World Health Organization (WHO)"
In 1966 when I cheerfully entered the profession of chiropractic by beginning my formal education, little did I know I would be engaged in a fight for my very professional, social and virtual existence for what has now been close to 40 years. Little did I know there would be numerous associations, companies, government agencies, professions and individuals who would prefer to eliminate me and my kind. I had no idea the great healing profession, chiropractic, I had entered would have so many enemies. In 1971 when I began my practice, acupuncture was not accepted by anyone except a handful of radical medical and chiropractic doctors and millions of hopeful patients nationally. There was no such thing as an acupuncturist. Thanks to the wonderful early education in acupuncture offered by a few of the colleges of chiropractic, my personal practice thrived. Interestingly enough the very profession of acupuncture which I helped pioneer in this country is now on the attack against D.C.s, who practice acupuncture. The acupuncturists’ criticism and completely unfounded basis is that D.C.’s and M.D.’s are untrained in acupuncture and a danger to society due to their education being considerably less than the typical acupuncture school. As I write for “Dynamic Chiropractic” concerning issues relating to the politics of chiropractic and acupuncture (see ChiroWeb.com Amaro) the e-mail, phone calls, and letters with hate responses and name-calling, from people outside of the chiropractic profession cannot be overlooked.
It seems I am consistently consulting with a State Chiropractic Association or State Board whose acupuncture credentialing or usage is being challenged by acupuncturist organizations. Some States are in the process of expanding their chiropractic scope of practice to include acupuncture, I have been involved in that fight as well. I constantly hear the same worn out argument that “we’re trained (acupuncturists) and you’re not”! We are continually being whittled on and attacked and this time it is from the acupuncturists that want us eliminated at all costs.
The following published report on the World Health Organization guidelines for acupuncture education is extremely significant. I highly suggest every State Association and Board review this material and use it constructively for the establishment of acupuncture within their state scope of practice. I also refer you to my article “The Bottom Line” and “Do Chiropractic and Medical physicians have the right to practice acupuncture?”. These two articles are very strong resources.
We in the chiropractic profession are extremely well trained in acupuncture and all of the programs being offered today thru chiropractic colleges specifically meet the WHO guidelines for Level three specific to the training of “qualified physicians and certain other medical graduates”. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners now tests specifically for acupuncture and The American Chiropractic Association has just established the “College of Chiropractic Acupuncture”. Diplomate status (DACCA) will be available soon. Contact me for further information.
The Core Syllabus for education in acupuncture as recommended by WHO is specific to both Level one and Level three of the WHO guidelines for all chiropractic colleges offering acupuncture as a postgraduate program. The word physician when used implies “doctor” and medical/medicine refers to the healing arts. Therefore the practice of chiropractic, podiatry, osteopathy and dentistry are included in the WHO descriptions.
The majority of this
article is taken directly from the WHO guidelines.
one: which identifies those “with little
or no formal training or experience in modern Western health care”.
Level number two: lays out the guidelines for “full training in acupuncture for qualified physicians” This guideline specifically states “Qualified physicians who already have adequate knowledge and skills in modern Western medicine, would only need to follow the Core Syllabus for acupuncture. The theoretical course could be shortened, as qualified physicians can learn traditional medicine more easily than those with no prior medical education”. The guidelines for level two full training of physicians are 500 hours of theory 500 hours of clinical and 500 hours of supervised practice.
Level number three: Is specifically categorized in the WHO guidelines as “Limited training in acupuncture for qualified physicians”. This category is specific to those medical, osteopathic, chiropractic, podiatric, dental and other professionals having attained the degree of “doctor” in the healing arts. This category would include the practice of acupuncture within the scope of their licensed profession and utilized as an adjunct to their usual practice. The guidelines specifically states: “Shorter training courses would be suitable for qualified physicians (and certain other graduates) who wish to become competent in acupuncture as a form of therapy in modern Western clinical practice (or as a subject for scientific research). For them a brief introduction to traditional acupuncture (derived from the Core Syllabus) would probably suffice and the training would then be largely orientated to the use of acupuncture in modern Western medicine. The course should comprise at least 200 hours of formal training and should include the following components:
of the course and after passing an official examination, participants
should be able to integrate acupuncture into their clinical work or specialty.
Level number four: Relating to the training of primary health care personnel which consists of allied practitioners such as physical therapist, dental and medical assistants, nurses, inhalation therapists, and those having direct patient contact that are not “doctors/physicians”. The WHO guideline states, “It would seem wiser ….to train such personnel in acupressure (zhi ya) rather than in acupuncture itself. Training in acupressure would make no great demands, could be incorporated into the general training of primary health care personnel and would carry no risk to the patient. The use of acupressure in primary health care would have to be evaluated after a suitable trial period. Some personnel who show particular aptitude might be chosen for basic training in acupuncture, a training programme being arranged according to the applications envisaged”.
Acupuncture as practiced
by qualified chiropractic/medical physicians is extremely easy to learn
and to establish into a clinical practice. It may be practiced with simple
electronic stimulation completely eliminating the use for needle penetration.
It is a reimbursable therapy which when used electronically is often referred
to as trans cutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS). It may also
be used with needle penetration and referred to as acupuncture. Remember,
just like chiropractic, “Acupuncture is a principle not a technique”.
It may be utilized by a variety of stimulation modalities.
John A. Amaro D.C.,
FIAMA, Dipl.Ac., L.Ac.