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December 2018 Newsletter

Table of Contents - December 2018

AAMA Research Program Offers Funding Opportunity

When I first began studying acupuncture I wondered: Can I really contribute anything to the field? Can I change the current surgical/urological guidelines to include acupuncture treatments? Can I increase the exposure of medical acupuncture to open the minds of other medical providers? What can I actually do? I am “just” a urologist! 

Fortunately, one of my urogynecology partners, an HMI-trained acupuncturist, Dr. M.P. FitzGerald, showed me how anyone can change the guidelines and the outdated standards of care. Dr. FitzGerald was instrumental in designing and conducting a funded randomized clinical trial comparing two methods of manual therapy (myofascial physical therapy (MPT) and global therapeutic massage (GTM)) among patients with urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes1. The study included 48 subjects with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome or interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome at six clinical centers and showed positive results, leading toa modification in the standard of care! This trial illustrates how even a small trial and the ongoing efforts of a motivated individual can cultivate much-needed change in medical practices.  

This led to my journey into acupuncture research,as well as a quest to find appropriate funding mechanisms that would support rigorous acupuncture studies. The AAMA did not have a grant mechanism at that time, soI appliedto several urological foundations where Ifinally obtained funding for my studies on acupuncture for urological pain disorders. At the same time, I was working to educate my surgical colleagues about the potential value of medical acupuncture for urologic disorders. 

As such, it is with great pleasure that I am announcing the establishment of the AAMA research committee and the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) Grant program. Additional announcements from the Board will follow. Presently, we are inviting motivated AAMA members to volunteer for the research committee. I have found serving on the AAMA Board of Directors highly rewarding and a great honor. I seek to empower AAMA members to improve treatment approaches in their respective specialties by pursuing and publishing their acupuncture research. Volunteering on the research committee will be a step in the right direction, as well. Please reach out to me if you’d like more information about the grant program or the research committee. 

Larissa Bresler, MD, DABMA
Associate Professor of Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, LUMC, HVA
American Urological Association Leadership Program Award 2018-2019
AAMA Board of Directors 2017-current, Research Committee Chairperson 

Reference: Randomized multicenter feasibility trial of myofascial physical therapy for the treatment of urological chronic pelvic pain syndromes. FitzGerald MP, Anderson RU, Potts J, Payne CK, Peters KM, Clemens JQ, Kotarinos R, Fraser L, Cosby A, Fortman C, et al. J Urol. 2009 Aug; 182(2):570-80. Epub 2009 Jun 17. 

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new member who became part of the AAMA in November 2018:

  • Jessie Fan, MD of Portland, OR 
  • Mary E Warfield, MD, LAc of Washington Grove, MD 
  • Jennifer George Chang, MD of Bethesda, MD 

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. 

Looking Ahead to a Healthy January

Many of your patients will make resolutions in the new year to be healthier — to exercise more, to lose weight, to stop smoking. Take some time to think about how medical acupuncture and other complementary health practices can help them, and be prepared to educate them about their options. A few recent articles that may be of interest: 

Opioid Educational Initiative and Webinar Series

One goal of the AAMA is to raise awareness of medical acupuncture among the general public and among our fellow medical professionals. Towards this end, the AAMA Board of Directors is launching a multimedia educational initiative to inform multiple audiences — consumers, physicians, journalists, and policy makers — about medical acupuncture's potential to help address the opioid crisis currently raging in the U.S.

You should have received an email last week with a patient-family informational PDF developed by the Board of Directors. Please consider emailing the PDF to your patient base, posting it on your website and social media channels, and printing copies to share with patients in your practice waiting room. The AAMA will share similar messaging with legislators and members of the health care media in an effort to further raise awareness. 

To help prepare AAMA members to treat patients’ pain and addiction issues, we have also arranged for a series of CME-eligible webinars focused on the treatment of opioid addiction from the perspective of medical acupuncture. The series, which launches in March 2019, will provide those of you who are interested in this field or need a knowledge refresher with up-to-date information to use in your practices as you encounter patients in pain. (Missed the email? Download the PDF now.)  

Call for Submissions: Medical Acupuncture Clinical Pearls

Medical Acupuncture, the official Journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, publishes an interactive section in each issue, Clinical Pearls. Each issue we pose a question on a particular topic and invite short submissions from experts in the field. We are seeking your opinion on how you treat Burning Mouth Syndrome with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs, in your practice for possible publication in the next issue of the Journal.Please send your 500-750 word contribution in a Word document that contains your complete name, degrees, affiliation, mailing address, and full contact information, including telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address to Managing Editor, Yael BenPorat by January 5, 2019.  

