Nevada Appeal at 150: May 9, 1973: Nevada first state to legalize acupuncture treatment

May 9, 1973: Nevada first state to legalize acupuncture treatment

Hundreds of letters are pouring in here from the sick and those in pain, who are hoping that the Chinese medical art of acupuncture will present a speedy cure.

The letters are from persons out-of-state who have read or heard that Nevada is the first state to allow open treatment of acupuncture without supervision of a doctor.

Many letters come from individuals who have received medical treatments for years without success.

“Some of the persons are at their wit’s end,” says Mrs. Leona Wood, secretary of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce who has received more than 60 letters and 25-30 phone calls. Most want to know the name of a reputable acupuncturist. She has turned the correspondence over to Gov. Mike O’Callaghan’s office.

O’Callaghan and state health officials are warning however that acupuncture, the art of inserting needles into a person to relive pain, is no “medical panacea.”

Dr. William Edwards, chief of preventative Medicine of the State Health Division, who has been appointed to the State Board to license acupuncturists, says it may be two to six months before any are practicing in Nevada.

He said examinations must be written so the state will not be invaded by quacks.

The Nevada Legislature voted to allow acupuncture treatment on the same level as ordinary medical practice.

The governor has already named a regulatory board but he still must appoint members to an advisory board.

This advisory board will be composed of persons familiar with Chinese medicine.

“I don’t speak any Chinese or read it,” said Dr. Edwards. “This could be a real problem in communications.”

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.


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