Education Law

Article 160, Acupuncture

§8210. Introduction | §8211. Definitions | §8212. Practice of acupuncture and use of title "licensed acupuncturist" or "certified acupuncturist" | §8213. State board for acupuncture | §8214. Requirements for a professional license | §8215. Limited permits | §8216. Exemptions; waiver

§8210. Introduction.

This article applies to the profession of acupuncture. The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title apply to this article.


§8211. Definitions.

As used in this article the following terms shall have the following meanings:

    1. "Profession of acupuncture" is the treating, by means of mechanical, thermal or electrical stimulation effected by the insertion of needles or by the application of heat, pressure or electrical stimulation at a point or combination of points on the surface of the body predetermined on the basis of the theory of the physiological interrelationship of body organs with an associated point or combination of points for diseases, disorders and dysfunctions of the body for the purpose of achieving a therapeutic or prophylactic effect.
    2. Each acupuncturist licensed pursuant to this article, shall advise each patient as to the importance of consulting with a licensed physician regarding the patient's condition and shall keep on file with the patient's records, a form attesting to the patient's notice of such advice. Such form shall be in duplicate, one copy to be retained by the patient, signed and dated by both the acupuncturist and the patient and shall be prescribed in the following manner:

      WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, DO AFFIRM THAT (THE PATIENT) HAS BEEN ADVISED BY, (A LICENSED ACUPUNCTURIST), TO CONSULT A PHYSICIAN REGARDING THE CONDITION OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH SUCH PATIENT SEEKS ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT.

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  1. "Board" is the state board for acupuncture as created by section eighty-two hundred thirteen of this article.

§8212. Practice of acupuncture and use of title "licensed acupuncturist" or "certified acupuncturist".

Only a person licensed or authorized pursuant to section eighty-two hundred fourteen of this article or certified pursuant to section eighty-two hundred sixteen of this article shall practice acupuncture. Only a person licensed pursuant to section eighty-two hundred fourteen of this article shall use the title "licensed acupuncturist" and only a person certified pursuant to section eighty-two hundred sixteen of this article shall use the title "certified acupuncturist".


§8213. State board for acupuncture.

  1. There is hereby established within the department a state board for acupuncture. The board shall consist of not less than eleven members to be appointed by the board of regents on the recommendation of the commissioner for the purpose of assisting the board of regents and the department on matters of professional licensing and professional conduct in accordance with section sixty-five hundred eight of this chapter, four of whom shall be licensed acupuncturists, four of whom shall be licensed physicians certified to use acupuncture and three of whom shall be public members representing the consumer and community. Of the acupuncturists first appointed to the board, one may be a registered specialist's assistant-acupuncture provided that the term of such registered specialist's assistant-acupuncture shall not be more than four years. Of the members first appointed, three shall be appointed for a one year term, three shall be appointed for a two year term and three shall be appointed for a three year term, and two shall be appointed for a four year term. Thereafter all members shall serve for five year terms. In the event that more than eleven members are appointed, a majority of the additional members shall be licensed acupuncturists. The members of the board shall select one of themselves as chairman to serve for a one year term.
  2. An executive secretary to the board shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner.
  3. The board of regents and the commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations as they deem necessary and appropriate to effectuate the provisions of this article.

§8214. Requirements for a professional license.

To qualify for a license as a licensed acupuncturist an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements.

  1. Application: file an application with the department;
  2. Education: provide evidence of satisfactory completion of a course of formal study or its substantial equivalent in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  3. Experience: have experience in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  4. Examination: pass an examination satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations. Such examination shall be given at least once within twelve months of the effective date of this article, and at least once annually thereafter, and shall consist of both written and practical parts. Either part may be given at the discretion of the department in English and/or Chinese or other language. Nothing in this subdivision is to be construed to require the department to issue an exam in a language other than English. The practical part of the exam must be directly administered by an acupuncturist acceptable to the department, who may also be a member of the board. The cost of the initial examination or reexamination shall be borne by the applicant in accordance with a schedule established by the department and approved by the director of the budget;
  5. Age: be at least twenty-one years of age;
  6. Character: be of good moral character as determined by the department;
  7. Fees: pay a fee of five hundred dollars to the department for initial licensure, and a fee of two hundred fifty dollars for each triennial registration;
  8. Registration: if a license is granted, register triennially with the department, including present home and business address and such other pertinent information as the department requires.

