September 2015 Newsletter

Table of Contents - September 2015

Using Twitter to Stay Informed and Promote your Practice

By Leslie Smith, MD, DABMA    

By now you have read a bit about Twitter, but you might still be wondering why you should be on Twitter and, further, what to tweet about. Instead of covering "favorites" this month, I thought this might be a more relevant topic for the longer segment space I was given for this newsletter. Let’s address those two questions: why and what?   

Why would I want to tweet? 

Twitter is not just Facebook in 140 characters. Twitter picked that number of characters to keep it short and sweet; it’s meant to be a thought, impression, quip or commentary on something that is happening in real time. But it’s not just for fluffy or funny reasons. It is also a helpful marketing and engagement tool. It’s a way to attract new patients to your office and to do FREE targeted marketing to people who need your skill set and are looking for someone who offers what you do in your area. For example, if you want to attract patients to come and see you for acupuncture, tweet about #acupuncture (with the hashtag!).

It is also a way to keep yourself informed. If you are interested in acupuncture, follow the #acupuncture yourself. There will be links to recent articles, commentary, patient impressions of experiences they are having with acupuncture (maybe even in your office!), blog entries and places for you to comment and demonstrate your expertise.   

Lastly, it’s fun. It’s a way to engage with your patients, your colleagues, larger organizations, people you admire and other people in the Twitter-verse via a relatively direct communication pathway. Your tweets can be as cheeky, insightful, or serious as you want them to be.

Where do I get content for tweets? 

Here are my suggestions: 

1. If you don’t have a "spam" email address that you use to sign up for things (hotel and airline accounts, credit cards, newsletters, etc.), get one. If you don’t have a strong preference for another provider, make it a Gmail account because they have the strongest spam filters on the market currently. Just know that if you’re signing up for offers and accounts, you’re going to get unwanted spam, too. Use your spam  email account to sign up for Twitter and all of the newsletter suggestions below. Twitter will send you email updates when people begin following you (and you’ll want to thank them (remember the re-tweet from previous newsletters? ). It will also suggest people and companies whom you might wish to follow. 

2. Sign up for daily newsletters. Below is a list in no particular order. Tailor the content that is being delivered to your inbox to your interests. For example, if you want to tweet about acupuncture being used in pain management, look for newsletters about pain management. 

3. Use the content in the newsletters to tweet in real time (i.e. as you are flipping through them), or use a social media scheduler to tweet about things for you during the day. Examples of these schedulers are Hootsuite (, Sprout Social ( and Scrypter* ( Schedulers allow you to schedule tweets for later in the day, week or month(s) so you don’t have to think about tweeting while you’re doing other things.            

4. You can assign the task of scheduling tweets to a staff member, such as a nurse, an office manager, a receptionist or your office tech support. Then you’ll simply approve them before they go out.   But I really don’t have time for this… This is free marketing that will not take up much of your time. It will take you about an hour total to set up your spam email account, sign up for newsletters, flip through potential content and schedule your tweets for the week. Really, it’s that easy. People and companies who put out newsletters want to make it easy to sign up. Twitter is easy to use. And you already have an email account, so you know how easy it is to get another one set up.             

For maintenance, I spend about 15 min per week, usually on Sunday afternoon or evening (now that it’s football season, I do it at halftime or between plays). I scan newsletters for articles, set up the tweets for my personal practice sites and for the AAMA within that 15 minutes. Then I watch for interesting articles as they come up during the week and use the issues of our Medical Acupuncture journal to generate additional content in real time during the week. That takes about 5 minutes per day, and I don’t stress myself about getting to it every day.             

The impact of this has been remarkable. As one example, on 9/1/15 I tweeted (via AAMA) about an article published in Medical Acupuncture highlighting acupuncture’s ability to control hypertension. By the next evening, there were five articles on other health care blogs referencing that article: blogs and articles that were picked up by Google alerts and delivered to my inbox. There have been increasing numbers of articles and blogs leading back to that article every day since. I’m not taking credit for all of them, but tweeting about something that is of interest to a large number of followers is one way to develop expertise and followings. That will bring new patients to your door—patients who are already convinced that you can help them before you even shake your hand.   

