Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners

Jan 6, 2017 TAAOM meets with TBCE Rules Committee on petition to amend rule §78.14 pertaining to acupuncture, and submits written comments.

November 8, 2016 TAAOM Petitions TBCE on a rulemaking proposal related to §78.14 pertaining to acupuncture.

Feb 5, 2014 TAAOM files suit against TBCE in Travis County District Court. See Legal and Policy History of Acupuncture in Texas.

November 21, 2013 TBCE proposes specialty rule under guise of "advertising"

TAAOM submits public comment in opposition.

May 23, 2013 TSBAE sends request to Attorney General seeking a review of AG Opinion DM-471

May 23, 2013 TBCE adopts Amendment to Rule 75.21

February 21, 2013 TBCE Board Meeting

TBCE dismisses TAAOM opposition to proposed rule changes, but postpones adoption. You can listen to the full board meeting here.

February 19, 2013 Public Hearing on Amendment to Rule 75.21

Will Morris and Wally Doggett testified in opposition to proposed changes. TBCE allowed us only to state our case for the public record. There were no questions asked, and no questions answered. Here is TAAOM President Wally Doggett's public testimony.

December 2012: Amendment to Rule 75.21 clarifying chiropractic scope and acupuncture proposed

Here is the proposed rule change. While on the surface a seemingly innocuous clarification of scope, the intention of which is allegedly to articulate that Doctors of Chiropractic are by scope limited to treating the musculo-skeletal system and biomechanics of the body with acupuncture, TAAOM opposed the adoption of the proposed changes based on the following:

1) Doctors of Chiropractic use their "subluxation complex" theory to justify the treatment essentially of any disorder, and there is no way to realistically enforce the proposed rule. The TBCE already has a 100 hour training requirement for DCs to practice acupuncture, but no process in place to verify or enforce this training requirement - so we believe this clarification of scope may sound good on paper, but is in fact hollow.

2) In April 2012, as part of the ongoing TBCE and Texas Chiropractic Association lawsuit with the Texas Medical Board and Texas Medical Association, the Texas Third Court of Appeals voided several sections of TBCE rule language, including 75.17(a)(3) which reads, "Needles may be used in the practice of chiropractic under standards set forth by the Board but may not be used for procedures that are incisive or surgical."

The entire court opinion is here.

Our position is that the voiding of this language  calls into question TBCE's authority to make rules around the use of needles period, and so too rules around acupuncture.

Here is TAAOM's letter opposing the amendment to 75.21 and request for a public hearing.

August 2012

TBCE backs off of proposed specialty rules in nutrition and neurology

Stakeholders and legislators weighed in to put pressure on the TBCE, and all specialty rule making is ceased for now. TBCE is exploring a way forward, analyzing national trends and other state boards' handling of chiropractic specialties.

July 11, 2012 Roundtable with TBCE and acupuncture stakeholders

Representatives of the acupuncture community including Wally Doggett (TAAOM), Lisa Lin and Po Chang (TCTCM and TAA), Will Morris (AOMA), Allen Cline and Rochelle Webb (TSBAE) met with the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners ad hoc committee on acupuncture. Representing the TBCE were Yvette Yarbrough (Executive Director), and board members Patrick Thomas, Janet Kirben, and Karen Campion. Also participating were representatives from the two chiropractic colleges in Texas, and the two chiropractic associations in Texas. Together, the acupuncture stakeholders made a persuasive argument against passing a rule designating chiropractors as specialists in acupuncture with a minimal number of hours training and no clinical component.

May 2012: Chiropractic board tables acupuncture specialty rule

Here is a copy of the letter submitted to the TBCE in opposition.

And here are the articles from the Austin American Statesman:

Proposed acupuncture designation for chiropractors drawing opposition

Board withdraws rule to allow chiropractic specialty in acupuncture

Board withdraws proposal to allow Texas chiropractors to specialize in acupuncture

February 2012: Specialty in Acupuncture Rule Proposed

The State Board of Chiropractic Examiners has proposed a new rule that would recognize acupuncture as an area of chiropractic specialization with a mere 300 hours training.

You can read the rule in its entirety here.

TAAOM's position is the rule is misguided. It is misleading, and sets too low a standard for practice. We have submitted over 2000 signatures and comments in opposition to the rule thus far.

The mission of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners is to promote, preserve, and protect the health, safety, and economic welfare of the people of Texas through the regulation of the practice of chiropractic.


The Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners exists to ensure the highest quality professionals serve Texas chiropractic patients effectively and ethically.

The proposed rule is outside the TBCE's mission. It does not protect the health, safety, and economic welfare of the people of Texas, nor does it ensure the highest quality professionals are serving patients effectively and ethically.

The language of the rule is also flawed. For example, one route to recognition as an acupuncture specialist is via becoming a "Diplomate in acupuncture from a recognized CCE-accredited institution/post graduate entity." There are two problems with this:

1) CCE (Council of Chiropractic Education) accredited institutions do not grant Diplomate status in acupuncture, and 2) The CCE has no authority over post graduate education in any profession - much less acupuncture. Their oversight is limited to doctoral programs in chiropractic.

While the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture offers a board exam (the requirement for which is 300 hours training) and confers Diplomate status, the Chiropractic board rule is worded such that it does not actually require sitting for a board exam.

That these 300 hour trainings apparently also include training in Chinese herbal medicine is of concern. To put things in perspective, to obtain an acupuncture license in Texas, in herbal studies alone, 450 hours training are required. Graduates from Texas acupuncture schools also have over 900 clinical hours. There is no clinical requirement to being a chiropractic acupuncture specialist.

And last, the continuing education requirement for this recognized specialty is three hours (clean needle technique only) every five years.

July 2009: TBCE Adopts 100 Hour Acupuncture Training Requirement for Chiropractors

Despite stakeholder opposition, TBCE adopts Rule 75.21 re-defining acupuncture by board rule and articulating a 100 training requirement for Doctors of Chiropractic to practice acupuncture.

After adopting this rule, TBCE accepted input from acupuncture stakeholders.

June 2006: TBCE Includes Acupuncture in Scope of Practice Rule

TBCE adopts Rule 75.12, which includes acupuncture in a list of procedures considered by the TBCE to be within the scope of practice.