The practice of acupuncture: the practice of medicine based upon traditional oriental medical theories; primarily the insertion of metal needles through the skin at certain points on the body, with or without the use of herbs, with or without the application of electric current, and with or without the application of heat to the needles, skin, or both, in an attempt to relieve pain or improve bodily function. Electroacupuncture, whether utilizing electrodes on the surface of the skin or current applied to inserted needles, and laser acupuncture are considered the practice of acupuncture.

A. Acupuncture shall include, but not be limited to:
  1. Auricular, hand, nose, face, foot and/or scalp acupuncture therapy;
  2. Stimulation to acupuncture points and channels by use of any of the following:
    • Needles, moxibustion, cupping, thermal methods, magnets, gwua-sha, scraping techniques, acupatches, herbal poultices, ion cord linking acupuncture devices with wires, hot and cold packs, TDP (electro magnetic wave therapy), and lasers.
    • Manual stimulation, including stimulation by an instrument or mechanical device that does not pierce the skin); massage, acupressure, reflexology, shiatsu and tui na.
    • Electrical stimulation including electro-acupuncture, percutaneous and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
B. Acupuncture diagnostic technique shall include but not be limited to the use of observation, listening, smelling, inquiring, palpation, pulses, tongue, physiognomy, five element correspondences, ryodoraku, akabani, German electro-acupuncture, Kirlian photography and thermography.

C. The needles used in acupuncture shall be solid filiform instruments which shall include but not be limited to: dermal needles, plum blossom needles, press needles, prismatic needles and disposal lancets. The use of staples in the practice of acupuncture shall be prohibited.

D. Adjunctive therapies shall include but not be limited to: 1. oriental nutritional counseling, herbology, and the recommendation of nonprescription substances which meet the Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements as dietary supplements to promote health. 2. recommendation of breathing techniques and therapeutic exercises; and 3. lifestyle, behavioral, supportive, educational and stress counseling.

E. Acupuncturist means any person licensed under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 112, s.s. 149 to 162, inclusive, to practice acupuncture.



This information is provided by the Board of Registration in Medicine.