Acupuncture therapy was introduced to India in 1959. Acupuncture Association of India (AAI) was established in 1977 under the leadership of Dr. Bejoy kumar Basu, the pioneer of acupuncture therapy in India. It was the first endeavor to assemble acupuncture practitioners of India in to an organization. AAI has its membership spread all over India. AAI is the founder member society of World Federation of acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies whose chief patron is World Health Organization.
AAI has the following set of functions:-
- It assembles practicing acupuncturists.
- It makes efforts for academic development of its members through publication of Journal of Acupuncture Association of India (JAAI) regularly and holding scientific conferences and seminars regularly. 15 such national conferences have been held at various parts of India. Maintenance of scientific standard in deliberation of the conferences has been stressed all through.
- It makes effort for standardization, spread and development of acupuncture in the country through non-government and government set up.
- It organizes training courses in acupuncture training for doctors.
- It publishes books and journals on acupuncture.
AAI has been trying for government’s recognition of acupuncture therapy for last thirty years. With the efforts of AAI a government acupuncture clinic was set up by West Bengal government in 1987 at Kolkata. Later, West Bengal government had set up first government institute of acupuncture in 1990 named Dr. B.K. Basu Memorial Research and Training Institute of Acupuncture. Also, the West Bengal government has given legal recognition to acupuncture therapy through The West Bengal Acupuncture System of Therapy Act, 1996. Consequently, Council of Acupuncture Therapy, West Bengal has been set up to give registration to practicing acupuncturists and to give affiliation to Diploma in Acupuncture Therapy (three and half year course) and Certificate in Acupuncture course (200 hours for doctors).
In West Bengal Acupuncture is being practiced in three Government Clinics in Kolkata including one medical college. There are acupuncture clinics manned by government medical officers in all districts (18) and ten sub divisional hospitals of West Bengal.
AAI has branches in West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Orissa and Punjab. In all the states acupuncture is practiced by members of AAI.