In 1985 the Washington State Legislature passed a bill authorizing the licensing of acupuncturists. Like all medical professionals practicing in Washington, acupuncturists are monitored by the Washington State Department of Health. Licensure requires graduation from an accredited Traditional Chinese Medicine college and passage of the national board exams given by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Practitioners who accept medical insurance such as Monica Legatt carry comprehensive malpractice insurance and adhere to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules.
In April of 2010 Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law SSB 6280 "Concerning East Asian Medicine" changing the licensure of Licensed Acupuncturist to East Asian Medicine Practitioner. This new law was the first major update to the statute which governs the practice of Acupuncture and related modalities since the first law was passed in 1985.
This new legislation is important for several reasons:
- The new title, East Asian Medicine Practitioner (EAMP) and scope of practice now clearly states that our practice is based on a comprehensive system of medicine. Prior to the recent legislation this was not clear: the title and scope mainly reflected the single modality of acupuncture.
- The scope of practice now clearly includes herbal medicine, vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements, not just "dietary advice," which can now be practiced as a stand alone modality (Dietary Advice was previously allowed only when in conjunction with an Acupuncture treatment). A practitioner can now focus their practice on herbs and nutrition independent of acupuncture if they wish.
- Practitioners can now provide health education, a.k.a. lifestyle advice, relaxation training (meditation) and East Asian exercise training such as Qi Gong and Tai Qi.
- Practitioners can now do additional forms of massage such as Tui Na and Acupressure.