November 2019 Newsletter

Table of Contents – November 2019

Communication is the Key!

Communication: a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior. - from the online Meriam-Webster Dictionary.

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture has a new Communications Committee! What used to be the Social Media Committee became so much more, that it needed a new name. Drs. Kendra Unger and Narda Robinson are leading this committee and want to hear from you if you have an interest in chipping in!

It may seem to some that hearing from your Academy in the form of newsletters constitutes communication. You may be impressed with our website and the depth of data provided therein but technically speaking it’s not communication unless the process goes both ways. Otherwise, it is just information.

The AAMA provides a wealth of information regarding what is going on in our country for acupuncture in general and for Medical Acupuncturist specifically. I invite you to spend some time with the website and really dig in. The AAMA staff works hard to keep it current and maintain depth of detail.

Communication means that we hear from you! Maybe that’s why I like the yearly symposium so much - talk about interactive! Members, new and old, are bustling about at annual meetings, charged with enthusiasm for our medical specialty and expressing creative ideas. One can not only witness the presentations of research and the science behind acupuncture, you may step right up to the microphone and ask questions or make comments. And, if that’s too much public exposure for you, there are many social opportunities to have conversations with our esteemed faculty and fellow members.

There are a multitude of ways in which you, as an AAMA member, can communicate with your fellow members, the AAMA staff, and the AAMA board of directors. It’s easy to go online and send an e-mail to AAMA headquarters. Your questions or comments will be answered directly or sent to the appropriate resource. Have you considered joining the AAMA interactive Facebook group? (“AAMA Members – Information and Interaction”) It’s a closed group and well monitored, so it should be a positive experience. Let us know! (Start on the Facebook page to join the closed Group)

The most important thing that your Academy has done lately to augment communication is to query the full (voting) members about membership categories. By now, hopefully, you’ve received the survey and responded. Any change in membership categories requires a change in bylaws. A change in bylaws is directed by the board of directors. And, the board of directors does not want to make any substantial changes to our organizational structure without knowing what YOU want. As soon as we collect all of the opinions and comments and analyze them, we’ll let you know exactly how the AAMA members feel about this important issue!

Your feedback is important. YOU ARE THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE! Thank you for maintaining your membership and for participating in this important organization!

 I'm happy to hear from you!

Freda L. Dreher, MD, FAAMA
AAMA President

Welcome New AAMA Members

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

  • Jungim Yun, MD of Frederick, MD 
  • Eric I. Ly of Memphis, TN 
  • Jose T. Vargas, PA-C, LAc of Farmingdale, NY

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, DABMA, the membership committee chair.

Legislative Advocacy Updates

During the past few weeks, AAMA Legislative Committee Co-chairs, Drs. Donna Pittman and Gavin Elliot, have worked closely with AAMA staff and AAMA Board President Dr. Freda Dreher to monitor and respond to legislation around the country related to medical acupuncture. Of note: 

  • Tennessee: The Committee sent letters in support of a now-passed bill (HB 150) that requires prescribing physicians to discuss reasonable alternatives to opioids with their patients.
  • Florida: The Committee sent emails highlighting the AAMA’s Position Statement on Dry Needling to inform legislation (HB 467 and SB 792) that defines and regulates aspects of physical therapy in that state. The AAMA strongly opposes the practice of acupuncture and dry needling by physical therapists and others who do not have appropriate training. The letter and the statement shared the AAMA’s concerns about public safety. 
  • Wisconsin: The Committee sent letters in support of pending legislation (AB 546 and SB 492) which provides essential patient safety protections, including the prohibition of skin puncture by providers who are not health care professionals acting within the scope of their practice.

Legislative tracking and advocacy remain 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 or phone (310-379-8261). 

AAMA Celebrates the Life one of AAMA's Founders, Allen McDaniels

"Allen McDaniels, who started his medical acupuncture practice in 1982, passed away peacefully two weeks ago. He appeared to be in full health and was loving life. At a Helms Medical Institute retreat in September of this year, he was fully engaged as Paul Unschuld lectured on the nuances of the Nei Jing, the complex history of China, and other factors we all consider as we practice the fine art of medical acupuncture. Allen was actively learning all the days of his life." Read more of Dr. Freda Dreher’s moving tribute to McDaniels. 

