed rule or amendment to determine if it impacts Colorado’s economic competitiveness, job creation or small businesses. If initial research looks as if the proposed rule or amendment may negatively impact one or more of those areas, we will request the entity submitting the proposed rule or amendment to perform a cost-benefit analysis. If you want to provide us with feedback on the proposed rule or amendment to help us make that determination, please email me at [AAC correction –] before Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

I hope you find this service and information useful.

Bruce Harrelson
Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform

Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day was Oct. 24

Free Acupuncture Treatments Celebrating National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day was Wednesday, October 24th, 2012.

In celebration of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day on Wednesday October 24th, 2012, licensed acupuncturists in the state of Colorado offered free acupuncture treatments to all new patients.

This was an excellent opportunity to explore the benefits of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and to try a sample treatment. To find a professional, licensed acupuncturist in your area, go to

Oriental medicine, used for over 3,000 years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being, is a comprehensive health care system. Oriental medicine encompasses a variety of traditional health care therapies such as acupuncture, herbology, tui na (Chinese medical massage), and dietary therapy based on Chinese health principals.

The World Health Organization has identified over 40 conditions that can be effectively treated with acupuncture. To explore more studies showing the efficacy of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine visit Acupuncture is currently used by over 43% of the population.

Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado proclaimed October 24, 2012 AOM Day throughout Colorado and Mayor Michael B. Hancock echoed that proclamation for Denver. Since its inception in 2002, AOM Day has been proclaimed by many other states, cities and towns across the country. Please visit to find a practitioner in your area.

Click below to see AOM Procolomation!


On October 15th, DORA released the report for our Sunset Review.  This report will go to the legislature in January and will eventually become the bill for our new Acupuncture Practice Act.  Based on feedback we received from our Town Hall meetings last year, we had presented DORA with a draft of changes we wanted to see.  These changes included:

  • Provisions for L.Ac’s to be able to order labs and prescribe supplements
  • A certificate program for non-L.Ac.’s who wish to practice auricular therapy (this would have included supervision by L.Ac.’s)
  • Formation of an Acupuncture Advisory Board that would exist to address problems specific to our profession i.e. dry needling, auricular therapy, etc.
  • Statement clarifying that dry needling is within the scope of acupuncture even though it is practiced by another profession (P.T.’s)

There is some language in the report that suggests labs and supplements could be “within the scope of acupuncture” but the wording is still rather vague and does not mention these therapies specifically.

Overall, the report looks good, but the auricular therapy certification and the advisory board were omitted, most likely due to fiscal concerns in a time of economic bust.

Several members of the Sunset Review Committee will be meeting with DORA in the next few weeks to discuss the report.  At this point, nothing can be changed until it goes to the legislature in Jan. or Feb., but we can introduce amendments if need be.  Our meeting with DORA will be more for clarification and continued good communication as we gear up for the next  several  months.

Since August, the Sunset Review Committee, with the help of our lobbyist, identified many candidates who we feel will be advocates for us, and we donated  generously  to many campaigns.   In total, the AAC gave approximately $18,000.00 to a total of about 65 candidates, no donation exceeding $400.00 in accordance with campaign finance laws.

If you would like to read the report for yourself, here is the link:  If you cannot access the document by this link, go to , click on Office of Professions and Occupations, then look for Sunset Reviews and click on Acupuncture.

Our next steps will be:

  • Meeting with DORA
  • Meeting with members of the Colorado Medical Society  to discuss any concerns they may have regarding the report
  • Watching for election results: after the election, we will be actively contacting the elected officials to whom we donated and seeking their support.  We will be educating them about our bill as well as about acupuncture itself.  We will be contacting AAC members and non-members to help contact these legislators – you will receive phone calls, emails or letters sometime after the election in Nov.

Anne Chew MA, LAC
Nancy Bilello


There are opportunities for employment as well as office space. Check out AAC Classified Ads!

