South Dakota Acupuncture Board101 N. Main Avenue, Suite 301
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Acupuncture licensing in South Dakota is not mandated by state law, but the practice is currently regulated in a limited fashion through a ruling made by the attorney general. Acupuncture has been found to be within the range of treatments that may be performed by physicians and chiropractors, but a gray area exists as to whether it is legal for nationally certified acupuncturists to accept patients.
Order of the Attorney General
By order of the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General, acupuncture is a valid treatment that can be performed by licensed chiropractors. In response, the South Dakota Board of Chiropractic Examiners (SDBCE) began issuing an optional certification in acupuncture to chiropractors with the proper credentials. To receive this certification, chiropractors must pass the acupuncture examination offered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE).
Before taking this exam, chiropractors must successfully complete 100 hours of acupuncture instruction from a college approved by the NBCE or a regionally accredited educational institution. A transcript of the course or a letter stating that the training was completed must be sent to the NBCE by the educational institution. In addition, chiropractors must complete an official application and pay an examination fee of $650. For more information concerning the acupuncture exam, individuals should contact the board by mail, email or telephone. Contact information is as follows:
National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
901 54th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
National Acupuncture Certification
Although the only regulation of acupuncture and acupuncture licensing in South Dakota is through the SDBCE, it would be appropriate for anyone wishing to practice in the state to become a certified diplomate in acupuncture through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The national certification offered by the NCCAOM is recognized by a majority of states in the U.S., and it goes a long way toward establishing credibility as an acupuncturist. Information on national certification is available by calling the NCCAOM at 904.598.1005.
Proposed Acupuncture Act
In 2010, a bill was introduced in the South Dakota House of Representatives that would mandate the state to regulate acupuncture and Oriental medicine through the Board of Medical & Osteopathic Examiners and a newly established Acupuncture Advisory Committee. This bill, 2010 HB 1203, was hotly debated and twice amended. However, the amended bill was put on a congressional back burner and has not been discussed in over three years.
The status of the bill could change at any time, and the wording, as it stands, would make the bill effective immediately after being signed into law. Therefore, anyone who is considering the establishment of an acupuncture practice in South Dakota should first query the medical board about the current state of acupuncture regulation.