Published September 30, 2020

Acupuncture Medicine Day

On October 24, 2020, in honor of Acupuncture Medicine Day, the ASA and NCCAOM came together to celebrate Diversity and Community in the Acupuncture Profession. The webinar event, comprised of four panel discussions, was designed to help practitioners learn how cultural competence can positively affect patient safety and efficacy of treatment within our local communities and through global outreach. Through cultural appreciation, we honor ourselves, our patients and our communities, thereby increasing the strength of our Acupuncture Medicine treatments. Descriptions, recordings, and PowerPoint slides are available below.

Cultural Competency Self Assessment

Cultural Competency Resource Guide

Panel 1: Cultural Appreciation/Appropriation PanelRecordingPowerPoint

We will learn a brief history of Acupuncture Medicine Day, and the importance of cultural competence in our profession. We will learn about cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation in acupuncture. While incorporating different elements of ourselves into our treatments, we have to be cautious to avoid cultural appropriation. This panel will discuss ways to ensure patient safety through cultural appreciation and being culturally appropriate.



Panel 2: Community Outreach Panel


Acupuncture access for patients is a main concern, as noted in the results of our Cultural Competency survey. How do we reach our underserved populations? Our panelists didn’t wait for someone to come up with an answer to address those needs! We present 4 speakers who saw a healthcare need in their communities and did what was needed to help through acupuncture.  These speakers have created access and a more equitable playing field for the underserved and disenfranchised members of local communities.  We will learn how they reached out to local underserved communities. Speakers will discuss their journeys and program and share the ideas they have to provide acupuncture outreach out to their communities and/or underserved communities.  Advice on how to do this while being culturally appropriate will be shared.








Panel 3: Global Outreach PanelRecordingPowerPoint

Just as our Local Outreach Panel reached out to their local communities, these speakers chose to reach out globally. We learn how they decided to reach out to the international communities they served. Speakers will discuss their program and how they provide Acupuncture Medicine to reach out to international communities. We will learn how acupuncture through the NADA protocol was used to help Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria and the efforts of the Global Acupuncture Project in Uganda. In Guatemala, local community health promoters work with international Spanish speaking acupuncturists to provide basic TCM to their communities. We will learn about the importance of cultural appropriateness and cultural humility through global outreach work.








Panel 4: Cultural Celebration PanelRecordingPowerPoint

Celebrate cultural diversity with this panel! Our patients’ cultures when combined with the practitioners’ cultural identities create fully enriched treatment experiences. Our panelists will discuss the role of gender & sexuality, racial and cultural diversity in their patient treatment experiences.  We will learn how to be better practitioners by understanding the cultures of our patients and our cultures new ideas (such as cultural aspects of diet, celebrations), issues regarding different diagnostics, health literacy and communication. We will learn examples of how appropriate linguistics and behavior is used to increase acupuncture treatment efficacy and to increase patient safety through cultural competency in practice.








Speaker Bios:Ninochka McTaggart, PhD,

is a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and published author with comprehensive expertise on issues of race, gender, and inequality. She is also the co-author of the book: White Privilege: The Persistence of Racial Hierarchy in a Culture of Denial. She is a senior researcher at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She was a guest curator at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles to launch a cultural exhibition focused on Asian Americans in Hip Hop,  providing exposure to underrepresented racial groups within popular culture. Over 10 years’ experience in media research, data analysis, qualitative research methods and creative development. Highly experienced in investigating and developing focused, research-based tools, strategies and initiatives that promote understanding, exposure and commitment to equitable solutions. Organized and effective communicator who is well versed in project management, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation skills.

To purchase: White Privilege: The Persistence of Racial Hierarchy in a Culture of Denial


Nadine Ijaz, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto. As a scholar and educator working towards more inclusive and socially-just health systems, she conducts research in the area of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine, where she takes a critical, transdisciplinary approach to studying health policy, medical epistemology and education. She brings to this work a rigorous training in qualitative research methodologies, a knowledge of contemporary bioscientific approaches, and a social justice informed lens.

She is currently Co-Investigator on a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study the statutory regulation of traditional and complementary medical professions.



Joseph Acquah, LAc, OMD, Dipl.Ac. is a founding member of the clinical staff and integrative medicine specialist at the University of California, San Francisco’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He participates in all three departments of the Osher Center: Clinic, Education and Research, and he regularly teaches medical students at UCSF.

He began practicing acupuncture in 1981 and he began his studies in tai chi chuan in 1971. Joseph also has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. In 1995, Essence Magazine named Joseph as one of the top 100 alternative practitioners in the United States. He is the former Clinical Director and Internship Coordinator for the California Acupuncture College, served as an expert consultant for the State of California Acupuncture Examination Committee, and has taught at several colleges including Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine, New England School of Acupuncture, and American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.


