About Us

Our Mission

The New Jersey Acupuncture Society (NJAS), is the Garden State’s professional organization of Licensed Acupuncturists and supporters of East Asian Medicine dedicated to promoting the profession of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine by always striving for the highest standards of patient care, education and integrity to ensure the health and well-being of the public.

The profession grows and evolves through practitioner support and NJAS supports the practitioner by speaking for legislation that advances our profession and speaking against legislation that would harm or hinder our profession.

NJAS serves the public through education via lectures, the media, publications, and referral services.

Our Vision

Become the leading voice for our members by:

  • Safeguarding and promoting the practice of acupuncture medicine through legislation
  • Educating the public on the scope of acupuncture as a medical practice
  • Supporting integration of professional and authentic acupuncture medicine into New Jersey and US health care systems
  • Collaborating with other state and national associations to further the profession
  • Promoting excellence in the profession through quality continuing education (CEUs)

About NJAS

NJAS functions as an all-volunteer board of dedicated professionals united with the goal of improving access to authentic acupuncture as a medical practice.  The board engages and oversees committees that collaborate in many areas to elevate the knowledge and skills of licensed providers while informing the public about the education, practice, board exams, and licensure standards of licensed acupuncturists and herbalists. 

Our Values & Beliefs

Access to Acupuncture Care

We believe that US Health and Human Services should recognize licensed acupuncturists as Medicare providers.

Authentic Acupuncture Medicine

We value the standards of education, requirement of board exams, licensure procedure, and continuing education.

Acupuncture Approaches

We value a variety of styles, applications, and modalities.

Our Philosophy to Acupuncture Medicine

NJAS acknowledges and respects all traditions of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. We believe that cooperation and strength among practitioners and supporters will ensure that this ancient and modern medical profession will retain its integrity. By protecting the legal status the practice of licensed acupuncture medicine has earned, NJAS continues to enhance the quality of healthcare for people in New Jersey and improve delivery of medicine within US healthcare systems.

New Jersey Acupuncture Society Board Members

Panos Ioannou, LAc

Panos Ioannou, LAc


Dr. Shara Resende, DACM, LAc

Dr. Shara Resende, DACM, LAc

Vice President

Susannah Pitman, DACM, LAc

Susannah Pitman, DACM, LAc


Deborah Vaphides, LAc

Deborah Vaphides, LAc


Jaime Wherry, LAc

Jaime Wherry, LAc

Immediate Past President

Dr. Stephanie Lipnicki, DACM, LAc

Dr. Stephanie Lipnicki, DACM, LAc

Board Member at Large

Laura Palumbo, LAc

Laura Palumbo, LAc

Board Member at Large

Sara Youner, DACM, LAc

Sara Youner, DACM, LAc

Board Member at Large

Kristina Zuck, DACM, LAc

Kristina Zuck, DACM, LAc

Board Member at Large

Committee Chairs

Legislative / Advocacy

Chair: Jaime Wherry, LAc

The Legislation and Advocacy Committee’s goal is to monitor, review and respond to active legislation that may affect Acupuncturists in New Jersey; plan, support and implement legislative changes that will develop and grow the role of licensed acupuncturists; and to work with lobbyists along with other state and national associations to achieve legislative goals to the benefit of licensed acupuncturists.


Chair: Sara Youner, DACM, LAc

The mission of the Education Committee is to provide continuing education for New Jersey acupuncturists enabling them to both enhance individual knowledge and technique, strengthen the profession by providing up to date information of challenges facing the profession as well as providing opportunity for collective learning and collegiality.


Chair: Deborah Vaphides, LAc

The Finance Committee serves as a resource to the Board of Directors. The purpose of the Committee is to maintain financial recording and accounting to accurately reflect the financial position of the Society. The finance committee is also tasked with preparing and maintaining a budget as an annual planning and spending tool and monitoring expenditures and banking practices as a means of supporting NJAS and its members

Opioid Settlement

Chair: Sara Youner, DACM, LAc

The mission of the Opioid Settlement Committee is to disseminate the efficacy of acupuncture in pain management and addiction recovery support to the appropriate governmental and private entities and get the acupuncture community on the radar as funds for the opioid settlement are dispersed throughout the state of New Jersey.

Social Media & Marketing

Chair: Dr. Stephanie Lipnicki, DACM, LAc

The Social Media Committee's mission is to use our social media outlets on Facebook and Instagram to involve the New Jersey acupuncture community in the advancement and preservation of the practice of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in our state, and for our future by adding to the collective strength of the New Jersey Acupuncture Society through active membership.


