- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Acupuncturists who lose licenses in other states can find an unregulated industry in Wyoming, and some industry professionals want that to change.

The Wyoming Acupuncture Society will urge state officials to set up a board that can establish minimum requirements for acupuncturists, reported the Casper Star-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2hU8Sb0).

Group members want the board to be able to sanction practitioners.

Similar legislative efforts have failed.

Current Wyoming law allows anyone to label themselves acupuncturists regardless of training.

Sunlight Acupuncture and Wellness owner Jude Sandoval and almost 20 people in the acupuncture society are pushing for the regulations.

“It is like the wild West here,” she said.

Sandoval plans to urge lawmakers in Cheyenne to introduce a bill during the legislative session starting Jan. 10. Sandoval said the regulations would give the Wyoming industry legitimacy.

She said some insurers do not cover the treatment because of Wyoming’s unregulated industry.

Acupuncture can treat pain as well as certain disorders and diseases.

“It still surprises me how it does work,” Sandoval said.

She also said the treatment can reduce opiate use.

“It seems as though there are people who really get a lot of benefit from it,” she said.

Alaska, South Dakota and Oklahoma also lack acupuncture regulations.

Sandoval said states including New York, Massachusetts and Oregon have had acupuncture regulations since the 1970s.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com


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