Help Build the AAMA and Earn $$

We're excited to announce a new member-recruiting program designed to reward current members for referring their 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 (like the dry needling above!) 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 info@medicalacupuncture.org or calling 310-379-8261.    

Established Practice for Sale by AAMA Diplomate

Unique opportunity to take over a lucrative, well-established, outpatient-only pediatrics practice in one of the most beautiful parts of Colorado. The current owner is an AAMA diplomate and runs a truly “integrated” practice in every sense of the word, providing holistic care to all by using adjunct therapies that have profoundly beneficial effects for patients. Read more. 

Become a Fellow of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

Fellowship in the AAMA represents superior commitment to the practice of medical acupuncture. Election of Fellows occurs each Spring during the annual election of AAMA officers and directors. The application deadline for the coming year is March 8, 2019. To be nominated to Fellow of the Academy, members must submit applications documenting the following:       

  • Possess an MD or DO degree or equivalent.
  • Be licensed to practice as an MD, DO or homeopathic physician in the US or Canada.
  • Be Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture.
  • Be a current Full member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.
  • Have a minimum of five years of Western medicine practice experience or be Board Certified in his or her medical specialty.
  • Have a minimum of four years of clinical experience in medical acupuncture since completing a basic training program in medical acupuncture.
  • Have published or have accepted for publication an acupuncture related article in a recognized medical periodical ... OR ... Have documented ten hours or more of experience teaching medical professionals on acupuncture related topics.   

2019 AAMA Annual Symposium – Agenda Finalized

Make plans now to attend the 31st Annual AAMA Symposium which will be held April 11-14, 2019, at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. Symposium program Co-Chairs David Miller, MD, LAc and Freda Dreher, MD, FAAMA, along with Vice-Chair Anna Esparham, MD, and several committee members have worked hard to design an exceptional program.

The 2019 conference, Art of Healing: Acupuncture Pearls in Clinical Practice, will provide you with not only "Monday morning" skills in workshops such as acupuncture for myofascial pain, traumatic brain injury, care for acute conditions, and integrative support for oncology patients, but also self-cultivation through workshops such as qi gong and classical Chinese calligraphy. You will have a chance to delve into the Luo Vessels with internationally renowned teacher Yvonne Farrell, as well as to consider the San Jiao and in its role throughout the lifespan and autism with Dr. Stephen Cowan. Please register now for this enlivening event that will bring you together with your peers from around the country, and beyond. 

Pre-Symposium Topics Announced, 4/11/19, in Phoenix, AZ! 

The optional Pre-Symposium is intended to provide a concentrated learning experience in which faculty spend an entire day focused on a topic in greater depth and with more time for practical examples from clinical experiences. Workshops are scheduled concurrently on Thursday, April 11, 2019, from 8:00 am-5:30 pm. (Continental breakfast and refreshment breaks are provided. Lunch is on your own.) The AAMA designates this live activity (each Pre-Symposium) for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.  

  1. Workshop I – "Pediatrics – The San Jiao and Its Role in Healthy Growth and Development" presented by Stephen Cowan, MD
  2. Workshop II – "The Auricular Causative Approach for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurologic Conditions" presented by Nadia Volf, MD, PhD
  3. Workshop III – "Integrative Oncology: Supportive Care for Cancer Patients" presented by Butch Levy, MD
  4. Workshop IV – "How to Successfully Incorporate Medical Acupuncture into Your Medical Practice" presented by Nick Kouchis, MD Learn more and register now!  

Review Course: Sign Up Now

April 9-10, 2019
Phoenix, Arizona
The Medical Acupuncture Review Course has been developed 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 overall objectives of the Review Course are to: Review and solidify previously acquired knowledge and experience in medical acupuncture. Reinforce understanding of the basic material appropriate for a physician practicing acupuncture in North America. Refresh the participant’s exposure and awareness of certain specialized aspects of acupuncture not always utilized in traditional practice settings.      

