December 2017 Newsletter

Table of Contents - December 2017

2017 = A Pivotal Year For Pain Management: Medical Acupuncture Relevance And Your Future As A Member Of The AAMA

Pain comes in many shapes and forms: acute, sub-acute and chronic. As medically trained physicians offering acupuncture to our patients we are poised and able to bring effective relief to our patients suffering from this malady. The management of pain has become a critical discussion in all segments of medicine in the past year as our country is struggling with an opioid-dependence crisis. Many national organizations from the American College of Physicians (ACP), the NIH, the FDA and others have created task forces and white papers to help create solutions and evidence based recommendations.   

Some of these recommendations have included non-traditional forms of medicine, such as acupuncture; sadly, others have totally ignored these alternatives an option for care. Recently, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (a national group of 72 academic health care centers focused of the advancement on integrative medicine and health through research and clinical care) created a pain task force and released a white paper. I am including links to the white paper and a summary that I urge you to read:

In other great news for our industry, the AAMA’s founding president, Dr. Joseph Helms, has been honored with a very public award! Helms created the Acus Foundation to train doctors in the military to use medical acupuncture and “think acupuncture first” as their treatment protocol for pain management at the Nellis Air Force Base. The results have been outstanding. So much so that Helms has been recognized by Oprah magazine as a Health Hero in the January 2018! (Look for this cover!) Kudos to Joe and his whole team who have made this happen! We all benefit from your dedicated service and excellent outcomes.   

As you grapple with pain management in your practice, take note of how our community is serving you as a member of the AAMA:   

At our last Symposium in April 2017 in Pittsburgh:   
AAMA board member Dr. Leslie Smith and her husband Mark McEachran kindly taped and edited short videos done by some of our own members who volunteered. Although these are non-professional, they cover a range of subjects, including headaches and pain. Their goal was help to educate future potential patients about acupuncture. Currently they are being featured on our AAMA website and rotating for a period of 30 days. However the goal is to make these available and accessible to all our members for their own use and marketing. As soon as this is possible, our admin team will be informing you how you can do this. Here is a link to the current video on our website:   

Medical Board Outreach:
In view of the opioid crisis we discussed and created an out reach program to educate all the State Medical Boards about the AAMA and acupuncture. This is an ongoing project that many are still working on.   

In our upcoming Symposium in April 2018 in Kansas City: 
We have planned afternoon workshop on addiction medicine — a pertinent topic that will be useful to all of us. The workshop will be presented by previous board members, Drs. Anna Kelly and Rey Ximenez. Also, Dr. David Nagel will be presenting an overview of the pain advocacy movement in the U.S.   

The AAMA is a member of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC):
The IHPC is a national organization helping to guide the development of regulation regarding integrative medicine, which is pertinent to our future. Currently, board member Dr. Doug Powell represents the AAMA. The chairman of this committee, Dr. Leonard Wisneski, will be lecturing on this topic in Kansas. Another good reason to put the symposium on your calendar for next year!   

Legislative Response and Representation:
The AAMA Legislative Committee is constantly being asked for help in different parts of the country. One current focus is in the state of Michigan with regards to training and educational requirements for physicians doing acupuncture, and for PTs doing dry needling. If you know anyone practicing in Michigan, please suggest they contact Dr. Jay Sandweiss to get involved.   

From the board and admin team of the AAMA, I wish you all a peace-filled and healthy holiday season. And as you plan out your calendar for 2018, pleae make our annual symposium one of your priorities!   

Happy Holidays!
Sandi Amoils, MD
AAMA, Vice President   

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the the AAMA in November 2017: 

  • Shannon L Phipps, DO, of Kennewick, WA 
  • Joanna Corinne Bowyer, DVM, of Johns Creek, GA 
  • Bogdan Ionut Davidescu, MD, of Briarwood, NY 
  • Asante VanWest-Charles-LeBlanc, BSC, MD, of Woodbrook, Trinidad and Tobago 

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 Thomas Etges, MD, the membership committee chair.   

Oprah Magazine Names Acus Founder Dr. Joseph Helms 2018 Health Hero 

From the Acus Foundation Announcement: "Acus Foundation is thrilled to announce that Oprah Magazine has named our Founder and President, Dr. Joseph Helms, a 2018 Health Hero. Designated ‘the opioid fighter,’ Helms was honored for his work in bringing medical acupuncture to military health care and helping veterans and service members get off opioids. Helms, who graduated from UCLA medical school said, ‘Being trained in medical acupuncture as well as conventional medicine gives physicians a choice. Instead of pills, the doctor can suggest acupuncture first.’" Read more. (Or check out the January 2018 issue of O Magazine!)   