Click here for classified ads

Volunteer Acupuncturists needed for AWB Supported Trauma Relief Clinic in Aurora

Hello ALL,
Some of you have already been in the loop regarding the  recent shooting in Aurora and the need to get an AWB supported  trauma clinic up and running.  Many of you have already contacted me and have offered to help with this endeavor.  This is where we are in the process:

We found space in the area:  It Takes a Village located at 1475 Lima St., Aurora CO.  The exec. director, Imani Latif has generously offered for us to use space for our clinics.   We need Volunteers to help us in the clinic!!!!

Click below for a flier for you to print out and/or email to folks so the word can be spread.


If you are not AWB and/or NADA trained, please let us know and we can help train you!!

If you are available to volunteer-please sign up on the following on-line schedule link:

Thank you!
Randi Savage RN, MS, Lic. Acupuncturist, AWB Board Member


Thank you to AWB and all of the acupuncturists, acupuncture schools, vendors and everyone who volunteered
to help the victims and evacuees of the fires that have burned throughout Colorado. You have helped so many get through this stressful time in their lives. The AAC appreciates you!!

Volunteers Needed to Help Fire Victims!

As some of you may know already, AWB has been supporting a disaster acupuncture relief clinic in Fort Collins for those being affected by the High Park Fire. Now, with the Waldo Canyon Fire, we are again faced with a challenging situation. There is a group of acupuncturists in Colorado Springs area that is trying to secure a safe location for us to set up a clinic. Once we secure a site, we will need volunteers to start helping out by doing free acupuncture using the NADA protocol. Please help in any way you can

If anyone is interested in Volunteering please contact Randi at 303-710-9849 or contact Diane at 719-331-0437.

If you live in the Fort Collins area and/or would like to volunteer for the clinic there, follow this link-you can sign up to volunteer with this link directly on the site page. If you need refresher on how to run AWB clinic and/or NADA protocol for Ft. Collins, please contact Debi Epstein 301-706-3442.

The schedule link is below.

Insurance Parity

Dear Members:

Several acupuncturists and patients have recently contacted me regarding the new insurance parity law.  It seems that some  insurance companies are still not paying for acupuncture services when performed by an acupuncturist but will cover other providers, especially M.D.s.

As a reminder, the insurance parity law only covers state insurance plans because this bill was enacted in Colorado.  Federal employee insurance, for example, is exempted from this bill.  Several people have complained about Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s federal plan only covering M.D.’s for acupuncture.  Unfortunately, our insurance bill did not affect them.

If you or your patients are not on a federal plan and are still being denied insurance parity, you can file a complaint with DORA.  Go to the DORA website and click under Insurance.  There is a page to file an insurance complaint. Click here for the complaint form. If you are filing a complaint on behalf of a patient you MUST have permission from them to do so.  The actual statute can be found under Colorado Revised Statutes Title 10-16-104.  You can then scroll down to (7) part A to read it.

Please contact me with any additional questions.

Linda Gibbons, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, MSTCM
Legislative Chair, Acupuncture Assoc. of Colorado
Sage Mountain Wellness
(720) 530-8218

Student Loan Forgiveness Act Introduced

Below is an email from Robert Applebaum, a MoveOn member who created a petition at that is getting a lot of attention and may be of interest to people in your area. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.

Dear member,

Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by a shameful 511%. In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever. In 2012, total outstanding student loan debt is expected to exceed $1 trillion.

In response to this crisis, U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan has just introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, which would extend a helping hand to those struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt.

That’s why I created a petition to Rep. John Kline, Chairman of the House Education and the Workplace Committee; the United States House of Representatives and Senate; and President Barack Obama on, which says:

Total outstanding student loan debt in America is expected to exceed $1 TRILLION this year. Millions of hardworking, taxpaying, educated Americans are being crushed under the weight of their educational debts, while the economy continues to sputter. Support a REAL economic stimulus and jobs plan. Support the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170).
Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:


–Robert Applebaum

PR Committee Requests

AOM Day and PR Committee Meeting:

The PR Committee is looking for those interested in forming a strategy for AOM Day, coming up October 24th, 2012.
In the past we have had a proclamation issued by the mayor and done free treatments to the public, posting the participating practitioners on our website and generating press around what we do.  Let’s discuss and plan out something amazing for this year!