§8215. Limited permits.

  1. The department shall issue a limited permit to an applicant who meets all requirements for admission to the licensing examination;
  2. All practice under a limited permit shall be under the supervision of a licensed or certified acupuncturist in a public hospital, an incorporated hospital or clinic, a licensed proprietary hospital, a licensed nursing home, a public health agency, the office of a licensed or certified acupuncturist or in the civil service of the federal or state government;
  3. Limited permits shall be for one year and may be renewed at the discretion of the department for one additional year;
  4. Supervision of a permittee by a licensed or certified acupuncturist shall be on-site supervision and not necessarily direct personal supervision;
  5. No practitioner shall supervise more than one permittee;
  6. The fee for each limited permit and for each renewal shall be determined by the department.

§8216. Exemptions; waiver.

  1. A person who is validly registered as a "specialist's assistant-acupuncture" in accordance with section sixty-five hundred forty-one of this chapter and the commissioner's regulations shall not be subject to the provisions of this article;
  2. Any person who is validly licensed under the provisions of the former chapter nine hundred fifty-nine of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-four is deemed to be licensed pursuant to this article;
  3. Any person who is validly certified under the provisions of the former chapter nine hundred fifty-nine of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-four shall continue to be certified to practice acupuncture and may continue to use the title certified acupuncturist. The department may establish rules and regulations providing for the certification of physicians and dentists as acupuncturists, provided that such certified acupuncturists do not represent themselves as licensed acupuncturists. Certified acupuncturists seeking to become licensed acupuncturists shall be subject to all provisions of this article;
  4. A person who does not otherwise possess the credentials or qualifications required for the practice of acupuncture prescribed by this article or the regulations promulgated hereunder or any other law but who is authorized by the division of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the division of substance abuse services, or the department of health to provide treatment for alcoholism, substance dependence, or chemical dependency in a hospital or clinical program which has been approved for such treatment by the division of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the division of substance abuse services, or the department of health and who has been trained to practice acupuncture for the treatment of alcoholism, substance dependence, or chemical dependency through an educational program acceptable to the education department may nevertheless practice acupuncture provided such practice is limited to the treatment of alcoholism, substance dependence, or chemical dependency in such clinical or hospital programs, or in a program that if statutorily exempt from such approval meets standards approved by the division of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the division of substance abuse services, or the department of health, and further provided that such practice is done in accordance with regulations promulgated by the division of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the division of substance abuse services, or the department of health. Such person shall work only under the general supervision of a physician or dentist certified to practice acupuncture or an individual licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of New York pursuant to this article. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation to the contrary, persons authorized on or before the effective date of this article to practice acupuncture for the treatment of alcoholism, substance dependence, or chemical dependency within a hospital or clinical program which has been approved for such treatment by the division of alcoholism and alcohol abuse, the division of substance abuse services, or the department of health may nevertheless continue to practice acupuncture under the provisions of this subdivision;
  5. Any person who is pursuing qualification for licensure through a course of formal study pursuant to this article may practice acupuncture without a license, provided such practice is limited to such study;
  6. Any person who has completed a formal course of study or a tutorial apprenticeship acceptable to the department and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations, prior to the effective date of this article, and presents satisfactory proof of such completion, shall be exempt from the education requirements set forth in subdivision two of section eighty-two hundred fourteen of this article provided an application pursuant to subdivision one of section eighty-two hundred fourteen of this article is filed with the department not later than one year from the effective date of this article, and in no event shall participation in such tutorial apprenticeship or formal course of study constitute a violation of this chapter.
  7. Any person who is pursuing qualification for certification through a formal course of study in a registered program and any person appointed to the faculty of such program may practice acupuncture without a license, provided that such practice is limited to such research, study and training.
Last Updated: August 19, 2009