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July 2018 Newsletter

Table of Contents - July 2018

Science Is the Key to Acupuncture’s Success

Never before has medical acupuncture garnered so much attention from governmental agencies, the media, or “mainstream” medicine.  From the military to Medicaid and from Shaquille O’Neal to Sheryl Crow, acupuncture is enjoying a moment of fame. More clinicians, researchers, and consumers are beginning to recognize acupuncture as a means by which patients can either avoid or reduce their reliance on opioids and other addictive medications for a host of problems, including cancer and chronic pain.   

Despite this mounting enthusiasm, some physicians encounter challenges when attempting to implement medical acupuncture into their hospital or clinic.  A recent publication explored this matter and found that one of the main barriers was a lack of "buy in" from hospital or clinic leadership.   

How can the AAMA, as a leadership organization, support physicians in their attempts to build support for medical acupuncture?   

The key, as I see it, is science. Certification courses should fulfill minimum basic requirements in science, as I outlined more fully here. Without knowing whether a program meets rigorous credentials and scientific standards, those seeking to learn the discipline cannot count on curricular content to be rational and justifiable. Students that find themselves signed up for programs based solely on myths and metaphors may later learn that they are less competitive and less able to implement and defend their approaches after graduation. 

Taking a science-based approach to acupuncture may also make medical acupuncturists more efficient. As a practitioner recently wrote, “Interest is high among family physicians and patients in acupuncture. Many clinicians have been trained in medical acupuncture, but almost none fully incorporate acupuncture into daily practice … Most physicians either stop performing acupuncture after training or they only do acupuncture in a fee-for-service practice.” Nonetheless, the author of this paper, which was published in Annals of Family Medicine (find link below in the New Scientific Research section) found that a Western-based acupuncture approach based on a Western diagnosis was more productive, stating, “The bottom line is that acupuncture can be done in family medicine without compromising productivity.” Furthermore, providing treatments that are rational and reliable will win more followers from the mainstream than trying to convince them to believe in Qi and Liver Wind.   

Ideally, and in my opinion, clinicians attending acupuncture courses, workshops, and symposia should have confidence that the presenters of an approved program have already established a scientific basis for the techniques taught and can point to evidence of benefit within the scientific literature – not hearsay or personal anecdotes. For medical acupuncture to mature as a profession and flourish as a medical mainstay, we should take this opportunity to spotlight the scientifically sound approaches that this profession has to offer and weed out those based on little more than wishful thinking and fairy tales. 

Narda G. Robinson, DO, DVM, MS, FAAMA
President and CEO of the CuraCore Integrative Medicine & Education Centers
AAMA Board Member 

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the AAMA in June 2018:

  • Susan Stone, MD of Santa Rosa, CA 
  • Henry Tan Yu, MD of Piedmont, SC 
  • Michael W Kalsman, MD of Olean, NY
  • Heidi Marie Eimermann, MD of Madison, WI

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. 

Share Your Skills and Expertise with the AAMA

Do you have a special area of interest in acupuncture? Do you wish you could share information about an area of acupuncture practice with your colleagues? Do you enjoy teaching? The AAMA invites you to submit a proposal to present a webinar on an area of acupuncture expertise that is of particular interest to you. If your proposal is accepted, you will work directly with the AAMA Education Committee to present your work in live video format to members and non-members. Webinars may be eligible for Continuing Medical Education credit. We’d love to showcase your professional skills. Please contact aamastaff@gmail.com for additional information. 

Save the Date — AAMA Annual Symposium in Phoenix, AZ

The AAMA Symposium Committee is excited to announce that the 2019 meeting in Phoenix, AZ,April 11-14, 2019, is shaping up to be a phenomenal source of inspiration and exposure to practical techniques that you can take back to your practice!  The 2019 conference, Art of Healing:  Acupuncture Pearls in Clinical Practice, will offer a combination of practical skills, evidence-based theory and inspiration.  

  • You’ll gain "Monday morning" skills in workshops such as acupuncture for myofascial pain, traumatic brain injury, care for acute conditions, and integrative support for oncology patients.
  • You’ll enjoy opportunities for self-cultivation through workshops such as qi gong and classical Chinese calligraphy. 
  • You’ll delve into the Luo Vessels with internationally renowned teacher, Yvonne Farrell, and you’ll consider the San Jiao and in its role throughout the lifespan and in autism spectrum disorders with Dr. Stephen Cowan. 
  • The "Founder’s Lecture" will be a rousing presentation on acupuncture in the U.S. Air Force with top military leadership. 
  • And you’ll learn how ways to grow your business with "to-the-point" practice management pre-symposium workshops.    

Please mark your calendars now for this enlivening event that will bring you together with your peers from around the country — and beyond. Look for announcements, as well, on how to submit a poster for our poster session or a free paper for presentation. This will be an event to remember! Visit the AAMA website for additional details and updates. 

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):  

  • Karen W. Hand MD, DABMA
  • Jeffrey T. Ho, DO, DABMA 

Help Build the AAMA and Earn $$

We're about our 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 should have received an email from the AAMA recently with details or you can read more on the AAMA website — and start thinking about colleagues to nominate! 