AAMA Member Delivers Keynote at Recent Conference

Thomas Burgoon, MD, immediate past president of the AAMA, gave a keynote lecture at the 4th annual World Congress of High-Tech Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine in Xian, China, on September 25-27, 2017. He shared the keynote forum with conference chair, Dr. Gerhard Litscher, a professor with the Medical University of Graz, Austria, and Xiang-Hong Jing MD, PhD, Director of the Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.   

Burgoon’s talk addressed recent advances in research on acupuncture mechanisms of action, which confirm some fundamental principles of traditional Chinese acupuncture. Litscher gave a lecture on modern ear acupuncture with highlights from high-tech research. Jing presented Acupoint Sensitization and the General Effects of Acupoints.   

Included among the speakers was Dr. Karin Stockert, President of the Austrian Acupuncture Society. Stockert presented her research: Laser Acupuncture and Probiotics in School-Age Children with Asthma: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study of Therapy Guided by the Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.   

Plan Now to Attend the 30th Annual AAMA Annual Symposium

Kansas City, April 12-15, 2018
Make your plans for the 2018 Symposium today. The theme of the Symposium is "Across Time and Continents - The Integration of Ancient and Modern in 21st Century Acupuncture." The 30th Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 13-15, 2018 at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  Symposium program Vice-Chair Freda Dreher, MD, FAAMA, Co-Chairs Laura Bowman, MD, DABMA, and David Miller, MD, LAc and several other committee members are already hard at work designing an exceptional program. This conference will offer a multi-tiered approach for the understanding and clinical relevance of acupuncture in daily practice. It will expand our awareness of scientific research into the effects of acupuncture, and provide participants with information about different approaches for the treatment of common conditions seen in clinical practice. Clinicians will learn multi-faceted ways to tailor acupuncture treatments for their individual patients. This conference will focus on clinically relevant treatment approaches that can easily be integrated into clinical practice.   

Hotel Information:
The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
1 East Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
Room rate $179 (sgl/dbl)
Cut-off: March 19, 2018 (or when our block of rooms sells out, whichever comes first)
Call 816-474-4400 or book online.   

Register Now for Optional Pre-Symposium Workshops

Register now for an extra day of professional development during your stay in Kansas City for the Annual Symposium. The following optional workshops are available for an added fee:  

  1. Pediatric Acupuncture in Classical Chinese Medicine — presented by Jeffrey Yuen 
  2. Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture — presented by Darrell Wallace, LAc 
  3. Korean Hand Therapy: Introductory and Intermediate Workshop — presented by Lowell E. Kobrin, MD, PhD, FAAMA 
  4. Advanced Acupuncture for Mental and Emotional Health  — presented by Susie Hayes, LAc   

Call for Entries: AAMA Annual Symposium Paper & Poster Presentations

The cutoff is January 26, 2018 to submit an abstract for the poster session on Saturday evening and/or free paper (oral) presentation at the AAMA 2018 Symposium at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Kansas City, MO on April 13-15, 2018. The Free Paper session will take place Saturday, April 14, in the afternoon. Posters will be displayed during the Saturday, April 14, reception. All papers and posters must be submitted in English.   

Call for Papers! Special Issue: Use of Acupuncture in the Veterans Health Administration

Medical Acupuncture is organizing a critical special issue on the use of acupuncture and integrative health in the Veterans Health Administration. The VA is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, serving more than 9 million enrolled Veterans each year, and VA physicians and other health care providers are doing impressive research and implementing vital programs to expand acupuncture treatments for a wide range of conditions. The issue will be an outstanding showcase of the fine work being done at the VA in this area of integrative medicine. Work being done with Veterans outside of the VA system will also be considered. The Guest Editors encourage the submission of papers on original research and clinical management exploring the use of acupuncture with Veterans for the following conditions, among others: 

  1. Pain from an injury PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues 
  2. Knee pain from osteoarthritis 
  3. Low back pain 
  4. Substance dependence and abuse 
  5. Nausea and vomiting 

The deadline for manuscript submission is April 10, 2018. Please submit your papers online to our web-based manuscript submission and peer-review system. Visit the website to read about the journal and to view a sample issue. Editorial questions? Contact Editor-in-Chief Richard Niemtzow, MD. Manuscript preparation or technical questions? Contact the Managing Editor Yael Ben-Porat, Lac.

