On May 24th, 2012, the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which regulates chiropractors, met at 1pm to consider a proposed rule that, if passed, would allow chiropractors to claim that they are specialists in acupuncture after only 300 hours of training. Considering that licensed acupuncturists are required to obtain 1,350 hours of training, along with another 450 hours in herbal studies, the proposed rule has shocked and appalled the Austin acupuncture community. Even more shocking is that none of the 300 required hours would have to be spent in a clinical setting, a key part of the training that acupuncturists get before becoming a certified L.Ac. William Morris, president and CEO of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine was quoted in the Austin Statesman, saying “My concern is not hours, its competencies. It’s real easy to teach to a test so you can pass a test, but with that clinical performance requirement missing, there’s no way they can guarantee public safety. And it’s misleading.” As a licensed acupuncturist with over 10 years of experience, I have to agree. Without the proper training, performing acupuncture on a patient who trusts in your knowledge as a “specialist” is reckless and dangerous, potentially leading to mistakes that can cause nerve damage and other complications. Though the ruling didn’t pass, I believe it’s important to inform my Austin acupuncture patients, and anyone considering acupuncture for the first time, about what to look for in a practitioner. Because chiropractors are currently able to perform acupuncture in Austin with a mere 100 hours of training, I encourage you to look for a practitioner with an Acupuncture License(L.Ac.), such as myself, to ensure that you’re receiving a safe and effective Acupuncture treatment.