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July 2019 Newsletter

Table of Contents – July 2019

Practicing with Abundant Curiosity

The "Circle of Life" begins again. It is the start of the academic year — the medical year as newly graduated physicians begin their residency training. While I enjoy teaching, it is a time to remind myself and my learners of the basics, to be observant, and diligent. I wish for them an abundant curiosity about their patients. Certainly not voyeurism, but rather a focused listening and attention to detail in their exam and response to interventions.  

Beyond that I want them to read about health and illness and make connections in their mind looking for other possibilities; to be life-long students of human nature; to develop a broader differential diagnosis; to seek out the counsel of nurses, other health professionals, colleagues, and consultants; to take the time to teach the best they know to junior students; hopefully to never worry alone; to be humble enough to apologize and ask forgiveness; to be persistent in finding meaningful and helpful treatments for their patients; and to ask, "What else? What I am I not yet seeing?"  

One of the blessings for me in practicing Medical Acupuncture has been a revisiting of how I observe patients, interview them, and make connections between Eastern and Western paradigms of health, injury, and disease.  

As a simple observational exercise, I will take my residents to the registration area of the hospital at lunchtime. A mass of humanity passes by during a lunch hour. While they could find ill or injured people in other public places to people-watch, hospitals proportionately draw and treat more injured, frail, and physically ill folks than these young doctors will see in their own clinic patient panel. As people pass by, their gait is less affected, and you can see them when they don’t feel the compunction to perform or be their best and bravest in front of their doctor.  

I'll tell the residents to watch the guy in the blue shirt walking toward the elevator and ask them to paint me a verbal picture of what his diagnoses might be. What does his carrying one shoulder higher than the other tell them about his likelihood of developing neck pain? What does his flattened lordotic curve tell them about low back pain? Which knee is bothering him right now? What do his gaze and facial features tell us about his sense of zest for life, resilience, or interest in his surroundings? What stories do his hands tell? All of these observations — and more — are part of the background that will help them tailor questions and test assumptions in becoming more astute clinicians. 

Medical Acupuncture has provided each of us a window of opportunity to get to know our patients in a deeper way, beyond our Western training, and to make connections that are meaningful and helpful. I wish for you, too, an abundant curiosity about your patients — and that you continue to find acupuncture fresh and exciting.  

Montiel Rosenthal, MD, FAAMA
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 Academy in June 2019:

  • Kuniko Nicole Kurosu, AGNP, of Wilmington, NC 
  • Jose A. Pares Pares, MD, of Lakeland, FL 
  • April Quinones, MD, of Ocean Ridge, FL 
  • Kevin L. Eckersley, PA-C, of North Las Vegas, NV 
  • Scott A. Dinesen, DO, of Doylestown, PA 
  • Valerie LeComte, DO, of Denver, CO 
  • Ramin Sadeghi, DO, of Centerville, GA  

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. 

Physicians Complete 10-Year ABMA Recertification Process

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

  • Howard Liu, MD, of Brookline, MA
  • Lynne Macco, MD, of Elizabethtown, NY
  • Kishore Ranade, MD, of Ridgefield, CT
  • Anelys Torres-Rivera, MD, of Trujillo Alto, PR 

CMS Proposes to cover Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain for Medicare Beneficiaries Enrolled in Approved Studies

The proposed decision would add new access to acupuncture for Medicare beneficiaries as a potential treatment alternative to opioid use while data is collected on patient outcomes. The decision is open for public comment until 8/14/19 and seeks experienced feedback that includes “scientific evidence and discuss appropriate clinicians and training requirements to provide acupuncture that improves health outcomes.” Read the summary and share your patient-outcome experiences today.

