August 10th, 2011


Turf Wars between Oregon Acupuncturists and Chiropractors

I'm not going to get involved in this fight among alternative practitioners, but the struggle for scope of practice is continuous. Naturopathic medicine is in effect the natural health practitioners left behind when chiropractic gained wide acceptance and licensing. The history is ugly, with practitioners ganging up on and deserting each other, everybody seeking recognition and respect.

I am currently studying under a chiropractor who uses "dry needling". I also have shadowed several acupuncturists (who are also ND's) and from what I have seen, I could probably do some therapeutic needling myself, but I do not intend to do so. I will refer to a local acupuncturist when I believe that a condition will respond to needling, but not because I believe in the whole Chinese medicine system of channels and energy. I will do it because I believe in the science.

The OAAOM has filed a legal challenge in the Court of Appeals against the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners' rule OAR 811-015-0036 that chiropractors can perform "dry needling" with only 24 hours of education. An injunction to stay the rule until the legal challenge is heard (3-6 months) was also filed.

The Court of Appeals Appellate Commissioner issued a Stay Order dated July 29, 2011, which suspends the new rule until the issue is resolved by a full panel of judges after hearing a full presentation of the arguments.

Total legal cost is estimated at $30,000. We (OAAOM) are represented by Landye Bennett Blumstein with Thane Tienson as our lawyer.

*new tags: chiropractic, acupuncture