Laws vs. Regulations 


Laws are products of written statutes, passed by either the U.S. Congress or state legislatures. The legislature create bills that, when passed by a vote, become statutory law. In Virginia, the General Assembly passes legislation that then becomes laws and is incorporated into the Code of Virginia.

Virginia laws pertaining to acupuncture:

  • § 54.1‐2900Defines our scope of practice
    • “’Practice of Acupuncture’ means the stimulation of certain points on or near the surface of the body…”
  • § 54.1‐2956.9Outlines the requirements for licensure of acupuncturists in Virginia; this includes:
    • Title protection: must hold a license to practice acupuncture; designation of title (Lic.Ac. or L.Ac.)
    • Board of Medicine: naming the Board of Medicine as the regulatory authority governing the licensure of acupuncturists
    • Physician Diagnostic Examination Requirements: requirement that licensed acupuncturist must obtain “written documentation that the patient has received a diagnostic examination from a licensed practitioner of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, or podiatry with regard to the ailment or condition to be treated or provide to the patient a written recommendation for such a diagnostic examination.”
    • Education and Language Requirements: general information about the educational and language requirements for licensure
  • § 54.1-2405 – Transfer of patient records due to sale, relocation, or closure of a practice. 


Regulations Governing the Practice of Licensed Acupuncturists in Virginia are standards and rules adopted by administrative agencies that govern how laws will be enforced. The General Assembly must pass a law authorizing or mandating a state agency to write regulations. Regulations serve two purposes: 1) it has a binding effect on the law, and 2) acts as a formal document an agency uses to inform citizens of its actions and business.

In Virginia, regulations are created, amended, or repealed through a regulatory action. This is a 3-step process which is specified in the state law commonly referred to as the Administrative Process Act (APA). The process takes approximately 18 months to complete. All regulations are compiled into a single document called the Virginia Administrative Code.

Virginia regulations pertaining to acupuncture:

  • Fees for licensure
  • Educational requirements for licensure
  • Licensure renewal and reinstatement procedures
  • Standards of professional conduct


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