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January 2020 Newsletter

Table of Contents – January 2020

Showcase Your Research and Work at the AAMA Annual Symposium

The AAMA invites you to showcase YOUR acupuncture expertise and unique experience by presenting at the Annual Symposium. 

We want to encourage member engagement each year, so we can learn from each other in our growing field. Not only does this opportunity allow you to make an impact on the landscape of acupuncture by teaching like-minded colleagues evidence-based acupuncture modalities, it also adds to your professional persona and national presence! 

There are several ways to present your expertise and/or research related to acupuncture or relevant modalities: 

  • First, for the 2021 Symposium, you can apply to the “Call for Proposals” as a speaker for a pre-symposium, plenary, and/or workshop. Applications are due by May 15, 2020; they are reviewed by the AAMA Symposium Committee with final notifications sent out via email by October 2020. Presentations that meet CME standards with the highest evidence and application to AAMA’s membership will be prioritized. 
  • Second, you still have time this year (or start thinking about next year’s projects) to apply to the Research Paper Competition, the Free Paper Presentations, and the Poster Sessions for the AAMA 2020 Symposium this year.

Let me break those down for you …

The Research Paper Competition: YOU CAN WIN UP TO $1500 for first place!! And the first-place winning author presents a 30-minute plenary session at the Symposium. The article must be original work in clinical, basic science, and/or translational research pertaining to acupuncture. 

The Free Paper (Oral) Presentations: While there’s no money prize, you get to present a 20-minute presentation to the AAMA audience during the Symposium on your accepted paper relating to an acupuncture project. Poster Session: YOU CAN WIN UP TO $500 for first place and showcase your scientific acupuncture research project to AAMA members on Saturday’s poster competition. (There also is an opportunity to highlight your acupuncture educational projects as a poster. However, the educational posters are not entered into the scientific poster competition so there won’t be any prize.) You would need to be present at the poster session to be available to review your findings/project. 

Join us! We want to learn from the important work you’re doing. 

Anna Esparham, MD, DABMA
AAMA Board of Directors, Symposium Committee Chair

Welcome New AAMA Members

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

  • Lillian Obucina, DDS, of Oak Brook, IL 
  • Maria Chona S. Antonio, MD, of Sturgeon Bay, WI 
  • William L. Doss, MD, of Portsmouth, VA 
  • Jeanne H. Williams, MD, PhD of Plains, MT 
  • Masoud Noruzian, MD, of Topeka, KS 
  • Saeedeh Salmanzadeh, MD, of Topeka, KS 
  • Rowena B. Mariano, MD, of Raleigh, NC 
  • Holly L. Spraker-Perlman, MD, of Memphis, TN 
  • William Denam, DO, of Colorado Springs, CO 
  • Audrey H Le, MD, of New Orleans, LA 
  • Lori B. Schneider, MD, of Cornelius, NC 
  • Jahan Hashem, MD, of Williamsport, PA 
  • Karl H. Kim, MD, of Clackamas, OR 
  • Kelly A. Heape, MD, of Carson City, NV
  • Lara Jeannette Williams, MD of Tualatin, OR 

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 Janice Brown, MD, the membership committee chair.

Physicians Earn ABMA Certification

Congratulations to the following physicians who have completed the process (www.dabma.org/requirements.asp) set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be certified as a Diplomate for 10 years: 

  • Andrew Rice, MD, DABMA, of Waterville, ME
  • Massarat Zutshi, MD, DABMA, of Cleveland, OH

Legislative Advocacy Updates – January 

Although legislative activity slowed down significantly for the holiday season, AAMA Legislative Committee Co-chairs, Drs. Donna Pittman and Gavin Elliot, continued to monitor and respond to bills related to medical acupuncture. Of note this month: 

