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August 2019 Newsletter

Table of Contents – August 2019

Overcoming the Barriers 

I completed my acupuncture training in 1995. I was amazed by some of the “miraculous results” I witnessed during the training — even more so after I started treating patients myself with acupuncture. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to share these results with my medical colleagues. I was convinced that once they saw such incredible therapeutic results they would immediately be interested in learning more and the practice of acupuncture would spread like wildfire throughout the medical community. 

Such an opportunity came within the next two weeks. A 65-year-old woman, a known patient of mine, was wheeled into my office for a severely sprained ankle. (She had accidentally caught her foot in a hole while walking in a field.) The ankle was markedly swollen, primarily on the lateral side, and she was unable to bear any weight on it. She had significant tenderness over the lateral malleolus, as well as significant pain on attempted manipulation of the ankle. 

At that time, I was practicing in a group comprised of internists, a family practitioner and a part-time orthopedic surgeon. I asked the surgeon to see the patient. He did a clinical evaluation, obtained an X-ray (negative) and confirmed a severe sprain. When asked about the prognosis, he said it would take at least 4-6 weeks for her to start walking again without pain. 

I proceeded with an acupuncture treatment on her: a simple TMM of the bladder, gall bladder and stomach meridians with several Ah Shi points on the foot and ankle (all in dispersion). After the 30-minute session, the patient felt markedly better and was able to stand and walk without pain. 

I was ecstatic! And I was confident that after seeing such an amazing recovery the orthopedic surgeon would be converted into a “believer.” However, no such thing happened. The young orthopod came to the patient room, saw her standing and walking without pain, made an unintelligible sound, “Hmmm,” and walked away without making any other comments or even talking to me about the case. 

I was certainly disappointed that my colleague didn’t share my enthusiasm for such a dramatic result.  

I’m sorry to say, this experience is just one example that represents the barriers acupuncture faces within the established medical community. Acupuncture has been applied for longer than 3,000 years, and the advances in modern science are now validating the efficacy of the modality. More and more controlled studies are confirming that acupuncture can be extremely effective and provides tangible results with few side effects. Yet it continues to be labeled an “alternative” therapy — although it is, fortunately, losing the stigma that it’s “snake oil” offered by “quacks.” In addition, the results achieved by skillfully placed needles challenge some of the basic tenants of standard medical training and certainly threaten financial interests of drug companies and the healthcare system, in general. 

Understanding that these very real barriers exist, what we can do to overcome them? As medical acupuncturists, the onus falls on our shoulders to raise awareness of our fellow physicians, our patients and the healthcare industry. 

  • We must talk with our fellow physicians about our successes with acupuncture. There have been many advances in understanding of acupuncture physiology and mechanism of action, etc., which are understandable and relevant in western scientific terms. If we want to communicate with our peers in conventional medicine, it is incumbent upon us, the medical acupuncturists, to be conversant with the western scientific explanation of the different aspects of the acupuncture.
  • We can educate all of our patients, not just those who come for acupuncture, regarding the value of acupuncture. This may include the prominent display of acupuncture-related articles in the lobby and examining rooms. Building up a body of patients who understand the value of this modality can increase demand for acupuncture to be administered in the treatment of specific conditions. This will go a long way toward raising consciousness in the medical community and, in fact, is the way that physicians are finally accepting acupuncture as an important tool for a variety of issues.
  • We need to talk or write to our insurance companies regarding the benefits of acupuncture from our own experience. They now also have the ability to document the cost effectiveness of acupuncture, and we should request that they do so. When they evaluate our practices, they will find quicker resolutions, cost savings, and the avoidance of drugs including narcotics.   

The ultimate goal, always, is to provide our patients with the best and most effective methods of care. It would be a great service to move acupuncture away from an “alternative” therapy into the standard curriculum of medical education, so physicians have yet another effective tool to promote health in their patients. 

Tapan K. Chaudhuri, MD, FACP, FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the Academy in July 2019:

  • Rosanne Sheinberg, MD of Baltimore, MD  
  • Marta E Long, MD of Irvine, CA  
  • Sally R Hayes, MD of Alexandria, VA   

If you have peers or colleagues who aren’t currently members of the AAMA, please encourage them to learn more about the benefits of membership by visiting the website or contacting Sue Sorensen, MD, FAAMA, the membership committee chair. 