Call for Entries: Annual Symposium Poster Presentations & Free Paper (oral) Presentations

The deadline is January 26, 2019 to submit an abstract for the poster session on Saturday evening and/or paper (oral) presentation (cash awards for the winning papers) at the AAMA 2019 Symposium in Phoenix, AZ. The Free Paper session will take place Saturday, April 13, in the afternoon. Posters will be displayed during the Saturday, April 13, reception. All papers and posters must be submitted in English. Information-sharing between AAMA peers is critical to the life and growth of our industry. Make plans to submit your work!    

Call for Entries: Annual Research Paper Competition

Apply now to present a Research Paper at the AAMA 2019 Symposium at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, in Phoenix, AZ, on April 12-14, 2019. While space and time are limited, we do expect a hearty number of great submissions from our international colleagues. Further, international submissions have won awards for our Poster Presentations and Research Papers at our Symposia for many years. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place awards will be presented at the AAMA Symposium. The deadline for submission of research papers for the competition is February 15, 2019. If your paper is selected as one of the winners, you will be notified by February 26, 2019. We are pleased to offer:

  1. First Place: $1,500 stipend, Symposium Registration, travel reimbursement up to $500, and three nights hotel lodging for the presenting author. Paper to be presented at the AAMA Symposium in Phoenix, April 2019.
  2. Second Place: $750 stipend, Symposium Registration, travel reimbursement up to $500.
  3. Third Place: $350 stipend and Symposium Registration.

The First-Place winning paper is to be presented in a 30-minute Plenary Session at the Symposium. Papers for second and third place to be announced at the Symposium. Authors will be acknowledged there. Find more information on the AAMA website. 

ICYMI: In Case You Missed it Last Month

Serve on the AAMA Board of Directors
In the spring each year, the Academy has an election of Directors and Officers to guide the Academy for the following year. If you are interested in being considered for a seat on the Board of Directors or if you are interested in working on one of the Academy committees, send an email to the Nominations Committee Chair Tom Burgoon.       

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Medical Acupuncture — Acupuncture to Foster Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
The practice of acupuncture for health prevention and promotion is well-established in China. Recently, the National Institute of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health noted the advancement of their prevention research portfolio. Our journal Medical Acupuncture is publishing a special issue on this topic and our colleague, Richard Niemtzow, MD, the journal’s editor-in-chief, invites you to contribute your research on the use of acupuncture in preventing disease and fostering health promotion. Visit the Medical Acupuncture website for manuscript submission guidelines. 

Professional Development Opportunities

2019 Review Course
April 9-10, 2019
Phoenix, Arizona

AAMA Pre-Symposium: 4 Optional Workshops 
April 11, 2019
Phoenix, AZ

AAMA 31st Annual Symposium
April 11-14, 2019
Phoenix, AZ

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.  

New Scientific Research 

Acupuncture in the ED Cuts Pain, Reduces Stress, Anxiety
Acupuncture in the emergency department (ED) setting relieves pain, cuts stress and anxiety, and is acceptable to the majority of patients, new research shows. 

Outpatient acupuncture effects on patient self-reported symptoms in oncology care: A retrospective analysis of real-world data.
[Journal of Clinical Oncology]
Conclusions: Outpatient acupuncture was associated with immediate and longitudinal significant improvement across a range of symptoms commonly experienced by individuals during cancer care. Further research is needed to better understand frequency of treatments needed in clinical practice to help maintain benefit.

Acupuncture to Reduce Opioid Consumption in Patients with Pain: Getting to the Right Points 
[Pain Medicine]
As opioid dependence and chronic pain management are highly complex, trials using acupuncture or pragmatic comparative effectiveness designs may be more productive and timely in guiding public health practice rather than the more narrow testing of the specific efficacy of acupuncture needling. Further, it is important to collaborate with neuroscientists to better use appropriate tools/biomarkers to phenotype various chronic pain conditions and determine if targeted acupuncture stimulation (i.e., electric, manual, or auricular) is the most appropriate method of opioid-sparing personalized pain management for specific types of pain.

Earn $50 for New Member!

Know someone who could - and should - become an AAMA member? Earn $50 for yourself by getting them to join the Academy!

Send their contact info to the Academy - if they submit a membership application and are found to be eligible for Full membership, pay the application fee and one year's dues, the Academy will provide you a $50 credit to use on Academy items such as future Dues, Symposium or Workshop registration.

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

Membership Information

Journal CME

Medical Acupuncture, the Official Journal of the AAMA, now 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.

Make Plans Now

2019 Annual Symposium
April 12-14, 2019
Phoenix, AZ

Mark Your Calendars Today!

Scientific Research

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