New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) is a single-purpose graduate college that confers master's degrees in acupuncture and oriental medicine.
Established: Founded in 1975, NESA is the oldest acupuncture college in the United States.
Headquarters: Newton, Mass.
Recent Revenue: $5 million
Company Status: Non-profit institution of higher education.
Number of employees: 140; of that number, 20 are full-time. Many, including adjunct faculty, are part-time.
How did the organization get started?
Acupuncture in the United States got its recognition in the early 1970s, even though it and oriental medicine had been practiced since the first Asian immigrants arrived. In 1971, James Reston, a New York Times reporter, was in China in anticipation of visits there by Henry Kissinger and then-President Richard Nixon. A surprising and painful appendicitis attack sent Reston to a hospital where he had surgery--and acupuncture.
Reston was so fascinated by his positive experience that he wrote about it for The Times, and Americans found out about acupuncture. This article is considered to be extremely important in the evolution of the understanding of acupuncture and oriental medicine in this country.
Subsequent to this historic event, NESA became the first acupuncture college in the U.S. and remains one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the field. Originally founded in 1975 by Dr. lames Tin Yau So, NESA today boasts having two master's degree programs, a nationally renowned research department and it also provides up to 20,000 affordable acupuncture treatments to the public each year.
What are significant events in its evolution?
Acupuncture education in the U.S. has evolved significantly over the past 35 years. Starting as a one-year vocational training program in the 1970s, to two years and then three, today most states require acupuncturists to be licensed and have a master's degree.
Doctorate-level acupuncture programs are also gaining in popularity. NESA was authorized by the Higher Education Coordinating Council to grant a master's degree in 1994 and then added a second master's degree in oriental medicine in 2000.
Acupuncture is part of the...