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March 2018 Newsletter

Table of Contents - March 2018

Embrace the Promise of Spring and the Wood Element

Spring is approaching — the time of growth and rebirth. The days are longer and warmer, new life is budding, and we feel a renewed sense of optimism as we emerge from winter.   

Wood is the element of Spring. Wood can be strong, supple, and adaptable, a healthy tree bending in the wind. Wood can be rigid and brittle, downed logs and dead branches. Anger, the emotion associated with Wood, makes us rigid and brittle, trapped and unable to move forward, unable to welcome the promises of Spring.   

As an internist in the pressure cooker society of Silicon Valley, I see patients every day who are angry, unhappy, and stuck — so mired in the stresses of their lives they are unable to figure out what’s gone wrong or how to change. They have a myriad of symptoms, which have defied diagnosis and treatment. Western medicine cannot help these folks, but acupuncture can.   

As a medical acupuncturist, I have time to talk with my patients at every visit, to learn a little more each time about their past and present, to find out what makes them tick. After two or three treatments, I introduce the concept of the Dragons, describe the power of this treatment, talk about the memories and emotions they may encounter, and ask them to tell me when they are ready. A well-prepared patient will understand the experience as a window into his or her own psyche. A young businessman recognizes the source of his anxiety and has a breakthrough with his psychotherapist. A mom new to the empty nest is able to articulate the trauma and neglect of her own childhood and embrace self-care. Then we can move on to treat the chief complaint and talk about creating balance in their lives. As medical acupuncturists we are a unique group of physicians who recognize the power of mind-body interactions and have ways to use those connections for the benefit of our patients. As healers we are really facilitators, helping our patients heal themselves so they can nurture the strength and adaptability of Wood and embrace the promises of Spring.   

With warm wishes for Spring, 

Susan K. Sorensen, MD FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors
AAMA Membership and Education Committees   

Welcome New AAMA Members 

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

  • Jan Katherine Morello, MD, Lac, of Baton Rouge, LA 
  • Antonio M. Betancourt, MD, of Tallahassee, FL 
  • Meeta Patel Pahade, MD, of New Haven, CT 
  • Joel Travis Tanaka, MD, of Colorado Springs, CO 
  • James J Arnold, DO, of Niceville, FL 
  • Richard G. Sloan, DO, of Hattiesburg, MS 
  • Richard Alexan, MD, of Bakersfield, CA 

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.   

Sneak Peek: 30th AAMA Annual Symposium

"Across Time and Continents - The Integration of Ancient and Modern in 21st Century Acupuncture"
April 12-15, 2018
Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
Kansas City, Missouri   

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture designates this live activity (the Symposium) for a maximum of 22 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Each Pre-Symposium Workshop is designated for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activities. 

Pre-Symposium Workshops (additional fee, Thursday)
It’s not too late to register for a day of extra education! Optional Pre-Symposium Workshops offer specialized training and added value for your travels. Choose from:

  1. Pediatric Acupuncture in Classical Chinese Medicine 
  2. Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture 
  3. Korean Hand Therapy: Introductory and Intermediate Workshop 
  4. Advanced Acupuncture for Mental and Emotional Health   

Register now for the Symposium and Workshops!

Social and Networking Opportunities at the Annual Symposium

Welcome Reception (6-7pm, Thursday)
Meet and mingle with peers who arrive on Thursday. 

Dinner Celebration (6:15-10pm, Friday)
Join fellow members for an evening featuring food, friends music and dancing. A short presentation during dinner will honor faculty, distinguished guests and new AAMA Fellows.    

"Gong with Aung" (6:30-7:30am, Saturday and Sunday)
These early morning physical, mental and spiritual exercises, open to all symposium attendees and guests, energize participants and help them attain a good start to their day. 

Poster Presentations, Wine & Cheese Reception & Calligraphy Demonstration (6:15-7:30pm, Saturday)
Accepted posters will be displayed during this popular social networking reception. This popular annual program is a fundraising demonstration for AAMA, which involves an auction of Dr. Steven K. H. Aung's calligraphy artworks. Dr. Aung will also take requests for specific pieces from his list of words of wisdom.           

Plan now for free time before and after the Symposium in Kansas City. Read our notes on Things to Do in Kansas City!    