Member News – Jennifer Dilts Featured in Children’s Mercy Hospital Video

In the video, Jennifer Dilts, MD, shares her experience using acupuncture to treat pediatric pain in the emergency department. Dilts is a pediatrician with Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. “Parents want what’s best for their kids and sometimes that may not always be a pill,” says Dilts. Watch video. (Have you also been featured in a video? Please share the clip with us so we can add it to the AAMA YouTube channel’s playlists.) 

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 Board where your activities will be more varied and spread over multiple months. 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 and let us know. We welcome your inquiry! Call (310) 379-8261 or email us

Call for Entries: Annual Research Paper Competition

Apply now for the Research Paper Competition in conjunction with the AAMA 2020 Symposium at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL, April 23-26, 2020. While space and time are limited, we do expect a hearty number of great submissions. The first place winner of the competition will present their paper at the 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. Find more information on the AAMA website

Call for Entries: 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! 

AAMA Website: More Updates to Patient Resources Online

AAMA staff continues to build out sections on the website for patients who are looking for solutions to health issues. New sections on Diabetes and Smoking Cessation were added this month. We hope you’ll visit the site — and please feel free to suggest other research or articles that should be included on the pages. 

Reminder: Book Your Hotel Room for the AAMA Symposium in Orlando

The 32nd Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 23-26, 2020, at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. The theme is "One Root, Many Branches: Acupuncture Science for Our Modern Practices.” Save the date and 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! 

SAR 2020 International Research Conference Announced

Bridging East & West from Acupuncture & Traditional Medicine Research to Practice
September 10-12, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea

The KIOM-SAR 2020 Conference, jointly held by the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine and Society for Acupuncture Research, will explore the confluence of research findings from the East to the West. The aim will be toward bridging the information gap between acupuncture and traditional medicine researchers, clinicians, patients, and many more stakeholders. The conference will provide an international forum to clarify, strengthen, and disseminate acupuncture and traditional medicine’s evidence base and shape the future research agenda and consequently clinical terrain, including the latest advances in research and emerging forms of clinical practice to be addressed by researchers and policy-makers. A Call for Abstracts will be posted soon.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It Last Month

Join the Private AAMA Group on Facebook Today
A new private Facebook group for AAMA members was created recently to provide a closed forum where physician acupuncturists can ask one another for advice, share their successes, and network with each other professionally and socially. Only current AAMA members are eligible to participate in this private group. 

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. 

Professional Development Opportunities

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

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

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 (October 2019) https://www.liebertpub.com/toc/acu/31/5

Most-recent CME Articles:

New Scientific Research

A bibliometric analysis of acupuncture research trends in Acupuncture in Medicine
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
Over the past 20 years, acupuncture research has steadily increased, and its growth rate is twofold greater than that of biomedical research overall. The two primary questions associated with acupuncture treatment are: (1) whether it works; and (2) how it works.

Comparison between the Effects of Acupuncture Relative to Other Controls on Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis
[Pain Research and Management]
Relative to sham controls, acupuncture showed no superiority for treating IBS, while the advantage over western medicine was significant. Acupuncture could be used as an adjunct in clinical settings to improve efficacy. 

Electroacupuncture Versus Aerobic Interval Training on Liver Functions in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver
[Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine]
It can be concluded that both EA and AIT exercise are potent modalities that improve liver functions in people with NAFLD with better effect toward EA.

Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) Pilot Grant

AAMA is proud to announce the creation of the prestigious Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) Pilot Grant.  We will award 1 grant each year to the qualified applicant for up to $30,000. Click the button below for details and the application forms.

Research Application

Register for Review Course

View full brochure with details on the Review Course


April 21-22, 2020
Orlando, FL

Register Online   

Registration Form
To mail with check or fax with credit card

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

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