  • Wisconsin: The committee sent letters in support of proposed legislation (WI AB 648) that covers acupuncture under the state’s medical assistance program and makes an appropriation. The letters included requested language to specify medical acupuncture and physician acupuncturists alongside “certified acupuncturists” in the legislation. 
  • Hawaii: The committee sent letters responding to proposed legislation (HI HB 701) that allows for a study of dry needling. The proposed study would include gathering information about the practice of dry needling by various types of health care providers and allied health care providers in other states. The committee also sent letters responding to proposed legislation (HI SB 547) that allows some physical therapists to perform dry needling. In both letters, the committee included the AAMA’s Position Statement on Dry Needling to inform amendment of the proposed legislation and stated that the AAMA strongly opposes the practice of acupuncture and dry needling by physical therapists and others who do not have appropriate training. 
  • Washington: The committee sent letters in opposition to two proposed bills (WA SB 6038 and WA HB 2203) that permit non-physician acupuncturists to inject local anesthetics and homeopathic and nutritional substances. Injected materials may cause localized allergic responses and systemic life-threatening reactions. Due to the potential for serious consequences when injecting anesthetics and foreign substances, we cannot approve of these bills as they are currently worded. 
  • Massachusetts: The committee is joining the Acupuncture Society of Massachusetts in opposition of a proposal from the Massachusetts Board of Allied Health Professionals to allow physical therapists to perform dry needling with limited training. A letter with comments from the AAMA was submitted prior to a public hearing on the matter. 

Legislative tracking and advocacy are ongoing priorities of the AAMA Board of Directors. Please remember: If you become aware of legislative issues/bills being proposed in your state that would affect medical acupuncturists, we encourage you to let us know by email (info@medicalacupuncture.org) or phone (310-379-8261). 

Education Committee Update: New AAMA Webinar & Workshop! 

The AAMA Education has eight active members who meet monthly via Zoom call and prepare high quality CME for our AAMA membership. We have roles in organizing weekend workshops, online webinars, preparing durable CME from prior AAMA Symposium presentations, assisting in preparing CME questions for the Medical Acupuncture Journal, and maintaining an evidence-based summary of TCM references from the last 20 years. We encourage AAMA members to volunteer for this committee. Contact Montiel Rosenthal, MD, if you have questions about joining us. Here's what we're planning now: 

Weekend Workshop – Save the Date
“Treating Common Musculoskeletal Conditions with Osteopathic Manipulation, Meridian Therapy, Dry Needling and Manual Muscle Testing” will be presented by Jay Sandwiess, DO, and Joseph Audette, MD. Save the date: October 24-25, 2020. Stay tuned for registration information from the AAMA.

Live Webinar – Register Now
“Forbidden Points and Other Safety Considerations in Acupuncture” will be presented by Montiel Rosenthal, MD, on March 2,2020 at 8-9 PM EST. One hour of AMA Category 1 CME credit will be available for this webinar. Register now! 

CMS/Medicare Will Cover Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced that it will cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain. Up to 12 visits in 90 days are covered for Medicare beneficiaries under the following circumstances:

  • For the purpose of this decision, chronic low back pain is defined as:
    • Lasting 12 weeks or longer;
    • nonspecific, in that it has no identifiable systemic cause (i.e., not associated with metastatic, inflammatory, infectious, etc. disease);
    • not associated with surgery; and
    • not associated with pregnancy.
  • An additional eight sessions will be covered for those patients demonstrating an improvement.
  • No more than 20 acupuncture treatments may be administered annually.
  • Treatment must be discontinued if the patient is not improving or is regressing.

Read the full Decision Memo. And be on the lookout for a survey from the AAMA about CMS coverage of acupuncture. We want to know how our members feel about Medicare involvement. Please share your thoughts with us when the survey arrives. 