Zaid Haynes, A.P. is a trainer with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. He is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture as taught by the late Dr. James T.Y. So at the New England School of Acupuncture. Licensed and certified in Florida since 1982, he has been certified by NADA as an addictions specialist since 1985. He has worked in a variety of treatment environments (hospital, clinics, drug treatment programs/drug courts). He has also conducted a number of trainings esp. for NADA as well as seminars on Acupuncture and holistic medicine. Hofstra University (B.S.), The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Graduate).  He has run Detox Centers in St Louis, MO.


Misha Ruth Cohen, OMD, LAc, Dipl CH, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM) is the Executive Director of the Misha Ruth Cohen Education Foundation, which runs the HIV Care Wellness Program of Quan Yin Healing Center. She is the director of Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine, and a former Research Specialist of Integrative Medicine at the University of California Institute for Health and Aging, all in San Francisco. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Society for Integrative Oncology and is active in SIO. Dr. Cohen has been practicing traditional Asian medicine for the past 45 years.

After attending Oberlin College, Misha Cohen, OMD, L.Ac., was trained in acupuncture at Lincoln Hospital’s Detox Program in the South Bronx under the auspices of the Quebec School of Acupuncture. After moving to California, she continued her studies in Chinese traditional medicine, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine at the San Francisco College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She received her doctorate in gynecology from SFCAOM in 1987.

The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine certifies her nationally in acupuncture and herbal medicine. For more than thirty-five years, she has developed treatment protocols for people with HIV/AIDS. She was a member of the Ad Hoc Subpanel on Alternative and Complementary Therapy Research of the NIH Office of AIDS Research and in 1996 was selected by POZ Magazine as one of 50 top AIDS researchers.

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Cissy Majebe, OMD, LicAc, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM) is the President of Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, NC. She is the former chairperson of the North Carolina Acupuncture Licensing Board (NCALB) and current chair of NCALB’s Operations Committee. Dr. Majebe received her Oriental Medicine Doctor degree from the International Institute for Chinese Medicine, and her Masters in Acupuncture from the American College of Chinese Medicine. Daoist Traditions College’s partnership with Haywood Street Ministries in treating the underserved population of Asheville is sponsored by Traditional Acupuncture Foundation (TAF). TAF is a 501c3 whose mission is to provide Acupuncture care to the medically underserved, provide educational opportunities for students entering the Acupuncture profession and support the growth of the Acupuncture profession.

Support the the work of the Traditional Acupuncture Foundation with the underserved and homeless population

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Rhonda Sapp, DOM., M.Ac., NADA RT is the owner of Better! Acupuncture Health Care in Baltimore City where she is also Director of Acupuncture and Holistic Services at Penn North Recovery Center. Since graduating from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in 1999 she has provided care for vulnerable populations in programs for people with substance use disorders at the Women’s Detention Center, Recovery in Community and the Howard County Health Department, people who are HIV +(HERO) , and those who are disabled and on Medicaid (AMI) . In 2001, she testified at the state house in Annapolis about the efficacy of NADA to help pass House Bill 1270 to allow MD health professionals who work in addictions to learn the NADA protocol.

During her doctoral clinical work, she worked at Kaufman Cancer Institute (UM). Her 8 years as the Associate Director of AOM at Tai Sophia/MUIH taught her administrative tools that are helping her as she is founding a non-profit in Baltimore called, Better! Health Equity which will provide acupuncture and holistic services to populations that historically do not have access to the privileged health modality known as acupuncture.  As a registered trainer for NADA she helped develop the first online NADA training pilot and is dedicated to training all the eligible people in Baltimore treatment facilities to learn and use the NADA protocol to help bring peace, transformation and growth. With Covid 19 limiting treatment opportunities at Penn North, she has developed a meditation/qi gong zoom class for all clients at Penn North as well as the community around Penn North through the new grant funded PN Wellness and Recovery Center.

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Richard Mandell, LicAcis the founder and executive director of The Global Acupuncture Project (formerly, The PanAfrican Acupuncture Project), a program that trains practitioners in Uganda and Mexico how to use simple acupuncture protocols to address the needs of those who have little or no access to conventional medical care. Richard received his diploma in Acupuncture from The New England School of Acupuncture and is licensed by the Committee on Acupuncture/Board of Medicine in Massachusetts. He is also certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) and is a Certified Registered NADA Trainer. Richard was a Co-Founder of the AIDS Care Project (ACP). He has been in private practice since 1990 and for 14 years ran the Acupuncture Substance-Abuse-Treatment Program at  Dimock Community Health Center, Boston. For 17 years he also served on the faculty of The New England School of Acupuncture.

