California Code, Business and Professions Code – BPC § 4937
An acupuncturist’s license authorizes the holder thereof:
(a) To engage in the practice of acupuncture.
(b) To perform or prescribe the use of Asian massage, acupressure, breathing techniques, exercise, heat, cold, magnets, nutrition, diet, herbs, plant, animal, and mineral products, and dietary supplements to promote, maintain, and restore health. Nothing in this section prohibits any person who does not possess an acupuncturist’s license or another license as a healing arts practitioner from performing, or prescribing the use of any modality listed in this subdivision.
(c) For purposes of this section, a “magnet” means a mineral or metal that produces a magnetic field without the application of an electric current.
(d) For purposes of this section, “plant, animal, and mineral products” means naturally occurring substances of plant, animal, or mineral origin, except that it does not include synthetic compounds, controlled substances or dangerous drugs as defined in Sections 4021 and 4022 , or a controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053 ) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code.
(e) For purposes of this section, “dietary supplement” has the same meaning as defined in subsection (ff) of Section 321 of Title 21 of the United States Code , except that dietary supplement does not include controlled substances or dangerous drugs as defined in Section 4021 or 4022 , or a controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053 ) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code.
Although acupuncture and the above procedures are extremely safe, there are potential risks and side-effects associated with treatment. These situations are rare and every precaution is taken to decrease the chance of occurrence. Acupuncture may cause discomfort, pain, bruising, and numbness, and/or tingling at or near the needling site, during or after the treatment. This may last for a few minutes or a few days or more. Infection, broken needle, needle sickness (including nausea, dizziness, and fainting), and aggravation of symptoms existing prior to the acupuncture treatment are also potential risks. Unusual risks of acupuncture include spontaneous miscarriage, nerve damage, and organ puncture, but these events are highly unlikely when performed by a skilled practitioner. Bruising is often a side effect of cupping. Burns and scarring are potential risks of moxa and cupping.
Some potential side effects of taking herbs include nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements, headaches, rashes, hives, and tingling of the tongue. Certain herbs should be avoided during pregnancy. The herbs prescribed are traditionally considered safe in the practice of East Asian Medicine, although some may be toxic in large doses. If any concerning symptoms or adverse reactions occur upon taking herbs, immediately discontinue taking the herbs and contact the practitioner. Any herbs prescribed need to be prepared and taken according to written and oral instructions given by the practitioner.