January 2016 Newsletter

Table of Contents - January 2016

AAMA: Your Legal & Legislative Resource  

As we move into the New Year, it is with enthusiasm and optimism that we look forward to the growth and progress of medical acupuncture into our daily practices. The challenge to deliver the best healthcare to our patients is ever present, and it may be no coincidence that other healthcare providers are drawn to the benefits of inserting of a needle into the human body – and its profound effects.   

The AAMA is committed to ensuring the public safety and health by maintaining a standard of requirements to be qualified and safe to treat those we call patients. We are the “go to” resource for you, as well as state and medical licensing agencies, to obtain answers to questions as arise when medical acupuncture becomes more and more present in our healthcare system. We see the ever-changing landscape of medicine, and those who would attempt to use needles on the public, as an attempt to capture a growing population who are becoming weary of medications and want “something more.” To elaborate, I need to say nothing more than “dry needling.”    

Communication with the AAMA and its members is of the utmost importance while advancing medical acupuncture into our patient care. All 50 states have different rules and regulations reading the practice of acupuncture.  

As an example, a recent graduate of an accepted medical acupuncture program contacted the AAMA with questions regarding insurance coverage. In Pennsylvania, the medical acupuncturist was told by the powers that be that there would be no subsidy or assistance with sustaining a full one million in coverage as required. Other physicians recover such subsidy, but he was informed such assistance would not be available for the practice of acupuncture. Enter AAMA board member Marshall Sager, DO, and his attorney wife, who were able to assist the new practitioner and get clarification that such assistance would, indeed, be available.   

In another recent matter, regarding the practice of medical acupuncture in the state of Oregon, there were issues being evaluated regarding “clean needle practice.” This is a fairly large position paper referenced by the LAc population in Oregon. With the significant work and help by fellow AAMA board member, Tom Etges, MD, the licensing agency interpreting the rule decided not to pursue. This could have negatively impacted the practice of medical acupuncture in the state of Oregon.  

In summary, it is through involvement and communication with the AAMA and its members that we both protect and progress medical acupuncture – not only in this New Year, but also in the years to come as we evolve our practices to best treat and improve the outcome of our beloved patients.   

Gerald J. Leglue, Jr., MD, FAAPMR, DABMA
Secretary, AAMA Board of Directors   

Oregon Medical Board Decides Against Adoption of “Clean Needle Technique” Rule 

In the fall of 2015, it was brought to the AAMA Board’s attention that the Oregon Medical Board had received a proposal from the Oregon Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc) community to adopt the “Clean Needle Technique (CNT)” in its entirety. This practice is described in a comprehensive CNT Manual (7th Edition) set forth by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). It is a manual developed for non-physicians training in acupuncture. It is an attempt to provide guidelines for safe use of needles by non-physician acupuncture students in the United States since the majority of these students have had no prior medical training in the safe use of needles and medical instruments.  

The AAMA Board’s obvious concern was over the State’s potential decision to require all practitioners in the State of Oregon, including MDs and DOs, to adhere to this set of guidelines intended for non-physician acupuncturists. With the assistance of the Legislative Committee of the AAMA, including Marshall Sager, Gerald Leglue and Tom Burgoon, this matter was addressed formally by offering the Oregon Medical Board verbal testimony. I presented our concerns at the December 4, 2015, meeting held in Portland, OR. Nicole Krishnaswami, Operations & Policy Analyst for the Oregon Medical Board Acupuncture Committee, presided over the meeting that was gathering public testimony in regards to this issue.   

Subsequent to this meeting, the Acupuncture Committee of the Oregon Medical Board decided against adopting the rule, and I was informed by Nicole Krishnaswami that further action on this matter would not be taken by the Oregon Medical Board.   

Tom Etges, MD
Membership Committee, AAMA Board Member   

Early-Bird Registration Deadline – Annual Symposium in Anaheim, CA 

The 28th Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 7-10, 2016 at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, California. The deadline for the early-bird registration discounted fee is January 25, 2016. Register now.   

Pre-Symposium Workshop Preview 

The optional Pre-Symposium/Special Workshops are intended to provide a more concentrated learning experience where the faculty can spend the entire day focused on a topic in greater depth and with more time for practical examples from clinical experiences. These popular workshops are scheduled concurrently on the day before the Annual Symposium begins: Thursday, April 27, 2016, from 8am-5:30pm.   