Membership Renewal Reminder

AAMA Membership Renewal season is here. Need a reminder about the many perks of being a member? Read through the list of membership benefits. Please take a moment to submit your renewal information and your annual dues. To renew, log in to your member account on the website and either (1) visit the Store to find renewal products or (2) proceed directly to the membership renewal page.        

AAMA Summer Book Sale – Acupuncture Titles at Low Prices! 

The AAMA is having a summer book sale! Deep discounts on classic titles related to medical acupuncture. Don't miss this chance to build your knowledge base — and your library!Now is the time to grab them at LOW prices. Limited quantities are available, so don't delay. Order books now while supplies last.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It Last Month

Photo Gallery from the AAMA’s 30th Annual Symposium
Our thanks to Saeeduddin Khan, MD, FACP, CMD and AAMA staff for taking and sharing these photos with us. If you took photos at the Symposium, please share them with us! Send us an email with your images: info@medicalacupuncture.org

REMINDER: 2018 Annual Symposium Recordings Available
The 30th Annual Symposium in Kansas City received rave reviews. If you weren’t able to attend this year – or if there was a specific session you missed – Symposium recordings are still available for purchase either as individual sessions or for the Symposium as a whole.

Professional Development Opportunities

4th American TCM Congress
August 4-5, 2018, in Bellevue, Washington
This is an international conference organized by the ATCMA on Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine Classics and Clinical Applications with a focus on the topics of Gynecology, Dermatology, and Cosmetology.Highly distinguished speakers will cover topics including pain management, post herpetic neuralgia, prevention and treatment of diabetic microvascular complications, avoiding common mistakes in TCM dermatology, treatment of sinusitis using the approaches of Shang Han Lun (Cold Damage) theory and Wen Bing (Warm Disease) theory, treatment of intractable cough and asthma.  

World Congress On Medical Acupuncture International Scientific Acupuncture And Meridian Symposium
September 6 - 9, 2018 in Munich, Germany 

AAMA 31st Annual Symposium
April 11-14, 2019, in 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 

Medical Acupuncture Journal: Special Issue on Auriculotherapy Published
Richard Niemtzow: "Peeking into the future of acupuncture in general is like driving your car through fog. The greater the intensity of your headlights makes the road even more difficult to see. We must be careful not to shine our headlights too brightly. There comes a point when you must lower your beam and concentrate on what's just ahead of you. It's great to speculate, but we practice medicine in the present. The Medical Acupuncture journal does its best to focus on "what's now in the field." Insight from the readership and attending meetings helps plot a path through the information fog. We even try to bring you a modest glimpse of acupuncture's future without requiring a time machine."

In the Clinic-Complementary Alternative Medicine and Pain Management: Treating the Mind and Body Integrating CAM Therapies into Neurology Practice
[Neurology Today]
The US Food and Drug Administration earlier this year recommended that clinicians learn more about acupuncture and other alternate therapies for pain management. Two neurologists, who are both licensed acupuncturists, discuss the ways they incorporate acupuncture in their practice for managing headache and neuropathic pain. 

Critical Factors to Practicing Medical Acupuncture in Family Medicine: Patient and Physician Perspectives
[Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine]
Discussion: The factors and barriers reported by physicians/patients help illustrate conditions needed to enhance physicians' ability to provide acupuncture and patients' willingness to engage and sustain it. Participants' experiences help to illustrate strategic approaches to managing these barriers—strategies that can be used by other individuals/institutions to enhance care delivery and patient engagement. 

Fully Integrating Medical Acupuncture Into Family Medicine
[Annals of Family Medicine]
Interest is high among family physicians and patients in acupuncture. Many clinicians have been trained in medical acupuncture, but almost none fully incorporate acupuncture into daily clinical practice. The disconnect stems from limited reimbursement for acupuncture services as well as traditional acupuncture training that encourages encounters that last over 60 minutes. Most physicians either stop performing acupuncture after training or they only do acupuncture in a fee-for-service practice. For 4 years I have completely incorporated acupuncture into my family medicine clinic, scheduling 24 patients daily, seeing 20 daily while performing acupuncture on 5 patients per day. We’ve treated a maximum of 30 patients and 14 acupuncture patients in 1 day. In this model, patients are given equal treatment choices such as medications, referrals, injections, or acupuncture. If patients opt for acupuncture, it is performed at the same visit. Follow-up treatments are also performed. 

Effectiveness of acupuncture in postpartum depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
Conclusions Acupuncture appears to be effective for postpartum depression with respect to certain outcomes. However, the evidence thus far is inconclusive. Further high-quality RCTs following standardised guidelines with a low risk of bias are needed to confirm the effectiveness of acupuncture for postpartum depression. 

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

Membership Renewal Time!

The membership year ends June 30, 2018. Renewal dues invoices have been mailed to all members earlier this month. If you have not yet paid your membership dues for 2018-19, you can pay online through the website. Log into your member account and go to the Store to find renewal products or to this page.

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

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.