October 2017 Newsletter

Table of Contents - October 2017

AAMA Message from the Board: The Five-Element Diet

I had the joy and intellectual stimulation of practicing medical acupuncture for more than 25 years, following 25 years as a family physician. Aside from the heart-wrenching questions and concerns about serious medical problems, the question I was most often asked was, “How do I lose weight?”   

How, indeed? After I investigated all the “pop” diets, as well as the reliable and steady Weight Watchers, I realized that, like Western medicine, each of these diets was one-size-fits-all. There was no way to account for the peculiarities of each patient; no way to truly personalize a diet. So this became my goal: to develop an easy-to-use, individualized diet for my patients. I found the answer in The Theory of The Five Elements.    

The Theory of The Five Elements forms the basis for many Eastern medical and lifestyle modalities, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, feng shui and, now, The Five-Element Diet. The theory teaches that when each of the five elements — fire, earth, water, metal and wood — is perfectly balanced in a person, and the elements are in harmony with one another, the person performs at his/her optimum, avoids confusion and confrontation, averts food cravings and overeating, minimizes illness and disease, and achieves spiritual and emotional contentment and physical fulfillment.

Food cravings are the downfall of every diet. The Five-Element Diet works because it teaches patients how to identify the precise food that will completely satisfy cravings at a particular time. A food, for example chocolate, might taste delicious, but it may not really satisfy. You eat one piece and then you want another … and another. The reason? Chocolate may taste scrumptious, but it may not be what your body requires at that particular time to feel satisfied. So, after three or four pieces of chocolate, you go to the cupboard or refrigerator and begin high-calorie sampling — trying to find “it.”  And that’s the end of that diet.   

The Five-Element Diet can be combined and used in conjunction with another diet. The combination will increase the chances of success, satisfaction and results. The key is understanding that food cravings are an expression of an imbalance, that is, an excess or deficiency, in the Five Element system. Imbalance in one’s elements may manifest itself as inappropriate or extreme behavior, food cravings, tension, stress, lack of “ease,” disease or illness.  Sometimes when one is out of balance, a patient just “doesn’t feel right” or feels “out of his/her element.” With the Five-Element Diet these imbalances can be quickly corrected.   

The first step is to determine whether the imbalance is due to an excess or a deficiency in the dominant element — that is, whether the patient’s element is too high or too low.     

Let’s say that you have a patient who is a fire person. Fire, as you know, is influenced by fire (bitter taste), water (salty taste), which is fire’s controlling element, and wood (sour taste), which is fire’s enhancing element). If your patient’s fire is too high, eating water foods and reducing the intake of fire foods and wood foods will decrease fire, satisfy cravings and help restore balance. If, on the other hand, fire is too low, eating fire foods and wood foods and reducing the intake of water foods will increase fire, satisfy cravings and help restore balance.    

Eating foods from the correct element will not only taste delicious, but it will be almost instantly satisfying. The Five-Element Diet will help patients lose weight and keep it off. And it can do more than that. It is a balanced lifestyle — a guide to living happily, healthily, productively and thinly.   

Marshall. H. Sager, D.O., F.A.A.M.A., D.A.B.M.A
AAMA Board of Directors  

Welcome New AAMA Members

Last month was another record-breaking month for AAMA membership! Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the the AAMA in September 2017: 

  • Beltran Carrillo, MD, of Madrid, Spain 
  • Pamela Rae Hughes, MD, of North Las Vegas 
  • Brent Gerald Fauss, MD, of Richmond, VA 
  • Sachiko Kaizuka, MD, of Penfield, NY  
  • Stephanie Connelly, MD, of Memphis, TN 
  • Dan Marian Danila, MD, of Rapid City, SD 
  • Garrard Baker, MD, of Strongsville, OH 
  • Massarat Zutshi, MD, of Cleveland Heights, OH 
  • Nalini. R . Prasad, MD, of Roslyn Heights, NY 
  • Carolina Salvador, MD, of Vestavia Hills, AL 
  • Amy Jo Daros, DO, of Davisburg, MI 
  • Christopher William Bunt, MD, FAAFP of Daniel Island, SC 
  • Kathleen Lange, MD, of Centerville, IA 
  • Ana Daniela Vladu, MD, of Tinton Falls, NJ 
  • Cristian Vladu, MD, of Tinton Falls, NJ   

 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.   

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): 

  • Anna Esparham, MD, DABMA 
  • Michael Freedman, MD, DABMA P. 
  • Grace Harrell, MD, DABMA   

Acupuncture Videos from Sloan Kettering

Two videos from Memorial Sloan Kettering highlight the benefits of acupuncture and describe how it may help cancer patients. Both offer embed codes and social sharing so you can feature in your own patient-education efforts. Search for both here.  