Meeting location:
Udi’s in Olde Towne Arvada, Monday, May 7th at 6:30PM
Please RSVP to Tina at 303-881-1971 or

If you are interested but unable to attend, please contact me as well.

New PR Committee Chair Needed:

My term ends in September of this year and I have grown and enjoyed serving my profession.  I am looking for someone who would like to join the board and take over from me.  PR and Marketing experience is a plus, but not necessary.  The PR Chair oversees our educational efforts, press releases, Facebook, AOM Day, Festivals, and the 9 Health Fairs.

Upcoming Festival:

The AAC will be at the Refugee Women’s Health Walk and Fair on Sunday, May 20th from 9am to 1:30 pm at Denver’s Cheesman Park.  Tina Laue, L.Ac. will be there.  Would anybody else like to come out and join me?  You may bring your business cards to pass out if someone asks for your information.  Our primary focus is on educating about AOM, however, you are the face that people want to connect with at these events, so often you gain new clients.  We will also be referring to our fellow AAC Members.  Please RSVP by May10th to Tina at

Wishing you exceptional health,
Tina Laue, L.Ac., Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)

AAC Vice President Needed

Howdy All!

I’ve just gotten back from the 4 day Council of State Associations’ annual conference and am extremely excited about everything that I learned. I have a full time practice, I teach at CSTCM a few times a trimester, and take an active role in my awesome family (and extended family – I live next door to my brother and his 4 kids). With all that I have going on, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to give back to what brings so much purpose (and some income) to my life.

We are a Board with diverse backgrounds and ideas. We don’t all agree on the same thing, but we make it a point to share those differing ideas and reach consensus. We’re looking for someone who would like to step into the Vice President’s position. Someone who will make the time to meet every quarter and someone who eventually might want to become president. I’m not leaving the Board anytime soon, so you’ll have plenty of time to be mentored (not to mention past presidents who are there to give you a hand when you need it – thanks all!).

You practice your medicine because of past board members. Now you have the opportunity to shape the practice of your medicine. Please join us!

yer (as always) pal,

Greg Shim
Diplomate in Oriental Medicine
Licensed Acupuncturist
President of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado


The AAC Board recently passed a policy to allow acupuncture students in Colorado to join  AAC for free! Click on the instructions to become a new (or renewed) member. Please make sure you notify AAC (either by email or phone) to provide your school name and graduation date.


Seeds of Doubt Conference

AAC Members,

Below is information on an important event that I think AAC members and other acupuncturist will be interested in.  The cost is reasonable but this organization is an important one and it is new.  There are some big names presenting.

Dr. Huber will be speaking and please note the two youtube videos of Dr Huber being interviewed.  He is speaking on GMO’s.  Bob Roundtree is a local guy, an MD.  We all have to be diligent if we are going to stop GMO’s from infiltrating into our food supply even more. (part 1) (part 2)

To all Functional Medicine Forum supporters

We are truly excited to bring this great event to our community

Please Join Us

The “Seeds of Doubt” Conference

Saturday June 9, 2012

Omni Interlocken Hotel ::  Broomfield, Colorado

8:00am – 5:00pm

Lunch & Lecture sponsored by Metametrix

Seating is limited – Register early

8 CEU’s available

Cost: $125.00 – Early Registration by May 1, 2012
$160.00 – After May 1, 2012

Make Checks Payable to:
Functional Medicine Forum
665 Eldorado Blvd, Suite #434
Broomfield, Colorado 80021

Double click on flier below to view full size.

Thank You to our Sponsors

Colorado Functional Medicine Forum
Coming together to create a community of innovative, cutting-edge healthcare practitioners and social leaders through education

Donna Sigmond, MS, RD, LAc, LCh, Dipl OM, CLT, FAARFM, ABAAHP


Check out the AAC Classified Section! AAC members have the opportunity to post ads regarding their acupuncture practice. Employment, office space, etc. are a few of the options.