AAMA Decision Reached on Licensed Acupuncturist Membership

In a recent survey of AAMA members, the leadership of the Academy sought a majority opinion about whether or not to open up a membership category to our LAc colleagues. In mid-January, AAMA President Freda Dreher MD, FAAMA, shared the results with members via email: “I’m happy to report that in our recent AAMA survey, many helpful responses were written into our optional comment section. I greatly value the devotion of our members to take the time and energy to make sure that our board of directors understands individual points of view. These viewpoints are hard earned, as we’ve each had our own unique pathway of education and practice. It was energizing to read through the entries.The majority opinion from the survey was to decline offering an affiliate category within the AAMA for LAc’s. Prior to the tally, your board agreed that we would comply with the majority opinion. Thus, AAMA membership categories will remain unchanged. This is your organization and the organization will reflect the majority opinion.” Read more. 

Call for Clinical Pearls: How Do You Alleviate Reliance on Opioids with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs?

Medical Acupuncture, the Journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, publishes in each issue an interactive section called 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 alleviate reliance on Opioids 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 Yael BenPorat by February 10, 2020.

Call for Papers: Acupuncture and Internal Medicine

The Medical Acupuncture journal is planning a special issue focusing on how acupuncture and auricular medicine can be used as an effective adjunct to treat a variety of internal medicine related conditions. In the interest of fostering an understanding of the effectiveness of acupuncture and auricular medicine in treating some of the many common and/or complex conditions encountered in a conventional internal medicine practice, we are particularly interested in submissions of original translational research or review articles related to the management of specific diseases and conditions listed in the official call for submissions, but all articles pertaining to the field of Internal Medicine will be considered. The deadline for manuscript submission is May 1, 2020. Please submit your papers online to our web-based manuscript submission and peer-review system.

Reminder: 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 this year is March 27, 2020. 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. 

Serve on the AAMA Board of Directors

The Academy is a member driven organization. Members of the Academy, serving on the Board of Directors or on Committees advising the Board, are making the decisions regarding programs and activities that set the future for the Academy. All members are invited to take part in this volunteer governance process. You can take on a small task that is important but where the time commitment is clearly defined, or you can take on a more significant role by becoming involved as a member of a standing committee or the 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, please reach out BEFORE JANUARY 31, 2020, so we can let the Nominations Committee know. We welcome your inquiry! Please send a brief bio and/or areas of particular interest. Call (310) 379-8261 or email info@medicalacupuncture.org.

Submit Your Work; Be Part of ICMART 2020

AAMA members are invited to submit abstracts of their work for consideration to be part of the 34th ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress that will be held June 26-28, 2020 in Athens, Greece. Submission deadline is January 31, 2020. Get details. 

Early-bird Discount Ending Soon! 
Register Now for the AAMA Symposium

The 32nd Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 23-26, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. Full details and online registration are now available. Save the date and register now. The early-bird registration discount expires 2/11/2020! 

Reminder: Book a Room for the AAMA Symposium Before the Hotel Block Fills

The Academy has negotiated a block of rooms at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, at the specially discounted rate of $199/night (Resort fee included). You must make your reservation by March 23, 2020 (or when our block of rooms sells out, whichever comes first) in order to get that discounted rate. Book your hotel room today. We know this meeting will be a popular one for members who might want to extend their time to explore and enjoy Orlando in the spring. Don’t risk losing out on our hotel block! 

Pre-Symposium Workshops: Seats Are Filling Quickly! 

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 23, 2020 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. Learn more and register now! 

  • Workshop I – " Existential Crises, Mood Disorders & The 8 Extras" presented by Yvonne Farrell, DAOM, LAc
  • Workshop II – " Principles and Practice of Auricular Acupuncture" presented by Nader Soliman, MD, FAAMA
  • Workshop III – " Balance System Acupuncture: Single Systems Balancing" presented by Sonia Tan, DAOM, RAc, RTCMP
  • Workshop IV – " Constitutional Facial Acupuncture: The New Protocols" presented by Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, LAc, MS, MM

LAST CALL: Annual Research Paper Competition

Apply now to present a Research Paper at the AAMA 2020 Symposium. The deadline for submission of research papers for the competition is February 14, 2020. If your paper is selected as one of the winners, you will be notified by February 28, 2020. We are pleased to offer: 

  • 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 Orlando, April 2020.
  • Second Place: $750 stipend, Symposium Registration, travel reimbursement up to $500.•
  • 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. Authors will be acknowledged there. Find more information on the AAMA website. 