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

NIH/NCCIH Needs AAMA Feedback about Acupoints

The NCCIH has launched a survey and asked AAMA members to contribute their expertise. The survey — NIH Request for Information: Important Considerations for Potential Creation of an Open-Access Repository or Database for Physiological and Anatomical Ontology of Acupoints — will identify how this type of database may impact various research communities, including our own. What information should be included when using acupuncture points in a research study and how important is it that data should be standardized across studies? How many acupuncture points should be studied at one time? What tools should we use to determine impact as well as what modalities should we study? Who should be determining impact: users, data contributors, research community? You do not need to answer every question. Answer what is important to you! Survey closes August 4, 2019. Please share your feedback now. 

California Opioid Bill Highlighted by Acupuncture Today Editors

In the most recent issue of Acupuncture Today, editorial staff shared: "Ground-breaking legislation passed by the California Assembly (68-0 vote) and now under review by the state Senate requires doctors to inform pain patients about the dangers of opioids and the benefits of conservative care options before prescribing." Read the full article. 

Job Opportunity for Physician Acupuncturist at Walter Reed

The position is located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. October 2019 start date. Minimum requirements are: licensed physician (MD/DO) in any US state, completion of a 300-hour physician acupuncture course, and US citizenship. If you know of any physician acupuncturists who are looking for a position working with a military population, please let them know. Forward CVs and questions to Ms. Amy Osik. 

Call for Papers: Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Fertility, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum (Journal of Medical Acupuncture)

* Deadline Extended to July 30

Our journal, Medical Acupuncture, is planning a special issue on how acupuncture helps women achieve healthy outcomes for pregnancy, infertility, labor and delivery, and postpartum.  In the interest of fostering an understanding of the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating couples with infertility and in managing pain and address adverse conditions from prenatal to postpartum, we invite submissions of original research and review articles. Please visit the Journal website for manuscript submission guidelines. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and to your active participation in the Journal.    

Call for Papers: Integrative Palliative Care (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) 

The fields of Palliative Care and Integrative Health have both advanced substantially over the past two decades. These movements share many fundamental values—patient-centeredness, respecting the body-mind-spirit whole person continuum, and supportive and complementary roles, yet the fields have grown in parallel rather than intentionally examining their shared mission. In February 2020, JACM: Paradigm, Practice and Policy Advancing Integrative Health (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine) will publish a Special Focus Issue on Integrative Palliative Care. The goal will be to enhance the natural synergy between integrative health and palliative medicine by drawing research and commentary that examine integrative palliative care. Deadline for submissions is October 31, 2019. Learn more.

Should Your Knowledge Become a new AAMA Webinar?

As we near the end of two successful AAMA webinar series, the AAMA Education Committee invites you to share your ideas for new offerings. Do you have a special area of interest in acupuncture? Do you enjoy teaching? The AAMA encourages 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 us for additional information

Register Now: Extraordinary Vessels and Curious Meridians Webinar Series

One more live webinar remains in the AAMA’s 4-part live webinar series focusing on the little-known "Eight Extraordinary Vessels." Save the date!   

Part 4 – The Chong Mai/Yin Wei Mai
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT
Presenter: Butch Levy, MD
*Previous webinars in the series were recorded and are/will be available to AAMA members on demand.  

Most practitioners have little knowledge of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. They are the reservoirs that can redistribute the Yuan or Source Qi. The Yuan Qi comes from the pre and postnatal Qi combined with Spleen Qi from Nourishment and Lung Qi from the air. By understanding that this Qi essence can be redistributed to areas in need or diminished when it is excessive can help balance a patient’s energy, strengthen deficient systems or decrease excess energy. Practitioners will be able to recognize if the Chong Mai / Yin Wei Mai Extra Vessels need balance, understand the correct needling techniques to create these effects and provide their patients a greater opportunity to reduce symptoms, improve energy and enhance the quality of their lives. The AAMA designates EACH of the 4 parts for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ each. The fee to participate in these activities is $60/members and $90/non-members for each part. Learn more and register.  