AAMA Strategic Planning Retreat

Officers and members of the AAMA Board of Directors met in Chicago on Saturday, August 17, for full-day Strategic Planning Retreat covering a range of critical topics, including legislation and advocacy, education and communications. A summary of the work, discussion, prioritization and planning will be shared with members in the coming weeks.  

Help Shape the Future of Medical Acupuncture; Volunteer with the AAMA Legislative Committee

As U.S. legislative bodies at state and national levels make critical decisions that affect the future of acupuncture — insurance coverage, the opioid crisis, acupuncture licensing and more — decision-makers need the AAMA’s unique medical perspective. You are invited to join an important new AAMA committee that will address critical healthcare issues. Use your medical expertise to help us educate and advocate! Send us an email today if you’d like more information about committee expectations and time commitments. 

AAMA Membership Deadline Reminder

AAMA Membership Renewal season is here. Need a reminder about the many perks of being a member? Read through the list of membership benefits. Please take a moment to submit your renewal information and your annual dues. To renew, log in to your member account on the website and either (1) visit the Store to find renewal products or (2) proceed directly to the membership renewal page.    

Boost Your Branding with AAMA and DABMA Certification

If you are a Full Member or Fellow of the AAMA with DABMA certification, you are eligible to print the Medical Acupuncture certification mark on your stationary, business cards or other listings to promote your special accomplishments in medical acupuncture. The certification mark is available only to Full Members and Fellows of the AAMA who are currently Board Certified by the ABMA. The mark has been registered with the US Patent Office as a Certification Mark that is available for the exclusive use of those who meet the specified credentials. See Certification Mark Guidelines (http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/Portals/2/PDFs/Certification_Mark_Guidelines.pdf) for standards on how the mark should be used in printed materials including acceptable type face, size, color, etc. For an electronic copy of a reproducible jpeg copy of the logo to provide your printer, Full Members and Fellows who are currently Board Certified through the ABMA may send a request to info@medicalacupuncture.org. Upon verification of your status, a jpg file will be sent to you.  

AAMA’s 32nd Annual Symposium Theme Announced

The 32nd Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 23-26, 2020, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Symposium program Chair Anna Esparham, MD, DABMA, along with Vice-Chair Nancy Lorenzini, MD, DABMA, and several committee members are hard at work designing an exceptional program. The theme is "One Root, Many Branches: Acupuncture Science for Our Modern Practices.” Save the date and book your hotel room now! 

Save the Date! 2020 Medical Acupuncture Review Course

Many physicians practicing medical acupuncture today obtained their original training a number of years ago. There are excellent training programs available where a physician can obtain initial training in medical acupuncture. There are also an increasing number of learning opportunities in specialized areas or in new areas of medical acupuncture. But there are limited opportunities available for physicians to obtain an organized review of that original knowledge acquired years earlier. The Medical Acupuncture Review Course was developed by the AAMA’s Education Committee to provide a broad-based refresher course on the major subject matter areas with which a well-trained physician should be familiar. The Review Course is especially useful as a refresher for those who obtained their acupuncture training some time ago and for those who are seeking an organized review prior to taking the ABMA Board Certification Examination. The course is offered during the week prior to the Annual Symposium (April 21-22, 2020) in the same hotel as the Symposium.   

ACUS Foundation Graduation

In a recent digital newsletter celebrating a new cohort of program graduates, the ACUS Foundation focused its content on inspiring stories of gratitude and impact. Read more about how military physicians and healthcare providers are incorporating acupuncture into their patient care.  

Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) Pilot Grant

AAMA members are encouraged to submit pragmatic clinical trial proposals (not placebo comparisons). One grant (up to $30,000) will be awarded each year. Submission deadline is January 30, 2020. Grant award will be announced at the 2020 Annual Symposium, April 24-26, 2020, in Orlando, FL. Read more on the AAMA website or contact Larissa Bresler, MD, DABMA, for more information.   

ICYMI: In Case You Missed it Last Month

Job Opportunity for Physician Acupuncturist at Walter Reed
The position is located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. October 2019 start date. Minimum requirements are: licensed physician (MD/DO) in any US state, completion of a 300-hour physician acupuncture course, and US citizenship. Forward CVs and questions to Ms. Amy Osik: amy.j.osik.ctr@mail.mil

Call for Papers: Integrative Palliative Care (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)
In February 2020, JACM: Paradigm, Practice and Policy Advancing Integrative Health (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) will publish a Special Focus Issue on Integrative Palliative Care.The goal will be to enhance the natural synergy between integrative health and palliative medicine by drawing research and commentary that examine integrative palliative care. Deadline October 31, 2019.  

