About Us

Our Mission

Advancing the professional practice of acupuncture as a whole system of medicine through advocacy, education, and research.

Our Vision

Acupuncturists are valued leaders and partners in the American healthcare system, and patients have equitable access to our care.

Our Strategic Plan

The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) was formed in 2015 to advocate for and advance the professional and clinical practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine across the United States. As of 2021, 34state associations are members of the ASA, representing more than 5,000members across these state organizations.

More than 30,0001credentialed practitioners hold advanced degrees in acupuncture and herbal medicine. Members benefit from our advocacy efforts to make our whole system of medicine accessible to diverse populations.

To inform the ASA’s five-year strategic plan, ASA conducted market research of the acupuncture community to understand what acupuncturists expect from state and national associations. Council Members, our Board of Directors, and state association members collaborated over the course of a year to share ideas and insights to prioritize the work of the ASA and prepare this plan.

In our first decade, working independently and collaboratively, our growing profession of Licensed Acupuncturists will bring whole-person medical care to more people in the American healthcare system to make us a healthier nation.

View our full 2021 – 2026 Strategic Plan to learn more.

Our ByLaws

These Bylaws are the blueprint by which we run this organization.  The ASA strives for good governance and transparency of process.

Code of Conduct

Our code of conduct provides a framework for a safe and collegial working environment for all individuals who participate in the ASA.

Policies & Procedures (in development)

Below you will find the policies & procedures developed thus far. More will follow as resources become available. If you have relevant technical writing experience are interested in helping develop policies & procedures, please consider applying to the ASA’s Governance Committee. You will find details and the application on our Committees page.

Leadership Team

Our leadership team is made of experienced practitioners with many years of state-level experience in practice, leadership, and legislative action.  If you are interested in serving and have experience and passion to share, please contact us!

Olivia Hsu Friedman  DACM, LAc., Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)
Chair

Dr. Olivia Hsu Friedman earned a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine Dermatology from Avicenna UK, and an MSOM from National University of Health Sciences. She is also a board certified NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl OM).

Before serving on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Acupuncturists, Dr. Friedman was one of two Illinois delegates to the ASA and served on the Illinois Society of Acupuncturists as Vice President. She serves on the Advisory Board of LearnSkin, the faculty of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Support Group sponsored by the National Eczema Association and the NUHS Presidential Alumni Advisory Board. Dr. Friedman is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and practices TCM Dermatology utilizing only herbal medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Nell Smircina  DAOM, L.Ac., Dipl. OM (NCCAOM)    
Vice Chair of Public Policy

Dr. Nell Smircina, DAOM, L.Ac., Dipl. OM (NCCAOM) is the Immediate Past Chair of CSOMA in CA, and has served on both the Advocacy Committee and Medicare Taskforce for the ASA. In addition to her state and national experience, she also is an advocate at an international level. As the Director of Development for the American Acupuncture Council, she actively works to support the profession through many strategic initiatives, including work to further develop the implementation of ICD11 codes, established by WHO, which include Traditional Medicine diagnostics.

Clinically, Dr. Nell specializes in acupuncture for optimal post-surgical recovery, an area she researched extensively during her doctoral program. She is the Founder of PIQUE Health, an integrative concierge practice in Beverly Hills, but more recently has pivoted and scaled her business with a more B2B focus, specifically on the collaboration and integration of acupuncture into established businesses. She shares her insights and business building tools with the profession in her Acupuncture Today column, “The Business of Acupuncture”.

Dr. Nell values mentorship and has taught in many AOM schools on the topics of practice management, professional development, and messaging. She believes being able to effectively communicate our medicine’s value to the public is critical to the growth of the profession. Through teaching and coaching, she assists students and practitioners looking to have thriving businesses while helping as many people as possible.

Dr. Nell has been featured as an SME on Good Day LA and Good Morning Arizona; and her work has appeared in Thrive Global, Authority Magazine and Acupuncture Today. She is a passionate international speaker on the topics of the integration of medicine and the constantly evolving healthcare industry.

Hongjian He  AP, DOM, Ph.D., MD (China)    
Treasurer

Dr. Hongjian He graduated from Guangzhou College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1983.  She was trained as an Internist and did a residency in the China Japan Friendship Hospital with western medicine and TCM in Beijing. As a licensed acupuncturist in FL since 1988 and a board certified NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl OM), Dr. He has taught and practiced TCM, acupuncture, nutrition, and functional medicine in Florida for over 33 years while promoting, protecting, and advocating for the acupuncture profession relentlessly/persistently especially in legislation.  Prior to the ASA, Dr. He served as President, Vice President or board member on many acupuncture-related professional associations such as the American Acupuncture Association and Oriental Medicine, National Federation of Chinese TCM Organizations, American Alliance Professional Association for Acupuncture and Safety, Florida Acupuncture Association, Florida State Oriental Medical Association. She also received several awards for her leadership, contributions, and service on both the national and state level.

Dr. He is very aware of the need for the unification of our profession and hopes to specifically assist in bridging relationships with the Chinese communities and fostering stronger collaboration on important issues such as Medicare.

Jeff Bloom
Board Member at Large

Jeff Bloom is a marketing professional who spent 16 years working in the acupuncture industry. With a passion for advocacy, building community and a sincere love of acupuncture, the ASA was the perfect fit. Jeff looks forward to bringing his unique perspective and expertise to the BOD.

