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March 2019 Newsletter

Table of Contents – March 2019

Changing the End of the Story with Acupuncture

Recently I had the opportunity to evaluate a young teen who had presented with a couple of problems over the previous six months. She arrived in my office with her mother, describing a primary concern over the development of an anxiety disorder which escalated when riding on a bus and not being able to have access to a bathroom. This was a new phenomenon — and really cramped this teen’s style. She was doing quite well on her high school volleyball team and enjoyed being part of that whole scene. She was additionally doing well in school, and by all accounts seemed well adjusted. 

There is a family history of depression and anxiety, and her mother was sure that this was raising its ugly head again in the family. The girl reported a sense of urgency and having to scope out bathrooms regularly in the last few months. She had no change in her health status otherwise. She had gone to an Urgent Care and received antibiotics for a presumed UTI. She had recurrent symptoms and sought out the care of her pediatrician who worked her up for a possible bladder infection a couple of times. None of these panned out as being an infection. She then saw a pediatric gynecologist, again with no clear diagnosis. She was also due to see a counselor in evaluation for her “anxiety disorder.”  At her aunt’s suggestion, she sought out acupuncture for treatment for the anxiety.

One of the things I enjoy about my acupuncture practice is the opportunity to tease out a story and put treatment options together in a way that makes sense for my patient. As in good medical practice in general, a tailored history is immensely valuable.It turns out her personal attempts at health and wellness included recently eliminating sodas in her diet and drinking large amounts of lemonade to stay hydrated for practices and games. She had a couple of episodes of urge incontinence, of which she was profoundly embarrassed. We had a detailed chat about possible interstitial cystitis, aggravated by dietary factors, then I performed her initial treatment with acupuncture, after which, for the first time in six months, she slept through the night without having to get up to go to the bathroom.  

 By the time she had seen me a month later and after a second acupuncture treatment, she felt she a handle on her diet. She had the confident swagger her mom remembers from earlier last year. She could ride a bus or go on road trips without anxiety or “accidents.”  She sleeps well through the night, and has returned to her usual level of engagement in school and sports activities.  

This story really had the potential to lead on into expectations of “the family curse,” not an uncommon scenario for young people who subsequently develop chronic pain syndromes. Too often the mythology surrounding family illness becomes the repeated refrain and the expected outcome. Multiple indeterminate diagnostic tests and consults can reinforce a sense of inevitability, disability and an altered “new normal,” which spirals into disability and loss of pleasure in doing things one delights in.  

As a family physician, the story seemed clear. As a medical acupuncturist, the gratification was far more immediate for my patient — and for me as her physician. It has been a privilege and pleasure to blend East and West in ways meaningful for my patients. It is also a blessing to "right' a patient’s trajectory and their perspective on their health and future. 

Montiel Rosenthal, MD, FAAMA
AAAMA Board of Directors 

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the AAMA in February 2019:

  • Cheryl Ann Tanouye, MD, of Berkeley, CA 
  • Augusta J Saulys, MD, of Berkeley, CA 
  • Laura Maria Peterson, MD, of Lincoln, NE 
  • Rheydene Suzanne Ferguson, DO, MPH, of Edmond, OK 
  • Monica Papaianu, PhD, of Challans, France 
  • Ilaria Maria Merlo, MD, MSc, of Pavia, Italy 
  • Josue Victorino of Porto Alegre, Brazil 
  • Jan E. Patterson, MD, MS, of San Antonio, TX 
  • Janet Sue Bruns-Franz, MD, of Cincinnati, OH 
  • Christopher Anthony Alfonzo, MD, of San Diego, CA 
  • Deirdre Clare Kelleher, MD, of New York, NY 
  • Agnes Rhee Ahn, DO, of Charleston, WV 
  • Rosalia Amelia Diaz Rojas, MD, of Puebla, Mexico 
  • David H. Li, MD, of Gilroy, CA 
  • Patricia Min, MD, of Hanover, NH  

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 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): 

  • Teresa M. Esterle, MD, DABMA, of Cincinnati, OH
  • Amanda K. Hill, MD, DABMA, of Morgantown, WV
  • Linda T. Pearson MD, DABMA, of Jonesborough, TN
  • Lorene Y. Wu, MD, DABMA, of LaGrange Park, IL 

Register Now: Opioid Educational Webinar Series

Last week, the AAMA offered the first segment in a 4-part webinar series specifically designed to enhance our medical acupuncture practices for our patients who are experiencing pain. Three more webinars remain. Save the dates!  

Three 1-Hour Live Webinars:
All Webinars: 8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT

  • Thursday, May 9, 2019: Part 2 - Beyond Pain Clinics and 12 Steps: New Paradigms of Pain and Addiction
  • Thursday, June 13, 2019: Part 3 - Integrative Management of Opioid Withdrawal
  • Thursday, July 10, 2019: Part 4 - Trauma: The Unifying Factor 

The presentations will include a review of the literature on the scope of the opioid crisis, including a discussion of the use of opioid therapy for chronic pain, the diagnosis of OUD, the social factors that contribute to the development of OUD and the barriers to treatment that patients encounter. It will also cover the neurological basis for chronic pain, addiction, and PTSD. The principles of Chinese Medicine as applied to OUD and the history of the use of acupuncture for OUD will be presented. The evidence on the use of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic pain, addiction, and PTSD will be presented as well. Finally, case reports will be presented to facilitate learning. While this series was developed and intended for people to attend all sessions, you may choose to attend one or more as your schedule permits. Starting with the second webinar, a quick recap of the previous sessions will be included so each can be a stand-alone activity. The AAMA designates EACH of the four 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.

