All Press Releases for December 16, 2020

Essential Health Care Operations: Licensed Acupuncturists Respond to Supreme Court Concurring Opinion on 1st Amendment Free Exercise Clause

#AcupunctureIsEssential because #PainDoesNotPause

Acupuncture is considered essential health care operations because while New York must pause for this pandemic, pain does not pause.

    NEW YORK, NY, December 16, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Acupuncture Society of New York, (ASNY), would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the Supreme Court for recognizing the essential role that Licensed Acupuncturists provide during this pandemic. As the only group listed from the "essential health care operations" in a concurring opinion issued in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York, No. 20A87, we want to clarify our role in the public health system as it has been related to "secular convenience." Acupuncture does not discriminate based on faith; nor does pain or addiction. Medical needs are not a secular or religious issue. Licensed Acupuncturists treat patients who may otherwise need treatment in emergency rooms for acute & chronic pain, stress, and substance abuse disorders. We decrease the burden for hospital emergency departments by managing serious non-COVID related ailments. While New York must pause for this pandemic, pain does not pause.

Prior to being added to the Essential Services List by Executive Order 202.6, ASNY, in conjunction with our New York State Licensed Acupuncturists developed the ASNY COVID-19 Reopen Guidelines: Recommended Best Practices to ensure the safety of our patients, practitioners, and the general public. The guidelines detail pre-screening, arrival procedures, waiting room considerations, treatment policies and post-treatment disinfecting activities that follow guidelines from the New York Department of Health and the CDC. Licensed acupuncturists understand that during these times, the safety of our patients is as important a focus as the treatments of our patients.

Acupuncture is an evidence-based non-pharmacological treatment for pain that is endorsed as an important option by the National Governors Association Report on Expanding Access to Non-Opioid Treatments for Chronic Pain Management. This evidence is why the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) covers acupuncture and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) now covers acupuncture for chronic low back pain.

Finally, ASNY recognizes that in the middle of a second wave in New York, people need their support systems, whether secular or religious. We believe it is essential for our fellow New Yorkers to engage in all avenues of activities that bring them comfort, reduce their pain and stress, and safely find relief in difficult times. We are all in this together.

About ASNY: The Acupuncture Society of New York (ASNY) is a 501(c)(6) trade association dedicated to representing the interests of Licensed Acupuncturists in the state of New York. For more information, please visit

Contributing authors are Dr. Kallie Byrd Guimond, OM.D, MPH, Founder of AcuCongress; Amy Mager, DACM, L.Ac, VP Public Policy, ASA; Peter Caron, DACM, L.Ac; & Dr. Jennifer Broadwell, AP, L.Ac., Chair, ASA Advocacy Committee.

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Contact Information

Dr. Kallie Byrd Guimond, OM.D, MPH
Acupuncture Society of New York
Frederick, New York
United States
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