Nichelle Cieri  MS
Board Member At Large

Nichelle currently holds a masters of science in psychology and is pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in diverse populations at Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles. Nichelle has studied acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine through the Ni Family at Yo San University. Nichelle has a decade of experience working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of interpersonal violence. She has assisted in creating psychoeducational training to manage the somatic symptoms of dealing with high-conflict personalities. She has served as a trauma-informed consultant for multiple publications including NPR and the Henry Press. She recently received a grant from the Safe Passage Foundation to explore adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and chronic pain through the lens of east Asian medicine. Nichelle has a heart for social justice and liberation psychology. Her past experiences on a board includes a term as executive chair for a non-profit that serves disproportionately affected youth and young adults through trauma-informed yoga and meditation and as a member at large for the Alliance of Victim’s Rights. In the past she has served the ASA as the chair for the student committee and as a regional director. During her terms serving the student committee, Nichelle spearheaded a Title IX outreach project, which aimed to empower students through education, advocacy, and support in seeking an equal and discrimination free learning environment.

David W. Miller  MD, LAc   
Immediate Past Chair

Dr. David W. Miller, MD, LAc is the founding Medical Director for Pediatric Integrative Medicine with the University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is one of the only physicians dually board certified in Pediatrics (American Board of Pediatrics) and Chinese medicine (NCCAOM – National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).  Prior to joining the UH Connor network, Dr. Miller was in private practice with East-West Integrated Medicine, LLC in Chicago, Illinois for 14 years, and saw patients of all ages for holistic and integrative care.

Dr. Miller has designed curricula in masters and doctoral programs in integrative physiology, pediatrics, medical communications, and public health and is an active participant and leader in numerous state and nation medical associations.  He is the founding Chair, and now Immediate Past Chair, of the American Society of Acupuncturists, and immediate past-Chair of the NCCAOM board development committee on Biomedicine.  He participates actively with the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, the American Medical Association, the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, and other state and national groups.  He has served on the Illinois state regulatory board for acupuncture, and has passed legislation related to the practice of acupuncture in Illinois, and has also lobbied nationally for issues related to acupuncture and integrative medicine.

Dr. Miller received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Vassar College, his M.D. from the Brown University School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at the University of Chicago.  He then completed his Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine with the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago. He is also a board certified NCCAOM Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl OM).

He is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

Committees

Want to join a committee? Fill out the ASA Committee Application Form.

Advocacy Committee
Chair, Jennifer Broadwell
Charter
Email

Conference Committee
Chair, LiMing Tseng
Charter
Email

Governance Committee
Chair, David Bock
Charter
Email

Herbal Committee
Chair, Linda Robinson-Hidas
Charter
Email

Insurance Committee
Chair, Mori West
Charter
Email
Medicaid Committee
Chair, Amy Mager
Charter
Email
Membership/Benefits Committee
Chair, Grace S. Ouchida
Charter
Email
Mentorship Committee
Chair, Stephen Cina
Charter
Email
Nominating Committee
Chair, Kelly Hora
Charter
Email
Research Committee
Chair, Lisa Conboy
Charter
Email
Strategic Planning Committee
Chair, Candace Sarges
Charter
Email

Student Leadership Committee
Chair, Steve Cina
Charter
Email

 Student Committee
Chair, Angela Serabian
Charter
Email

Web Platform Committee
Chair, Jeff Bloom
Charter
Email

 Social Media Committee
Chair, Louis L. Jin
Email

Leading the Profession

Acupuncture medicine defines the scope of primary Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Acs), which includes related modalities (tui na massage, moxibustion, gua sha, cupping, light therapy, and often herbal medicine) as taught in accredited Acupuncture Masters and Doctorate degree programs that incorporate a foundation of established frameworks designed to inform assessment, diagnosis, and application of acupuncture as a dynamic medical paradigm. Primary acupuncturists weave theoretical, diagnostic, and acupuncture frameworks into a complete practice that requires passing 3-4 national board exams after 3,000 hours of education and clinical internship. Secondary acupuncture providers utilize basic frameworks such as dry needling (trigger therapy), medical acupuncture, or ear acupuncture protocols that requires 0-300 hours of non-accredited training or oversight.

In professional acupuncture practice, there are many acupuncture approaches, styles, and applications. Which acupuncture styles, approaches, and applications a licensed acupuncturist uses, depends on the practitioner’s general practice population or specialty. Some examples of specialties include internal medicine, neurology, orthopedics, dermatology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, fertility, women’s health, men’s health, sports medicine, pain management, functional medicine, integrated medicine, and wellness.

The dynamic contribution of Chinese medical theories continues to inform and fill gaps in mechanisms of pain, function, and disease from cellular level to systemic influences. The Chinese medical framework of diagnosis facilitates the mechanistic understanding of modern and emerging diseases that inform the criteria for therapy aimed at resolution or maximum improvement. The Western medicine frameworks of moribund diagnoses are often limited to a collection of signs and symptoms, images, and blood work that support the criteria for surgery, diagnostic procedures, and management of symptoms through medication. However, technological advancements are helping to explain and expand emerging integrated frameworks that are paramount for the changing paradigm of mainstream medicine away from sick management towards wellness.