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February 2018 Newsletter

Table of Contents - February 2018

The Inspiration and Satisfaction of Practicing Acupuncture with Older Patients 

I enjoy providing medical acupuncture for my elderly patients. When I ask my family medicine residents who is more likely to have chronic pain and not respond well to treatment — the elderly! they respond — their bias reflects a certain degree of ageism and their recent experience in the hospital setting with a preponderance of older patients with complex medical illnesses. But they are a bit chagrined to find that older folks are made of tough stuff, demonstrating more resilience than many of their 20- to 30-year-old peers.    

Resilience is one of the most important skills parents, teachers, mentors, therapists and coaches cultivate in the next generations. Resilience empowers patients to fully engage in choosing their best path in life, to engage in taking care of themselves and to put life events and priorities in perspective. And it makes my role as a physician profoundly easier.   

We like to think our patients gain wisdom over time as they age, but they also are vulnerable to the accretion of co-morbid disease and declining organ functions. Western medicine has limits on what it can deliver. Folks may not be able to tolerate typical drugs used to treat various conditions, or they develop intolerance to drugs with exposure over time. The miracles of invasive procedures and surgeries can be lifesaving … or life sapping. Medical misadventures can lead to a certain cynicism and fear.   Medical acupuncture has offered many of my older patients a clearer path to addressing their various pains. It is not pixie dust. But life experience has a way of tempering expectations and helping folks realize an approach tailored to their unique problems is more desirable than popping a pill and zoning out.  

It has been my privilege to bring medical acupuncture to my elderly patients. While acupuncture and Eastern medicine have not been part of their understanding of the way their body works, I them to be curious and very engaged. Yes, it may take a little longer to elicit their history — and even longer for them to get undressed and dress again to go home. They may require creative positioning given physical limitations. By and large though, acupuncture has offered them an improved level of pain relief, quality of life and independence…and their doctor enjoys their lived witness in choosing to live life fully.   

With warmest winter regards,
Montiel Rosenthal, MD, DABMA
AAMA Board of Directors
AAMA Education Committee, Chair   

Welcome New AAMA Members

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

  • Leah M Welsh, DO of Columbus OH 
  • Eileen P Primero, MD of Stockton, CA 
  • Sau Yee Wong, MBBS(HK) of Hong Kong 
  • Larry Michael Fraley, MD of Bennington, VT 
  • Mike Stretanski, DO of Mansfield, OH 
  • Elizabeth Evelyn Atnip, MD of Boise, ID 
  • Robert Patrick Brislin, DO of Chadds Ford, PA 

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.   

Louisa Silva, MD, FAAMA (1954-2018)

We are sad to share news about the death of a former AAMA member and symposium presenter. Dr. Louisa M.T. Silva, was born in London, England on September 29, 1954 and passed away peacefully in Salem, Oregon on January 2, 2018. Dr. Silva opened her own practice in the 1990's with an emphasis on Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Over the years she became interested in researching and treating Autism, which became her passion. She ultimately founded Qigong Sensory Training Institute (Q.S.T.I.) for the training of a massage technique for treatment of symptoms of autism. Read more.   

Silva’s recent research includes: 

Will you be at the 30th Annual AAMA Annual Symposium?

"Across Time and Continents - The Integration of Ancient and Modern in 21st Century Acupuncture." 
Kansas City, April 12-15, 2018

Make your plans for the 2018 Symposium today! The 30th Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 13-15, 2018, at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. This conference will offer a multi-tiered approach for the understanding and clinical relevance of acupuncture in daily practice. Highlights include: 

  • Acupuncture, Microglia, Mast Cells & The Gut 
  • Treatment of Peripheral Nerve Entrapments with Electroacupuncture 
  • Acupuncture and Addiction Medicine 
  • Pain, Acupuncture and Advocacy 
  • Herbal Medicine Safety 
  • Gastrointestinal Issues and Chinese Medicine 
  • And an annual favorite … Early Morning Gong with Aung!   

Book Your Room Before the March Hotel Cut-off Date!

Don’t risk higher rates or sold-out blocks. Reserve your room today for the AAMA Annual Symposium. Call 816-474-4400 or book online

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)   

Pre-Symposium Workshops Offer Specialized Education and Added Value

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:  

  • Pediatric Acupuncture in Classical Chinese Medicine — presented by Jeffrey Yuen: This pre-symposium will focus on the health of neonates and their progression into young children. Emphasis will be placed on maintaining wellness and how to treat common pediatric conditions utilizing acupuncture from the viewpoint of Classical Chinese Medicine. 
  • Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture — presented by Darrell Wallace, LAc: At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to recognize the differences between Chinese scalp acupuncture and Yamamoto new scalp acupuncture (YNSA); locate the YNSA basic points and cranial nerve points; demonstrate proficiency with neck diagnosis; and perform a treatment for neck and low back pain. 
  • Korean Hand Therapy: Introductory and Intermediate Workshop — presented by Lowell E. Kobrin, MD, PhD, FAAMA: This workshop will cover the essentials for successful diagnosis and treatment using Korean Hand Therapy. The practitioner should have a comfortable knowledge of the body acupuncture meridians and points, the Eight Principles and Zang/Fu theory as well as a solid understanding of Five Phase dynamics (Shen and Ke cycles) and a basic understanding of Extraordinary (Curious) meridians. 
  • Advanced Acupuncture for Mental and Emotional Health  — presented by Susie Hayes, LAc: This lecture fuses the deep wealth of ancient medical wisdom with advances in conventional medicine, creating practical approaches for the management of psychological conditions seen too commonly in the clinic today.  Particularly, the material will focus on anxiety, insomnia, and depression.   