In Memorium: Giovanni Maciocia, "The Father of Chinese Medicine in Europe"

After receiving an M.A. in Economics from Naples University in 1968, Giovanni Maciocia trained at the International College of Oriental Medicine in England, graduating in 1974. In 1976, he graduated as a medical herbalist with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in England. He attended post-graduate courses in China at the Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. From 1984 to 1986, he learned Chinese herbal medicine with Dr. Ted Kaptchuk. From 1988 to 1991, he was co-director of the School of Chinese Herbal Medicine in England. He is the author of six books, which have been adopted as standard textbooks by many colleges all over the world, including The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, a text recommended by AAMA in preparation for the Board Exam. Read more.     

Watch for a new AAMA Survey Email!

The AAMA Board of Directors is always looking for ways to increase and improve benefits to the organization’s valued membership. This survey is designed to assess education needs, member interests and desired services. Please watch for it in your email inbox and take a few minutes to share your thoughts and preferences with us.   

Dry Needling Issues Resurface in New Jersey & Indiana

The AAMA strongly opposes attempts by physical therapists and others to perform dry needling on patients, 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.     

New Jersey: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/02/13/physical-therapists-want-to-give-their-patients-the-dry-needle-again/ 

Indiana: A needlesome problem: Who should be able to perform acupuncture-like technique? 

REMINDER: 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.   

Member News: Jay Sandweiss Participated in Training at Walter Reed 

The 3-Day course, held March 13-15, 2018, was entitled: "Treating pain and dysfunction without drugs and surgery: Integrating osteopathic manipulative medicine and functional/nutritional medicine." Sandweiss shared these details that may be of interest to members considering future trainings: "The course was taught at Walter Reed Hospital for the Wounded Warrior Initiative. Attendees included: medical acupuncturists, anesthesiologists, pain medicine specialists, internists, family practice, physician’s assistants, orthopedic specialists and other health professionals who came from all branches of the military including Army, Navy and Air Force. Attendees came from the Pentagon and a variety of military bases from around the country."  


Pictured: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (left) and Sandweiss (center) with Charles Vaughn PT (left) and Shaun Sullivan PT, ATC (right).

Two Clinical Trials Study Acupuncture at Mayo Clinic

Clinical trials on acupuncture in the Integrative Medicine and Health Research Program at Mayo Clinic include: 

  • Acupuncture for muscle soreness and well-being in teenage athletes. Led by Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., researchers in the Integrative Medicine and Health Research Program are testing the feasibility of administering acupuncture treatments to adolescent football players in a warm-weather, high-intensity training environment. The trial also uses surveys given before and after treatment to measure how participants perceive the effects of acupuncture on muscle soreness and overall well-being. Learn more or enroll. 
  • Massage therapy alone and with acupuncture for patients with breast cancer. Led by Christina A. Dilaveri, M.D., researchers are investigating whether massage therapy combined with acupuncture in patients recovering from autologous tissue reconstruction is more effective than massage therapy alone. Learn more or enroll.  

Last 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 deadline for manuscript submission is April 10, 2018. 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    

Professional Development Opportunities

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.   

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.    

REMINDER: Earn Free CME Reading Journal Articles
Don’t forget that the AAMA’s partner journal, Medical Acupuncture, now offers CME to AAMA members for select articles. Here’s a recap of recent eligible articles in case you missed them: 

New Scientific Research

Acupuncture: Theatrical Placebo or Caring Approach to Pain?
[Cover Story, BMJ]
It’s a safe alternative to drugs that is under-researched because it lacks commercial interest, writes Mike Cummings, but Asbjørn Hróbjartsson and Edzard Ernst argue there is no convincing evidence of clinical benefit and that the potential risks and health service costs are unjustified. Available in article and podcast format.    

Effects of Electroacupuncture Combined with Stem Cell Transplantation on Anal Sphincter Injury-induced Faecal Incontinence in a Rat Model
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and acupuncture are known to mitigate tissue damage. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of combined electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation and BMSC injection in a rat model of anal sphincter injury-induced faecal incontinence (FI).   

Matrix Analysis of Traditional Chinese Medicine Differential Diagnoses in Gulf War Illness
[The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine]
To qualitatively categorize Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) differential diagnoses in a sample of veterans with Gulf War Illness (GWI) pre- and post-acupuncture treatment.  

Integrative Medicine in Anxiety Disorders
[Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice] 
The treatment of Integrative Medicine using acupuncture combined with massage techniques proved efficient in this treatment, thus decreasing anxiety from moderate to minimal.

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.