  • Overview of Acupuncture 
  • Acupuncture for Easing the Side Effects of Cancer    

Minnesota Leads Nation in Developing New Payment Model for Pain Rehab Programs 

From the Institute for Chronic Pain: “Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law an omnibus health and human services budget bill and in so doing he marked a significant milestone in the recent history of chronic pain management. The bill contained language, introduced by State Representative Deb Kiel and State Senator Jim Abler, authorizing the trial of a new payment arrangement through Medical Assistance, which makes it possible for state recipients of the public health insurance to receive care within an interdisciplinary chronic pain rehabilitation program. After pooling resources of several organizations and individuals to pass the bill, the state has been authorized to seek the use of non-pharmacological, non-invasive pain therapies among Medical Assistance recipients. The bill, as passed, provides authorization of a two-year trial of a bundled payment arrangement for a chronic pain rehabilitation program within the state of Minnesota. Its intent is to provide demonstration of the effectiveness of both this type of treatment and its corresponding type of insurance reimbursement. The long-term goal would be to bring Medical Assistance in Minnesota into alignment with the current reimbursement practices of most commercial and worker’s compensation insurers in the state.” Read more.   

Federal Agencies Partner for Military and Veteran Pain Management Research

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are partnering on a multi-component research project focusing on nondrug approaches for pain management addressing the needs of service members and veterans. Through this interagency partnership, 12 research projects—totaling approximately $81 million over six years (pending available funds)—will focus on developing, implementing, and testing cost-effective, large-scale, real-world research on nondrug approaches for pain management and related conditions in military and veteran health care delivery organizations. Read more.  

Special Winter Workshop for AAMA Members Manual Medicine and Functional Medicine Pearls

Presented by Jay Sandweiss, DO, C-NMM/OMM, DABMA, FAAMA 
Save the Date: January 27-28, 2018
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV 

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is pleased to announce another offering of an exciting education opportunity—a workshop focused on manual medicine treatments derived from osteopathic manipulative medicine. Participants will learn new diagnostic and treatment strategies for increasing competency and improving patient outcomes when treating pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction. Diagnostic techniques include: manual muscle testing, tissue palpation, motion testing, visual anatomical landmark assessment, tender point analysis, and somatic listening. Additionally, attendees will learn evidence-based nutritional/herbal pearls for treating a variety of common patient complaints. Read more & register.    

AAMA Website Stats & Trends

Website analytics for September 2017 show that traffic is 81% new visitors and 19% returning visitors. Total numbers are hovering around 10,000 visitors, down slightly from the 11,000 highs of April and May. Traffic from the U.S., India and Canada tops the list, with strong showings from the UK, Philippines and Australia, too. Aside from the home page, the most visited page remains the “Find an Acupuncturist” resource, which was viewed nearly 3,200 times in September. (Make sure your listing is up to date so you don’t miss out on referrals!) Facebook is the number one site driving traffic to the AAMA site. Please like AAMA on Facebook so you can follow that conversation and stay in the know about new research and industry news.   

REMINDER: Legislative Alert 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 possibly engage if necessary. Feel free to reach out to the Academy by emailing info@medicalacupuncture.org or calling: 310-379-8261.   

Professional Development Opportunities

Treating Musculoskeletal Pain and Dysfunction Without Drugs and Surgery
Nov 11-12, 2017 in Ypsilanti, MI
Join Jay Sandweiss, DO, and Paul Shapiro, MD, as they share many diagnosis and treatment pearls and protocols from their combined 76 years of clinical experience. 

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. https://internationalcongress.imconsortium.org/assets/PDF/AbstractsOpenFlyerRev.pdf 

Save the Date! AAMA 2018 Annual Symposium
Kansas City, April 12-15, 2018   

Free CME Article: The Regulation of the Practice of Acupuncture by Physicians in the United States

The authors comprehensively examined the regulation of the practice of acupuncture by licensed physicians in the United States. Current statutes were evaluated with respect to those from past decades. Requirements were compared with the World Health Organization's recommendations for acupuncture basic training and safety. Results: Most physicians are permitted to practice acupuncture within the scope of their medical practices. Many states mandate that they complete additional education and training. Three states require that physicians obtain acupuncture licenses through the same process as non-physicians. Compared to prior decades, many states have changed their requirements. Read the article.  

New Scientific Research

Effects Of Electroacupuncture To The Trigeminal Nerve Area On The Autonomic Nervous System And Cerebral Blood Flow In The Prefrontal Cortex
(Acupuncture in Medicine)
Conclusions: Delivery of 100Hz EA to the trigeminal nerve area reduces HR and increases parasympathetic nervous activity and cerebral blood flow.   

A Pilot Observational Study of an Acupressure/Acupuncture Intervention in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
(Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)
Conclusions: The results of this observational pilot study suggest that acupressure/acupuncture is a feasible intervention for children with ASD that merits rigorous evaluation through a randomized controlled trial. 

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.

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