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Jose Santini, MSTOM, is the founder of the Proyecto Salud y Acupuntura para el Pueblo, the first community acupuncture project in Puerto Rico in 2015. He has been an acupuncture detox specialist since 2000. He was the coordinator of the Acupuncture Detox Clinic: Sanctuario at St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction in Bronx, NY. He has been an adjunct professor at the Swedish Institute School of Acupuncture and Clinic supervisor at PCOM. He obtained his Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (currently Pacific College of Health and Science) in 1997, and a bachelor’s degree in Health Education with concentration of Addiction Services from City University of New York. In addition to his community acupuncture project, Mr. Santini currently maintains a private private in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Video about program:

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Laurie  Melrood, LMSW, is the vice president of the non-profit Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project (GUAMAP) board of directors. She is a social worker and community organizer  based in Tucson, Arizona. Laurie had a leadership role in US sanctuary work in South Texas from 1982-1987. This included delegation coordination to the Texas/Mexico border and  a direct role in the refugee rescue work. In 1994 Laurie co-founded GUAMAP with organizer Blake Gentry and acupuncturist/street medic Ronald (Doc) Rosen. As a GUAMAP member, she has worked in all phases of recruitment, strategizing,  communications and fundraising for the organization. In Arizona, she worked with Casa Mariposa and Casa Alitas immigrant shelters and at the Greyhound bus station receiving  and counselling immigrants released from detention as well as those  coming up from the border. Most recently, Laurie has coordinated GUAMAP’s efforts supporting local undocumented families and material aid to the Guatemala based acupuncturists during the pandemic. Laurie can be reached at

Support the work of the Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project


Catherine Lumenello, LicAc is the author of Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Medicine: The Merging of Yin and Yang, the first clinical handbook addressing Gender and Sexuality issues from a Chinese Medicine perspective. She has lectured nationwide and has led accredited programs in both Medical Qigong and Gynecology. ​She is a Classical Chinese Medicine practitioner, Qigong and Feng Shui Master that specializes in Emotional Stress, Trauma and PTSD recovery, with over 15 years of clinical experience and LGBTQ+ community involvement. In Arizona, Catherine volunteered her skills for Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation’s Wellness Clinics (Client Services Award, 2010).

Catherine began her journey into Daoist Philosophy, the beauty of Classical Chinese Medicine, and the practice of Universal LOVE by studying Qigong under the Daoist Priest Chang-Shin Jih for over two years.​ A Feng Shui and Martial Arts Master, Jih authorized Catherine to practice Feng Shui before she moved to Arizona to deepen her studies in Acupuncture, Medical Qigong, Tuina, and Yoga.

To purchase: Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Medicine: The Merging of Yin and Yang


Eutimia Cruz Montoya, LicAc, Dipl OM (NCCAOM) is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, birth attendant, cantadora, danzante, real foods activist and food systems educator. She is the descendent of New Mexican and Mexican curanderos, and learned the healing ways in the home.  Eutimia was raised amidst the ceremony ways of pan-Indigenous America, giving her an inborn connection to and understanding of body and source.  She has a degree in anthropological sciences from Stanford University, a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine, and has been studying and practicing classical chinese medicine since 2004. In 2013, she came home to her curanderismo roots under the guidance of Maestra Laura Alonzo de Franklin and Kalpulli Teocalli Ollin of Albuquerque, NM.  She has been deepening her spiritual path as an apprentice with Nataline R. Cruz at Strawberry Moon Energetics and ancestral healing for the last 3 years.  As an educator and practitioner of the healing arts and sciences, eutimia is passionate about reigniting the fire of agency in personal well-being through teaching observance and recognition of how we, in every action and intention, create the internal and external environmental influences on the whole body, mind, emotion and spirit health. She is honored and excited to offer her expertise to all people, that we may continue to heal ourselves and the world!  Ometeotl.



Safiya McCarter, ND, L.Ac. is the co-founder and consultant for Project X: Authenticity, Adaptability, Transformation, an interdisciplinary team providing tailored, data-driven approach to dismantling racial inequities within organizations. Dr. McCarter graduated from Bastyr University with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. Previous to being a full time clinic practitioner, she was an administrator and educator in higher education, and was Co-Director of the Daniel K. Church Center for Social Justice and Diversity at Bastyr University. Dr. McCarter currently serves on the boards of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH). She is MEAC’s Vice President of Accreditation, Chair of Educational Standards Committee, and Chair of Equity & Access Committee.




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