New Cancer Research in Support of Acupuncture Widely Promoted 

Study Shows Acupuncture Decreased Joint Pain in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Aromatase Inhibitors
Acupuncture decreased joint symptoms in women with early-stage breast cancer treated with aromatase inhibitors, according to a randomized, multicenter clinical trial led by researchers at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The study was developed and managed by SWOG, the global cancer trials network funded by the National Cancer Institute, and the findings were presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 5 – 9. 

Physicians Earn ABMA Certification

The following physicians recently met the stringent requirements of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) and have achieved Board Certification in medical acupuncture. These doctors have earned the designation DABMA (Diplomate, American Board of Medical Acupuncture):  

  • Kevin Barrows, MD, DABMA
  • Joseph Walker III, MD, DABMA   

Physician Completes 10-year ABMA Recertification Process

Congratulations to the following physician who has completed the process ( set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture Board of Trustees to be recertified as a Diplomate for another 10 years: 

  • Kit Lee, MD

Professional Development Opportunities

Don’t Miss! Manual Medicine and Functional Medicine Pearls
Presented by Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA 

January 27-28, 2018
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is pleased to announce another offering of an exciting education opportunity — a workshop focused on manual medicine treatments derived from osteopathic manipulative medicine. Participants will learn new diagnostic and treatment strategies for increasing competency and improving patient outcomes when treating pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction. Diagnostic techniques include: manual muscle testing, tissue palpation, motion testing, visual anatomical landmark assessment, tender point analysis, and somatic listening. Additionally, attendees will learn evidence-based nutritional/herbal pearls for treating a variety of common patient complaints. Register now!   

2018 Review Course: Sign Up Now!
April 10-11, 2018
Kansas City, Missouri
The Medical Acupuncture Review Course provides a broad-based refresher course, which is especially useful 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. Register now! 

International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health
May 8-11, 2018
Baltimore, MD
The 2018 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health theme, "Collaboration in Action: Advancing Integrative Health through Research, Education, Clinical Practice and Policy," reflects both the collaborative nature of the field and the scope of the scientific program.   

In Case You Missed It

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Unprecedented Advances
Farshad M. Ahadian, MD, professor of anesthesiology, University of California, San Diego, presented at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM) 28th Annual Meeting. "Right now,” said Ahadian, “we have a pretty solid foundation for the efficacy of acupuncture" for headache, osteoarthritis (OA), and musculoskeletal conditions. His prediction for the future? "I think it's fair to say that acupuncture is here to stay. It's going to be a permanent addition to our tool box."   

REMINDER: Legislative Alert 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 possibly engage if necessary. Feel free to reach out to the Academy by emailing or calling: 310-379-8261.   

New Scientific Research

Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Serotonin, and Substance P Levels: A Randomized Sham and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
[Pain Medicine]
Conclusions: Acupuncture, rather than sham or placebo acupuncture, may lead to long-term improvements on clinical outcomes and pain neuromediator values. Changes in serum serotonin and SP levels may be a valuable explanation for acupuncture mechanisms in FM treatment. 

The effect of electro-acupuncture on pro-oxidant antioxidant balance values in overweight and obese subjects: a randomized controlled trial study
[Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine]
Conclusions: Electro-acupuncture in combination with a low-calorie diet was more effective at reducing serum PAB values in obese subjects compared to diet alone. Further work is required to determine the mechanism by which electro-acupuncture has this effect. 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus Medicine Association Pain Management Guidelines Needed to Curb Opioid Epidemic
[Infectious Diseases Society of America]
“We have seen the benefits of these modalities in the integrative medicine program at our hospital practice for 17 years. Yoga, massage, and acupuncture, which are offered in our practice, have remarkably benefitted patients with musculoskeletal conditions and neuropathic pain. In our experience, we have successfully withdrawn opioid therapy using nonpharmacologic therapies.”       

Acupuncture treatment for peripheral facial palsy
[Journal of the Neurological Sciences]
Conclusion: Although both groups had the same first Yanagihara score, fewer acupuncture patients had a good recovery, suggesting that patients in this group may have been poorer candidates for recovery. In addition, acupuncture administered early was associated with good outcome, suggesting that early initiation of acupuncture may improve the outcome. 

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis
[Journal of Pain]  
Perspective: Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculosketal, headache and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects. Referral for a course of acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for a patient with chronic pain. 

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. 

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