Dry Needling by Physical Therapists Resurfaces in NJ

As reported by NJSpotlight, "Physical therapists have relaunched a campaign to add dry needling to their list of services, just five months after New Jersey officials ruled the increasingly popular pain-relief technique was not within their professional scope of practice and should be left to acupuncturists." (Read the full article.) The AAMA strongly opposes this attempt by physical therapists, as documented by its Policy on Dry-Needling, which states: "To include dry needling into the scope of practice by physical therapists is unnecessarily to expose the public to serious and potentially hazardous risks. Because of this we feel a duty to inform legislators and regulating bodies about the inherent danger to the public of this practice." (Read the full policy.) We encourage you to learn more about your state’s current position on this topic and get involved in legislative policy-making to protect patients.           

Urgent: 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.   

New Articles Feature Battlefield Acupuncture and Richard Niemtzow

Battlefield Acupuncture? Yes, It Exists, And The Military Is Using It To Fight Troops’ Pain
“The U.S. military has added the ancient holistic therapy of acupuncture to its arsenal for fighting opioid abuse in the ranks. The practice, which first originated in China about 8,000 years ago, provides immediate relief for acute and chronic pain, and, without the risk of addiction, can be used without any restrictions. One of the most popular forms used in the military has been dubbed ‘battlefield acupuncture,’ or BFA, because it’s simple to administer and easily transportable, according to Dr. Richard Niemtzow, who developed BFA in 2001. With BFA, service members can continue to participate, unimpaired, in work and life.” 

377th Medical Group in New Mexico offers battlefield acupuncture for pain relief
This first-person account includes a shout out to AAMA member, Dr. Richard Niemtzow, a leader in the practice of battlefield acupuncture to reduce pain.  

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):   

  • Jennifer Bickel-Young, MD, DABMA 
  • Jyoti Gharge, MD, DABMA 
  • Cara A. Jennings, MD, DABMA   

The AAMA Needs Your Leadership & Talents

Members of the Academy just like you serve on the Board of Directors and on Committees advising the Board — and they’re making the decisions regarding programs and activities that set the future for the Academy. Join us! All members are invited to take part in this volunteer governance process. Tackle on a small but important committee task with low time-commitment, or assume a more significant role by joining a standing committee or the Board of Directors. In the spring each year, the AAMA elects 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, please send an email to Executive Administrator James Dowden at jdowden@prodigy.net or to Nominations Committee Chair Tom Burgoon at tburgoonmd@gmail.com.     

Professional Development Opportunities

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.  

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 …

REMINDER: 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 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: 

  • Pain from an injury 
  • PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues 
  • Knee pain from osteoarthritis 
  • Low back pain 
  • Substance dependence and abuse 
  • Nausea and vomiting 

The deadline for manuscript submission is April 10, 2018. Read more.    

New Scientific Research

Read the February 2018 issue: Medical Acupuncture
Free access to articles and CME with AAMA Membership   

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Case Study
[Medicines Journal]
Conclusion: Acupuncture was effective as an alternative or complementary treatment of knee osteoarthritis, with high levels of improvement within a modest intervention period.

Acupuncture For Patients With Chronic Functional Constipation: A Randomized Controlled Trial
[Neurogastroenterology & Motility]
Conclusions & Interferences The three acupuncture treatments were as effective as mosapride in improving stool frequency and stool consistency in CFC, but the magnitude of the treatment effect is unknown due to the lack of sham acupuncture control.    

Acupuncture For The Treatment Of Post-Partum Urinary Retention
[European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology]
Conclusion: Acupuncture proved to be an excellent alternative to catheterization in treatment of women with postpartum urinary retention. 

Evidence Of Drug-Free Interventions For Postoperative Pain Management After Total Knee Arthroplasty
[JAMA Surgery]
“To the Editor We applaud the efforts taken by Tedesco et al1 in assessing the evidence of nonpharmacological interventions for postoperative pain management following total knee arthroplasty. According to the results of this systematic review and meta-analysis, electrotherapy and acupuncture could potentially reduce and delay consumption of opioids, which are used for pain relief after total knee arthroplasty. However, despite being very interested, we would like to address a few concerns regarding this article. …” 

Impact Of Acupuncture On Antihistamine Use In Patients Suffering Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR): Secondary Analysis Of Results From A Randomised Controlled Trial
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
Conclusions: Acupuncture appeared to significantly reduce the number of days of antihistamine use while improving RQoL and SAR symptoms; it can therefore be considered a valuable, additional treatment option for patients with SAR.   

Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Women with Fibromyalgia: Group Acupuncture with Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis-Based Point Selection
[Pain Medicine]
Conclusions Compared with education, group acupuncture improved global symptom impact, pain, and fatigue. Furthermore, it was a safe and well-tolerated treatment option, improving a broader proportion of patients than current pharmaceutical options. 

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.