Chair: Panos Ioannou, LAc

The NJAS Membership Committee’s mission is to serve and support our members in the NJ licensed acupuncture and herbology community.  The Committee develops member benefits through partnerships with various education providers, vendors, and other organizations so members have access to practice building tools and continuing education.


Chair: Kristina Zuck, DACM, LAc

The mission of the Insurance Committee is to stay abreast of the latest developments in health care insurance as applicable to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, to distribute information to our members as it becomes available, to provide information and guidance to members as needed, and to advocate for fair reimbursement practices so that New Jersey acupuncturists can accept insurance and earn a living wage.

Website & Newsletter

Chair: Laura Palumbo, LAc

The NJAS website and newsletters are our primary methods of communicating with our membership, and we are dedicated to creating and maintaining an engaging, informative, and user-centric online platform that delivers relevant information to all. The goal of our website is to house all the information New Jersey acupuncturists need to thrive, while also sharing pertinent educational, legislative, and business updates with practitioners and the public at large. The NJAS website is a constantly evolving document, and we welcome feedback on how it can work best for all practitioners.

Social Events

Chair: Susannah Pitman, DACM, LAc

The mission of the social events committee is to gather NJAS members together in a variety of settings for the purpose of building relationships, having important conversations about the acupuncture profession, and ultimately strengthening our state's association so that the organization can continue to advocate for the advancement of the acupuncture profession within the healthcare system.

ASA Representative

Dr. Shara Resende, DACM, LAc

The main focus of the ASA representative is to be able to relay information between national and state levels about legislature, advocacy, and education so we can keep our members best informed with the most up to date information regarding our profession. We also actively participate in ASA meetings and conferences which give us the ability to work on making decisions to enhance and preserve our profession. The ASA representative committee ensures that our state association remains active and involved in supporting the mission and vision of the ASA that works to advance the professional practice of acupuncture as a whole system of medicine through advocacy, education, and research. 


ASA Representatives

Tinna Kim, DAOM, LAc
Dr. Shara Resende, DACM, LAc

Governance and Oversight

Henry McCann, DAOM, LAc, Dipl OM (NCCAOM)
Jason Sargis, DAOM, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM), C.SMA, LAc
Sara Youner, DACM, LAc


John P Murdoch II
Zager Fuchs – Association Attorney

Leading the Profession

Acupuncture medicine defines the scope of primary Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Acs), which includes related modalities (tui na massage, moxibustion, gua sha, cupping, light therapy, and often herbal medicine) as taught in accredited Acupuncture Masters and Doctorate degree programs that incorporate a foundation of established frameworks designed to inform assessment, diagnosis, and application of acupuncture as a dynamic medical paradigm. 

Primary acupuncturists weave theoretical, diagnostic, and acupuncture frameworks into a complete system of medicine. To become a licensed acupuncturist in New Jersey, practitioners are required to pass three national board exams after 3,000 hours of education and clinical internship. (New Jersey requires passing an additional fourth board exam for licensure to practice Chinese herbal medicine.) Secondary acupuncture providers (from medical doctors to physical therapists) utilize basic frameworks such as dry needling (trigger point therapy) or ear acupuncture protocols, but these non-acupuncturist practitioners requires 0–300 hours of non-accredited training or oversight.

In professional acupuncture practice, there are many acupuncture approaches, styles, and applications. Which acupuncture styles, approaches, and applications a licensed acupuncturist uses, depends on the practitioner’s general practice population or specialty. Some examples of specialties include internal medicine, neurology, orthopedics, dermatology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, fertility, women’s health, men’s health, sports medicine, pain management, functional medicine, integrated medicine, and wellness.

The dynamic contribution of Chinese medical theories continues to inform and fill gaps in mechanisms of pain, function, and disease from cellular level to systemic influences. The Chinese medical framework of diagnosis facilitates the mechanistic understanding of modern and emerging diseases that inform the criteria for therapy aimed at resolution or maximum improvement. The Western medicine frameworks of moribund diagnoses are often limited to a collection of signs and symptoms, images, and blood work that support the criteria for surgery, diagnostic procedures, and management of symptoms through medication. However, technological advancements are helping to explain and expand emerging integrated frameworks that are paramount for the changing paradigm of mainstream medicine away from sick management towards wellness.