Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The Legal and Policy History of Acupuncture in Texas


1980's

1984 Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources Report: The Regulation of Acupuncture in Texas

1984 House Committee on Human Services Interim Report (see page 162)

1984 House Committee on Public Health Interim Report (see page 24)

Opinion No. JM-125 | February 16, 1984: determines medical board rules regulating acupuncture are unconstitutional.


1990's

1993 SB-1062 (effective 9/1/93) establishes acupuncture as a licensed profession.

Opinion No. DM-336 | March 21, 1995: on title usage by acupuncturists.

1995 SB-673 (effective 6/16/95): clarifies that chiropractic does not include incisive procedures - with the one clear exception of using needles for blood draws, as follows:

A person shall be regarded as practicing chiropractic within the meaning of this Act if the person...performs nonsurgical, nonincisive <uses adjustment, manipulation, or other> procedures, including but not limited to adjustment and manipulation, in order to improve the subluxation complex or the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system.

The practice of chiropractic shall not be construed to include: incisive or surgical procedures

and:

In this Act, "incisive or surgical procedure" includes but is not limited to making an incision into any tissue, cavity,or organ by any person or implement.  It does not include the use of a needle for the purpose of drawing blood for diagnostic testing,

Opinion No. DM-415 | September 23, 1996: determines acupuncture to not be within the scope of chiropractic.

1997 SB-361 (effective 9/1/97): Against the will of the acupuncture community and at the behest of the chiropractic association the legislature changes the definition of acupuncture from "the insertion of an acupuncture needle" to "the non-surgical, non-incisive insertion of an acupuncture needle".

Opinion No. DM-471 | March 30, 1998: based on new "non-incisive" definition of acupuncture, determines acupuncture is within the scope of chiropractic.


2001

Opinion No. JC-0379 | May 23, 2001: The TBCE asks if spinal manipulation is within the scope of Licensed Acupuncturists. The AG concludes Tui Na is not within the statutory definition of the practice of acupuncture.


2013

April 10, 2013 TAAOM testifies on dry needling

May 23, 2013 TSBAE sends request for a review of DM-471 to Attorney General Greg Abbott. The AG declines to take up the issue.


2014

February 5, 2014 TAAOM files petition in Travis County District Court seeking a Declaratory Judgment against the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

July 31, 2014 TSBAE notifies the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners that dry needling is acupuncture and that PTs practicing dry needling are considered to be practicing acupuncture without a license.

October 31, 2014 Meeting between the Chairs of TSBAE and Physical Therapy Board.

October 31, 2014 TAAOM's Motion for Summary Judgment and  Defendant's Motion filed.

November 21, 2014 Response to Motions filed: TAAOM's and TBCE's.

December 5, 2014 TAAOM's Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment and TBCE's Reply.


2015

TAAOM v. TBCE to the Third Court of Appeals:

February 4, 2015 Court order denying TAAOM's Motion for Summary Judgment

August 10, 2015 TAAOM Appellate Brief filed in Austin Third Court of Appeals

October 14, 2015 TBCE Motion to Strike and Appellee's Brief

October 29, 2015 TAAOM response to Motion to Strike

November 18, 2015 Reply Brief of Appellant TAAOM

December 2, 2015 Oral arguments are heard in TAAOM v. TBCE

Here are the Amicus Briefs filed with the Third Court of Appeals in support of TAAOM:

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The Accreditation Commision for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine

The Student Associations of AOMA and ACAOM

The Texas Medical Association

The Chiropractic Society of Texas

The International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations

And the lone Amicus opposing TAAOM submitted by the Texas Chiropractic Association

Dry Needling in Texas

April 7, 2015 TAAOM written testimony to House Public Health Committee opposing HB1263, which would allow Physical Therapists to practice without physician referral.

November 9, 2015 TSBAE requests AG Opinion on Dry Needling by Physical Therapists

December 10, 2015 Texas Board of PT Examiners response

December 14, 2015 TAAOM provides supporting documentation to the TSBAE opinion request on dry needling.


2016

April 22, 2016 TAAOM public comments to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission on the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Sunset Staff Report

Opinion No. KP-0082 | May 9, 2016 on trigger point dry needling by physical therapists

June 23, 2016 TAAOM provides public testimony to the Sunset Commission on the PT Board. The meeting archived is archived here. The PT Board board testimony is at time stamp 4:22:35, TAAOM at 5:49:25.

August 18, 2016 Third Court of Appeals issues Opinion in TAAOM vs TBCE, effectively rendering AG Opinion DM-471 null.

October 4, 2016 TAAOM files Motion for Rehearing in litigation with TBCE.

November 16, 2016 TAAOM provides public comments to the Sunset Commission on the Chiropractic Board.

December 9, 2016 TAAOM members provide oral testimony to the Sunset Commission on the practice of acupuncture in Texas as part of the Texas Medical Board's Sunset review. Testimony is here, at time stamp 3:59:25.

December 29, 2016 TBCE Response to TAAOM Motion for Rehearing .


2017

January 6, 2017 Senator Kirk Watson proposes a new item for inclusion in the Texas Medical Board's Sunset bill which would require Doctors of Chiropractic to have a license issued by the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners in order to practice acupuncture.

January 10, 2017 TAAOM Reply in Support of Motion for Rehearing