Click here

Submissions Requested for The American Acupuncturist

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing you to extend an invitation to submit your research articles, case studies, literature reviews to The American Acupuncturist, the professional quarterly journal of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. As you may know, the journal was accepted a few years ago for indexing by CINAHL, the Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. We are striving for further indexing, thereby increasing the reach and impact of the contributing authors’ works.

The staff of The American Acupuncturist is aggressively pursing the goal of getting the journal indexed in MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of over 18 million references to articles published in more than 5,500 current biomedical journals from the United States and over 80 foreign countries.

We extend, on a continuing basis, the invitation for you to submit articles. The next deadline, April 1, is for our summer issue. If you cannot meet this deadline, please submit at any time as we consider articles on an ongoing basis.

Before submitting your article please read our “Author Guidelines” that can be found under the Publications tab on the AAAOM website: This contains the submission link. You may also contact Associate Editor Lynn Eder for clarification of requirements.

Thank you for supporting and contributing to The AmericanAcupuncturist. We look forward to working with you to advance this profession together.

Jennifer Stone LAc
Editor in Chief

and the AAAOM Editorial Staff

Acudetox Bill Update

Dear AAC Members,

The acudetox bill, HB1141, went before the Health and Environment Committee last week and did not pass, primarily because key committee members were absent.  As I reported recently, the AAC had worked closely with the sponsor to forge a bill that we could support.

This week the sponsor, Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder, introduced a new acudetox bill that had to be different than the original bill in order to be considered by the committee. We were not consulted about this new bill and our lobbyist learned about it only one day before its introduction.  It included language unacceptable to the AAC.  We were able to insert some changes to the bill, but due to committee rules there was no opportunity to testify against this new bill, which passed.   This bill will enable mental health workers to perform 5-point ear acupuncture for acudetox, as did the first version.  Unfortunately, this version does not stipulate a minimum standard requirement for acudetox training, and supervision would be done as required through the mental health workers’ practice acts, not through an M.D. or L.Ac.

Fortunately, the bill is far from becoming law.  It has to pass the full Legislature and then go before the Senate committee and pass the full Senate.  We know that DORA has some issues with this bill as well, so there will undoubtedly be changes made to this bill before it goes any further.

As of today, the new bill language was not posted on the General Assembly website.

I will keep Colorado acupuncturists posted regarding the new acudetox bill and will let you know if we need support to make calls to legislators.

Linda Gibbons, L.Ac.

Legislative Chair AAC


Hello Colorado L.Ac’s.

Your Sunset Review Committee has continued to be hard at work. Here’s where we are now:

The Committee has reviewed the Acupuncture Practice Acts for most of the other states to get an idea of wording and concepts. We have also reviewed the Practice Acts for other related professions such as Nursing, P.T., O.T., etc. What we find consistently is that the wording of most Practice Acts is very broad – the details are in the rules of the state regulatory agencies, but legislators don’t like to haggle over the particulars.

After reviewing these Practice Acts, Valerie came up with some sample wording. I will be posting this in the next week or two after the Committee fine tunes it, but some of the basics are:

  • changing the word “oriental” to “Asian” or “East Asian” to keep up with current trends; the word “oriental” is widely seen as offensive (even though it exists quite clearly in many organization’s names.)
  • using the phrase “modern and traditional therapies” – this will allow us greater latitude in including functional medicine; i.e. ability to recommend dietary supplements, order lab work, etc.
  • specifically include the term “dry needling” in our Practice Act so we are never excluded from practicing our own medicine (sounds crazy, but it could happen!)

We will be meeting again with DORA at the end of February to go over this language and to discuss what our next steps will be.

Since we are starting to gain momentum in this process, I will be updating you more often via this Constant Contact, our facebook page and the AAC discussion list.  I apologize if this will be redundant and result in more emails for some of you, but we feel it is imperative for as many people as possible to be informed of this process.  We appreciate your understanding.

As always,  feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Nancy Bilello