All of us here at PCA are hoping that legislation pending  in the RI General Assembly will pass this year. This legislation(H5570/S0215) would allow certain licensed professionals to use a simple ear-acupuncture protocol in their work, and also cleans up licensing titles and requirements for acupuncturists practicing in RI.

We think that this legislation could help save lives. We’re asking folks to contact the legislators below to let them know your thoughts on this legislation. Please do this asap! There’s only a couple more weeks left to get this done. 


All of this needs to happen before the RI legislature takes its Summer recess, which happens as soon as the budge is passed. There’s only a few more weeks left, so we’re urging people to action this week if possible.

We need anyone who supports this bill to email, call, or write to the Honorable Joseph M. McNamara, Chairman of the House Health Education and Welfare Committee to let him know your thoughts on this bill. Legislators want to hear from their constituents so be sure to let them know if you live in their districts!

 The Honorable Joseph M. McNamara, Chairman HEW

Cranston, Warwick District 19


23 Howie Avenue Warwick, RI 02888

If you only make one call or send one email that’s fine! Chairman McNamara is the most important person to contact about this legislation.

Representative David Bennett (our bill sponsor)

Cranston, Warwick District 20


27 Shippee Avenue

Warwick, RI 02886


House Whip Jay Edwards Portsmouth, Tiverton District 70

and Representative Joe Solomon Warwick District 22

Here are some KEY POINTS:

State the bill number you are contacting them about: H5570 with substitute amendment.

State your position (support, strongly support, etc.) and if you live in their district include that info.

CC or BCC us too! so we can keep track of how many supporters we have. 

Check back on our website or social media to see how this turns out.


  • Ear acupuncture is a safe, inexpensive, easy to administer tool that has been shown to be useful for chronic pain, trauma, stress, drug and alcohol addiction, sleep, and insomnia.
  • We want trained individuals working in the recovery and mental health fields to be able to use this tool with people they work with. The majority of RI acupuncturists support this, and organizations like CODAC and PCHC would like to expand their use of the ear acupuncture protocol. 
  • 5570 with sub A is very close to passing! Because Rhode Islanders are in need of every tool that can be used to help decrease the impact of chronic pain, drug related over-doses and over-dose deaths, we need the House HEW committee to give this bill a vote this year.


Most people who have had acupuncture know how deeply relaxing the treatments can be in addition to being helpful for many different ailments. Among other things, acupuncture helps to re-set and re-calibrate our nervous systems, which is why it helps us cope with pain and illness even when it cannot change the underlying cause of that pain or illness. In some instances acupuncture is almost like a miracle, taking away pain or increasing function in a way we didn’t dream was possible from some tiny pins and a nap in a recliner chair. So many times we have had people tell us that acupuncture “changed my life.” 

This is why we want to pass this law; because it would allow other health care professionals, people working on the front lines of the chronic pain, opioid, and drug overdose epidemics, to use one small tool, the 5 Needle Protocol or 5NP. In the past 40 years over 10,000 non-acupuncturists have been trained to safely and effectively use 5NP all over the world!

Here in RI, we want Social workers, Certified Peer Recovery Counselors, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, psychologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and doctors to be allowed to use 5NP. Something as simple as 5NP alone, can help change lives. This tool needs to be brought to where the need is,and the folks we want to have this tool are already there working on the front lines. 


Licensed Chemical Dependency Professionals (LCDPs) in Rhode Island have been allowed to use 5NP in their work in both group and one-on-one settings for several years. Organizations like CODAC and Providence Community Health Centers have been slowly implementing ear acupuncture programs. In order to make this resource more widely available the law needs to be changed. H5570 (sub A) would give several other licensed health care professionals, who receive specific training the opportunity to use this tool with their clients and patients.Here’s some additional reading if you’d like to know more about this ear protocol and some of the history behind it.

We wrote this year’s bill (5570/0215) and then worked with other acupuncturists in the state to further shape language in this proposal so that both the community and private room acupuncturists would support it. This compromise language is called a substitute amendment or sub A,and these proposed changes (S0215 Sub A) have already made it through the Senate Health committee and was approved by the full Senate last week. In order to make it to the Governor’s desk this year, so that more people can use 5NP, we need to urge the Chairman of the corresponding House committee to introduce the updated version of bill 5570 (sub A) and to hold a committee vote, so that it can then be brought to the House for a vote.


Fingers Crossed!

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.