American Society of Acupuncturists
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a national organization that is committed to maintaining high professional standards for acupuncturists and increasing access to the best acupuncture and Asian medicine. NMSAAM works at the state level to help acupuncturists provide high quality treatments to the most patients possible; the ASA works on the national level to do the same things. Of course you can find out much more about the ASA by going to their site www.asacu.org.
The ASA was officially incorporated in 2015. NMSAAM was proud to host the first meeting of the ASA Council of State Associations (CSA) in March of 2016. The ASA is a 501c6 non-profit just like NMSAAM. Though the organization as a separate corporation is relatively new, the people involved are long time leaders of the profession and have been working together, in some form, for over a decade. The CSA originated as part of the AAAOM, but eventually decided that a more formal structure was needed in order to optimize the efforts of the state associations. For more background, see the article in Acupuncture Today from current ASA Board Chair David Miller announcing the formation of the ASA in 2015.
State associations, like NMSAAM, join the ASA as members, and all the individual acupuncturists who are members of the state association become members of the ASA. This has several advantages. The main one is that Individual acupuncturists only pay dues once, to their state association. Another key benefit is that many state associations have resources that can benefit the profession nationwide and the ASA doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel to take advantage of them. Because NMSAAM is a member of the ASA, Every NMSAAM member is a member of the ASA!
Each member association gets to appoint two representatives to the Council of State Associations, which is the policy making and guiding body of the ASA. The Council then elects a board of directors of the ASA and the board implements the policy set by the council and runs the organization. The two NMSAAM representatives to the ASA are Steven Malins and Lindsay Meade. If you have questions about the ASA, or want to be more involved you can contact Steven at [email protected]
More than Acupuncture
Every acupuncturist knows that acupuncture is only a part of the medicine that we practice. Much thought was put in to selecting a name that both conveyed who the organization was and was succinct. Acupuncturists are not just needle pokers. The ASA is committed to supporting acupuncturists in the practice of Asian medicine to it fullest expression and scope. The title acupuncturists was chosen, partly, because of the new Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) occupational code that will go into effect in 2018. This is a huge step to defining our profession, for more information see the NCAAOM page dedicated to this long process. The founding state associations of the ASA worked in conjunction with the NCCAOM during this process; so it seemed only fitting that we use the name acupuncturists in our new organization.