Help Build the AAMA and Earn $$
Don’t forget about the AAMA’s member-recruiting program designed to reward current members for referring peers to the AAMA for membership. If you nominate someone who joins as a full member, you’ll earn a $50 credit to use on future AAMA events, including the annual symposium, workshops, or apply to your own future membership dues. You can read more on the AAMA website.  

Legislative Alerts about Acupuncture
If you become aware of legislative issues/bills being proposed in your state that would affect medical acupuncturists, please let the AAMA know. The Academy is following and actively engaged in several state-level legislative issues pertaining to acupuncture, but we need your help to alert us if you hear of anything pending. The sooner we know, the sooner we can review and engage if necessary. Reach out to the Academy by emailing info@medicalacupuncture.org or calling 310-379-8261.    

Professional Development Opportunities

AAMA Extraordinary Vessels and Curious Meridians Webinar Series
Recordings of all 4 parts will be available on the AAMA website when the series is complete.  

AAMA Acupuncture & Opioids Webinar Series
Recordings of all 4 parts will be available on the AAMA website. 

5th American TCM Congress
October 5-6, 2019
Los Angeles, CA

ICMART Congress 2019
October 25-27, 2019 
Gold Coast, Australia 

Save the Date! Medical Acupuncture Review Course
April 21-22, 2020
Orlando, FL 

Save the Date! 2020 AAMA Annual Symposium
April 23-26, 2020
Orlando, FL 

AAMA Website: Education Listings 
The AAMA maintains an ongoing calendar of educational events and professional development opportunities related to medical acupuncture. The calendar is accessible on the AAMA website. Members are encouraged to share events and calendar items from their regions and about educational topics that may be of wider interest among peers and fellow AAMA members.  

Medical Acupuncture Journal Updates

Fast-Track Articles, Ahead of Print: https://www.liebertpub.com/toc/acu/0/0 

Most Recent Issue: August 2019: https://www.liebertpub.com/toc/acu/31/4 

Most-recent CME Articles:

New Scientific Research

Temporal effect of electroacupuncture on anxiety-like behaviors and c-Fos expression in the anterior cingulate cortex in a rat model of post-traumatic stress disorder
[Neuroscience Letters] 
Compared to regular EA, timed EA exhibited superior therapeutic effects by attenuating anxiety-like behaviors in PTSD rats. These results emphasize the association between temporal parameters of EA manipulation and acupuncture effects. Timed acupuncture therapy may be a novel therapeutic application in the treatment of PTSD.  

Role of acupuncture in the treatment of insulin resistance: A systematic review and meta-analysis
[Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice]
Acupuncture may improve homa-IR, ISI, FBG, 2hPG and FINS with fewer adverse events than other treatments, making it a viable treatment for IR.  

Qigong in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review 
[Journal of Integrative Medicine]
Studies demonstrated that Qigong has interesting and promising applicability and effect on children with autism spectrum disorder and should be tested further.  

New Member Recruitment - Earn $50!

Do you know someone who could – and should – become an AAMA member? Earn $50 for yourself by getting them to join the Academy! 

Reach out to your colleagues, people you met in acupuncture training – people you know need to be involved with the Academy. YOU are the best Academy Membership Ambassador we have!
Nominate a new member today and earn $50 credit for EACH new member you bring in!

Find all the details about this offer! (Member login required)

Membership Information

Symposium Recordings

Did you miss the 2019 Symposium in Phoenix, AZ? Did you forget to purchase recordings before leaving?  You can STILL purchase recordings - Stream or download videos.

Order today!

Resourceful Recordings

Journal CME

Medical Acupuncture, the Official Journal of the AAMA, contains selected articles that are approved for 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™Mary Ann Liebert, Inc publishers anticipates that 6 articles per year will carry CME credit. 

CME credit is available for free to AAMA members and available to other subscribers and readers for a small fee. 

Click here to access current and past issues of Medical Acupuncture.

Scientific Research

Read more evidence-based research on acupuncture and its applications in medical practice.

Copyright 2020 by American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
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