LAST CALL: Annual Symposium Poster Presentations & Free Paper (Oral) Presentations

The deadline is January 31, 2020, 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 2020 Symposium in Orlando, FL. 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! 

LAST CALL: 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. 

Recent JAMA and AAFP Coverage of Acupuncture Research

AAFP: Nonpharmacologic Therapies Can Improve Chronic Pain Outcomes
Individuals who received nonpharmacologic therapies in the Department of Defense's Military Health System were considerably less likely to experience adverse outcomes after they transitioned to the Veterans Health Administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

JAMA: Clinical Evidence for Association of Acupuncture and Acupressure With Improved Cancer Pain
This study found a moderate level of evidence that acupuncture and/or acupressure was significantly associated with lower pain intensity in patients with cancer compared with a sham control, which suggests a potential for a combination of acupuncture and acupressure to help reduce opioid doses in patients with cancer.

Professional Development Opportunities

AAMA Webinar: Forbidden Points and Other Safety Precautions in Acupuncture
March 2, 2020
8pm EST / 7pm CST / 5pm PST

Medical Acupuncture Review Course
April 21-22, 2020
Orlando, FL

2020 AAMA Annual Symposium
April 23-26, 2020
Orlando, FL

2020 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health
April 28-May 1, 2020
Cleveland, OH

ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress
June 26-28, 2020
Athens, Greece

KIOM-SAR 2020 International Research Conference
September 10-12, 2020
Seoul, South Korea

AAMA Winter Weekend Workshop 2020
“Treating Common Musculoskeletal Conditions with Osteopathic Manipulation, Meridian Therapy, Dry Needling and Manual Muscle Testing”
Presented by Jay Sandwiess, DO, and Joseph Audette, MD
Save the date: October 24-25, 2020
Details TBD

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: Special Issue – Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Fertility, Labor & Delivery, and Postpartum: Part II (December 2019) 

New Scientific Research

Clinical Evidence for Association of Acupuncture and Acupressure with Improved Cancer Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
[JAMA Oncology]
This study found a moderate level of evidence that acupuncture and/or acupressure was significantly associated with lower pain intensity in patients with cancer compared with a sham control, which suggests a potential for a combination of acupuncture and acupressure to help reduce opioid doses in patients with cancer.

Nonpharmacological Treatment of Army Service Members with Chronic Pain Is Associated with Fewer Adverse Outcomes After Transition to the Veterans Health Administration
[Journal of General Internal Medicine]
Nonpharmacological Treatment provided in the Military Health System to service members with chronic pain may reduce risk of long-term adverse outcomes.

Acupuncture for Pediatric Sickle Cell Pain Management: A Promising Non-Opioid Therapy
[Complementary Therapies in Medicine]
Acupuncture therapy decreased pain for our patients with sickle cell disease, providing a safe non-opioid therapeutic option.

The Evidence for Common Nonsurgical Modalities in Sports Medicine, Part 1: Kinesio Tape, Sports Massage Therapy, and Acupuncture
[Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons]
Nonsurgical modalities are low-cost treatment strategies with very few reported adverse outcomes that will likely continue to increase in popularity. High-quality studies are needed to effectively evaluate these treatments, so that care providers can provide appropriate guidance based on evidence-based medicine… Given the popularity, safety, relatively low cost, anecdotal evidence, and potential of this nonsurgical modality, acupuncture deserves to be investigated through high-quality, unbiased randomized controlled trials with procedure standardization.

Madopar combined with acupuncture improves motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients: A multicenter randomized controlled trial
[European Journal of Integrative Medicine]
Integrated therapy showed a greater advantage, with earlier non-motor symptom improvement. This study also indicated that acupuncture had a certain long-term effect.

Scientific Research

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

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