Last Chance! Register for the AAMA Annual Symposium

The 31st Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 11-14, 2019, at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. (Need help planning your visit to Phoenix?) Don't miss this chance to network with your professional peers, strengthen your clinical skills and enjoy social time with friends, old and new. The 2019 conference theme is Art of Healing: Acupuncture Pearls in Clinical Practice.

Last Chance! Register for AAMA Pre-Symposium Workshops

These optional day-long workshops 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 11, 2019, 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.  

  • Workshop I – "Pediatrics – The San Jiao and Its Role in Healthy Growth and Development" presented by Stephen Cowan, MD
  • Workshop II – "Auricular Acupuncture" presented by Gary Stanton, MD, FAAMA
  • Workshop III – "Integrative Oncology: Supportive Care for Cancer Patients" presented by Butch Levy, MD
  • Workshop IV – "How to Successfully Incorporate Medical Acupuncture into Your Medical Practice" presented by Nick Kouchis, MD 

Learn more and register now.

Last Chance! Register for Medical Acupuncture Review Course 

April 9-10, 2019
Phoenix, Arizona

The Medical Acupuncture Review Course has been developed to provide a broad-based refresher course on the major subject matter areas with which a well-trained physician should be familiar. The Review Course is especially useful as a refresher 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. The overall objectives of the Review Course are to: Review and solidify previously acquired knowledge and experience in medical acupuncture. Reinforce understanding of the basic material appropriate for a physician practicing acupuncture in North America. Refresh the participant’s exposure and awareness of certain specialized aspects of acupuncture not always utilized in traditional practice settings.     

Plan Your Phoenix Visit 

Planning your travel to the AAMA Annual Symposium? Come early or stay late and see the sights in Phoenix, Arizona's cultural and economic powerhouse. It’s a thriving desert metropolis boasting some of the best Southwestern and Mexican food you'll find anywhere, and with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, exploring the “Valley of the Sun” is a must. Phoenix combines high-end shopping, a flourishing restaurant scene and resort life in the Sonoran Desert. You'll enjoy vibrant red mountains and cacti-lined boulevards. In addition to its natural beauty and Old West roots, Phoenix is home to an array of theater, shopping, dining, museums and more cultural attractions. The mix of timeless desert beauty and urban sophistication is the perfect getaway. Enjoy attractions with American Indian tradition, golf courses that stay green all year, mountain parks crisscrossed with trails, an array of sporting events and southwestern boutiques galore.  

Koala in SC Zoo Receives Medical Acupuncture, Local News Coverage 

Long-time AAMA member and current Board Member, Narda Robinson, DO, DVM, FAAMA, shared a video clip from a local news segment featuring veterinary medical acupuncture performed on Lottie, a 17-year-old koala living in a South Carolina zoo. The practitioner, a graduate from Robinson’s Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians course has also treated a penguin and a goat, all with great success. Watch the video.     

ICYMI: In Case You Missed it Last Month

Call for Proposals: AAMA Annual Symposium 2020
The symposium committee is looking to our membership to broaden the variety and array of presentations in 2020. We invite you to submit a proposal for next year’s meeting. Learn more. The AAMA Annual Symposium will be held in Orlando, Florida, April 23-26, 2020. Deadline: May 15, 2019.  

AAMA Medical Acupuncture Research Committee Seeks Volunteers 
The AAMA research committee and the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) Grant program 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 Acupuncture & Opioids Webinar Series
Thursday, May 9, 2019: Part 2 - Beyond Pain Clinics and 12 Steps: New Paradigms of Pain and Addiction
Thursday, June 13, 2019: Part 3 - Integrative Management of Opioid Withdrawal
Thursday, July 10, 2019: Part 4 - Trauma: The Unifying Factor
Time for all 3 Webinars: 8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT

2019 Medical Acupuncture Review Course
April 9-10, 2019
Phoenix, Arizona  

AAMA Pre-Symposium: 4 Optional Workshops 
April 11, 2019
Phoenix, AZ 

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

Medical Acupuncture Journal Updates 

Most Recent Issue: February 2019  

Most-recent CME Article: Complementary and Integrative Health Education in the Medical School Curriculum: An Interest Survey  

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Medical Acupuncture — Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Fertility, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum
Deadline: 4/30/19
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.   

New Scientific Research 

Relationship of Training in Acupuncture to Physician Burnout
[Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine]
Study data show an association between decreased physician depersonalization and acupuncture training, suggesting acupuncture training may be a helpful strategy to reduce family physicians' depersonalization of patients. 

Effects of acupuncture on breast cancer-related lymphoedema: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
The present meta-analysis and systematic review suggests that acupuncture is effective at reducing BCRL in patients after breast cancer treatment. 

The Mechanism of Acupuncture in Treating Essential Hypertension: A Narrative Review
[International Journal of Hypertension]
Acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy has antihypertensive effect. The mechanism of acupuncture for hypertension is related to RAAS, vascular endothelium, oxidative stress, the neuroendocrine system, and other factors; also, there is cross-talk between multiple systems and multiple targets. In addition, the functional images, genes, metabolism, etc. change with antihypertensive effect. Acupuncture can protect target organs in addition to reducing BP. Overall, based on the mechanism research acupuncture may be an effective intervention for management of hypertension.

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.