ICYMI: In Case You Missed it Last Month 

AAMA Members Invited to ICMART Congress 2019
ICMART Congress 2019 will be held October 25-27, 2019, on the Gold Coast of Australia. AAMA members are invited to take the opportunity to enjoy the lectures, research and workshops. It’s also an opportunity to showcase your own research or clinical work.  

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. 

Share Your Clinical Pearls: Pregnancy, Fertility, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum
The journal Medical Acupuncture wants to know how you treat Pregnancy, Fertility, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs, in your practice for possible publication. 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 Ben-Porat by July 25, 2019.  

AAMA Medical Acupuncture Research Committee Seeks Volunteers 
The AAMA research committee and the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) invite volunteers to help develop efforts to empower AAMA members to improve treatment approaches in their respective specialties by pursuing and publishing their acupuncture research. Contact Larissa Bresler, MD, DABMA, for more information.  

Help Build the AAMA and Earn $$
Don't forget about the AAMA’s member-recruiting program designed to reward current members for referring 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 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 engage if necessary. Reach out to the Academy by emailing info@medicalacupuncture.org or calling 310-379-8261.    

Professional Development Opportunities

AAMA Extraordinary Vessels and Curious Meridians Webinar Series
Live Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Part 4 – The Chong Mai/Yin Wei Mai
8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT
*Recordings of all 4 parts will be available on the AAMA website when the series is complete.  

AAMA Acupuncture & Opioids Webinar Series
*Recordings of all 4 parts will be available soon on the AAMA website.

5th American TCM Congress
October 5-6, 2019
Los Angeles, CA

ICMART Congress 2019
October 25-27, 2019 
Gold Coast, Australia

Save the Date! 2020
AAMA Annual Symposium
April 24-27, 2020
Orlando, FL 

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 – Basic Science of Acupuncture (June 2019) 

Most-recent CME Articles:

New Scientific Research

Acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
Our review indicated that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture and other interventions (Chinese herbal medicine, mainly), but no firm conclusion could be reached owing to limited data, poor quality and potentially exaggerated effect size evaluation.  

The effects of acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes of in vitro fertilization with embryo transfer: An interdisciplinary systematic review
[Journal of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Human Reproduction]
This system review indicated that acupuncture appears to be beneficial to women with poor ovarian reserve or with previous unsuccessful attempts of IVF-ET. The great heterogeneity and different levels of methodological quality among RCTs may account for variations in outcomes reported by them. Large-size, standardized, TCM theory-based, randomized, and multicenter trials should be conducted in order to gather sufficient evidence to allow relevant governing bodies to make an informed choice on whether or not acupuncture can improve IVF outcomes. 

Acupuncture for type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
[Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice]
As one type of multifactorial intervention, acupuncture could be recommended as a supplementary treatment in the management of T2DM, especially in those with obesity or metabolic disorders. However, due to the small sample size, poor methodological quality of trials reviewed, the amount of evidence is not fully convincing. There is a need for well-planned, long-term studies. 

Effects of acupuncture on craving after tobacco cessation: a resting-state fMRI study based on the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation
[Quantitative Imaging in Medicine and Surgery]
This was the first study in China to explore the neural mechanisms of acupuncture for smoking craving. The results indicated that the effects of acupuncture on smoking craving were significant.

AAMA Live Webcast

Peter Dorsher, MSc, MD will present a live webcast "Acupuncture and Chronic Pain: Combining TCM & Biomechanics to Optimize Outcomes" on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 8:00 pm EST / 7:00 pm CST / 5:00 pm PST. Click here for more information.


Register Now

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!

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New Member Recruitment - Earn $50!

Do you know someone who could – and should – become an AAMA member? Earn $50 for yourself by getting them to join the Academy! 

Reach out to your colleagues, people you met in acupuncture training – people you know need to be involved with the Academy. YOU are the best Academy Membership Ambassador we have!
Nominate a new member today and earn $50 credit for EACH new member you bring in!

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

Membership Information

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.