Who We Are

The Washington East Asian Medicine Association first began as the Acupuncture Association of Washington (AAW) more than 25 years ago. Our founders were integral in helping to establish the legal practice of East Asian Medicine (also known as "Oriental Medicine") in Washington state.


The organization helps provide a unified legislative voice for our profession and brings our community of practitioners closer together on both a state level and national level as well. Our all-volunteer, democratically-elected Board of Directors consists of elected professionals in the field. 


WEAMA works hard to further the profession in a variety of ways. Some of our current tasks are:
  • Running legislation each year as needed;
  • Clarifying rules that accompany past legislation;
  • Working on a variety of insurance matters including reducing the pre-authorization burden;
  • Fighting to maintain the integrity of our medicine and ensure that patients who seek acupuncture (including dry needling) find it safely in the hands of highly trained EAMPs; or
  • Working to include acupuncture coverage by Labor & Industries;
  • Working to ensure the public and government are aware of the benefits of acupuncture.

Past achievements include:

  • 9/2017 Letter to the Governor regarding alternatives to opioids for Omnibus Opioid Bill. 
  • Passing the Point Injection Therapy bill in 2016 (currently in rule-making stage);
  • Organizing against the unlawful practice of "dry needling" by physical therapists in 2015-2016;
  • Passing SSB 6280 "Concerning East Asian Medicine," which was signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire in April of 2010. WEAMA spent nearly 3 years working with stakeholders and legislators across the state to create and pass this landmark legislation. 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.
    • Updating of our title, East Asian Medicine Practitioner (EAMP), and scope of practice clarified that our practice is based on a system of medicine, ensuring that patients can now benefit from that full spectrum.
    • Having a full system name for our title and with more than 16 modalities with which we may treat patients, lays the groundwork for making the case that we should receive equitable payment for all our services, not just for acupuncture.
    • That scope 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). Conceivably, a practitioner can now focus their practice on herbs if they wish and we are all no longer at the mercy of some health law judge making a precedent setting decision, excluding herbs from the definition of “dietary advice."
    • Practitioners can now openly practice to the full extent of their standard training without worrying about a complaint down the line turning into an argument with the department of health as to whether something as basic as herbs, health education, or East Asian medical exercises are specifically in the scope.
    • We 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, and perform additional forms of massage such as Tui Na.
    • Working with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and insurance companies to facilitate the integration of East Asian Medicine into medical insurance reimbursement via the "Every Category of Provider" rule.

Benefits to practitioners and patients:
  • WEAMA maintains a lobbyist (Leslie Emerick) in Olympia and this has been one of our greatest accomplishments. It ensures the support of favorable initiatives and protecting the profession from unfavorable laws. WEAMA serves as the liaison for EAMP's to the state government, national organizations, the insurance industry, and other groups and agencies that affect our profession. Through general meetings, seminars, and our Action alert mailing list, we foster growth and integrity in our professional community. Every year in Olympia, our lobbyist fends off threats to the Every Category of Provider (ECP) Law which assures that our profession is covered by insurance providers.
  • WEAMA provides stakeholder meetings, e-blasts, mailed announcements, and maintains our website and Facebook page to encourage practitioner involvement in the scope expansion/clarification process.
  • Our website is intended to increase patient referrals to member acupuncturists via a searchable directory and also serve as an information source for the public, agencies, and the professional community.
  • WEAMA holds two membership meetings a year, open to all licensed EAMPs in the state, where practitioners provide feedback on where they would like us to focus our attention.

It is through financial support from members that all this is possible. Please consider becoming a member or making additional contributions toward our ongoing efforts. We can't do this without your financial support!

Mission & Purpose
Mission Statement
It is through financial support from members that all this is possible. Please consider becoming a member or making additional contributions toward our ongoing efforts. We can't do this without your financial support!

Purpose
  • To provide an informational and supportive network for practitioners of acupuncture medicine.
  • To promulgate and uphold the standards of acupuncture education, standards of practice, and professional ethics.
  • To promote equitable statutes and regulations relating to East Asian Medicine.
  • To offer support and guidance to students of East Asian Medicine, training programs, and research.
  • To provide a forum for the sharing of knowledge in the field of East Asian Medicine and related disciplines.
  • To educate the general public and health care professions regarding the nature and scope of East Asian Medicine.
  • Such other activities of a charitable and scientific nature related to East Asian Medicine as may benefit the knowledge and well-being of the people.