Of particular interest this year is a special advanced-level workshop, which requires a screening application. The advanced-level workshop – "Extraordinary Vessels and Spirit Points to Alleviate Trauma Spectrum Symptoms" – is not for beginners or physicians not intimately experienced with this patient population.  Those interested in this workshop will need to apply and be screened for approval to attend. Acceptance is not automatic with application; board certification or eligibility is preferred but not required.    

The other pre-symposium workshops are:  

  • An Integrated Neuroanatomical Approach to Acupuncture Using the Very Point Technique and Trigger Point Needling
  • Channel Palpation: Science and Art in Acupuncture 
  • Integrative Medicine and TCM Acupuncture-Moxibustion for Common Diseases   

See more details: http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/ForPhysicians/Symposium.aspx

Call for Research Articles – Medical Acupuncture Journal 

For nearly two decades the AAMA’s journal, Medical Acupuncture, has brought you the latest acupuncture information. You might say that the journal is the window to the very soul of Medical Acupuncture information. Publisher Mary Ann Liebert has promulgated the journal to the very four corners of the world and as a digital “storm” on the internet; it gets noticed and the impressive downloads of articles number in the thousands per month!   

Originally the journal was published twice yearly and has grown now to every other month. The Special Editions propel us into specialized acupuncture technology. Our latest continuing education credit program has produced staggering interest from our readers.   

The journal only can continue to mature and maximize in quality if you, the readers, come forth with articles. They are the “electricity” that powers the journal and the “spark” that illuminates our knowledge. Most important, your input brings enhancements, improvements and credibility to the journal. Your contribution adds to our collective experience; it unleashes the power of Medical Acupuncture. Please contact me directly if you have an interesting article to submit or an idea for the journal.   

Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
E-MAIL: N5EVMD@GMAIL.COM   

ICMART Young Scientists' Travel Award 2016 

The Young Investigator Travel Award encourages and recognizes young scientific researchers of promise, upon whom progress in the field of acupuncture and related techniques is dependent. Interested candidates should submit an abstract summarizing any problem that relates to acupuncture techniques and their use (i.e., etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, or therapy of symptoms or diseases). All submitted abstracts compete for a limited number of Travel Grants covering travel expenses, congress fee and extra money. Accepted abstracts will be presented in a Young Scientists’ Session highlighted in the Congress program. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2016. Physicians, scientists, medical students and other healthcare providers currently in residency or fellowship programs, or who are no more than three years out of training, are eligible. Oral presentations will be given in the Young Scientists’ Session at the ICMART 2016 Congress, June 10-12, 2016, Sofia, Bulgaria. The Congress Fee for young scientists with accepted abstracts is reduced to 100 Euro. The Young Scientist Travel Awards (500 Euro each) will be granted by 3B Scientific GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.   

Last Call for Entries! Acupuncture Research Paper Competition 

Entries for the annual Acupuncture Research Paper competition is now accepting entries. The cut-off to apply to present a Research Paper at the AAMA Symposium 2016 at the Anaheim Hilton in Anaheim, CA, is January 29, 2016. Submissions must be original work, in either clinical research or basic biochemical or physiological research pertaining to acupuncture. The work must not have been previously published. Work completed and accepted for publication during the 2015-16 year period will be considered, if the publishing journal will allow presentation at AAMA Symposium. First, Second and Third Place awards will be presented at the AAMA Symposium in Anaheim. The First Place paper is to be presented in a 30-minute Plenary Session at the Symposium. Papers for Second and Third place are to be announced at the Symposium. Authors will be acknowledged there.   

Physician Earns Board Certifications

The following physician recently met the stringent requirements of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) and has achieved Board Certification in medical acupuncture. This doctor has earned the designation DABMA (Diplomate, American Board of Medical Acupuncture): Matthew Vukin, MD, of Salt Lake City, UT.   

New Scientific Research 

Acupuncture-like transcutaneous nerve stimulation therapy success after 5 years post-radiation-induced xerostomia: a case report.
(Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice)
Conclusion: This case report demonstrates a potential for offering ALTENS to those long suffering from radiation-induced xerostomia.    

A survey of study participants’ understanding of informed consent to participate in a randomized controlled trial of acupuncture
(MC Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
Conclusion: Trial participants’ understanding of informed consent was overall satisfactory but highlighted some areas of deficiency. Future studies could consider use of supplementary material such as Q and A fact sheets. 

Therapeutic Effect of Acupuncture Combined with Herbal Decoction for Reversing Chemotherapy-Induced Leukocytopenia.
(International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture)
Conclusions: The therapeutic effect of acupuncture combined with herbal decoction for elevating leukocyte count is better than that of herbal decoction alone or leucogen, respectively. 


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.

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