*Full disclosure: My husband designed Scrypter. I’m mentioning it to you because it works well and is easy to use. There are no financial interests on my part if you decide to use it over any other scheduler.   

New! Earn Free CME for Reading Journal Articles

We’re pleased to announce a new member benefit. Journal-based CME credit for AAMA members is now available through the store system on the AAMA website. Just add the course to your cart and "purchase" it for free. You will not be charged. Visit and log in as a member. You’ll receive a coupon for the free CME.   

We also need volunteers to serve on the AAMA's CME Committee to bring you more new opportunities just like this one. If you're interested in being part of the vital group who build accredited educational services for the AAMA, please send an email to the AAMA offices.

New Scientific Research

The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis The Efficacy of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
(Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
Conclusion: Acupuncture may be effective in treating the pain associated with sciatica.    

Long-term effects of acupuncture treatment on airway smooth muscle in a rat model of smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(American Acupuncturist)
Conclusion: Our results suggest that acupuncture regulates inflammatory cytokines and contributes to lung protection in a rat model of smoke-induced COPD by modulating HDAC2.   

Comparisons between Body Needle Acupuncture, Auricular Acupuncture, and Auricular Magnet Therapy Given to Veterans Suffering from Chronic Pain.
(American Acupuncturist)
Findings showed that the quality of the patient/clinician relationship was a critical factor that shaped the respondents' attitudes toward the different treatment options and also influenced satisfaction with treatment.   

Chapter & Member News

Ohio Chapter

– Submitted by Steve Amoils, MD, Chapter President.  Dr. Joe Audette, director of the Harvard-based International Structural Acupuncture course for physicians, will be presenting an acupuncture seminar to the Ohio AAMA chapter on Saturday November 7, and Sunday, November 8, at Alliance Integrative Medicine, Cincinnati. The seminar is titled: "An Acupuncture Tensegrity approach to Myofascial Trigger Points." Audette is a clinical assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and chief of pain medicine at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. He attended the Tristate Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in New York and is a recognized authority in palpation based Japanese acupuncture, as well as the utilization of dry needling techniques for the treatment of pain.  

The New England Society of Medical Acupuncture presents "Acupuncture and Classical Chinese Medicine in Cancer Management and Prevention" by Jeffrey C. Yuen on October 31 and November 1, in Boston Children’s Hospital at Waltham. Saturday, October 31, 2015, 10am-5:30pm, and Sunday, November 1, 2015, 9am-3:30pm at Boston Children’s Hospital at Waltham, 9 Hope Avenue, Waltham, Massachusetts. For complete program information and registration, visit

Physicians Complete 10-year ABMA Recertification Process

The following physicians have completed the process ( set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture Board of Trustees to be recertified as a Diplomate for another 10 years: Mary P. Guerrera, MD, FAAMA, of Hartford, CT; Nick S. Kouchis, MD, DABMA, of Woodridge, IL; Eric H. Schindler, MD, FAAMA, of Lebanon, NH.   

Physicians Earn Board Certifications

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): Tracy Brobyn, MD, of Mount Laurel, NJ; Hanan Budeiri, MD, of Richmond, VA; Daniel Ness, MD, of Coronado, CA; Funchi Tu, MD, of Henderson, NV.   

Dates & Reminders

Reminder: Membership Dues Renewal

Reminder: Save the Date – Annual Symposium, April 7-10, 2016  

Symposium Chair Narda Robinson, DO, DVM, FAAMA, has announced the theme of next year's symposium in Anaheim, California: "Converging Networks in Medical Acupuncture — The Synergy of Science and Tradition." As information is available, it will be posted on the AAMA website.   

Reminder: SAR Conference in November 

The Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) is holding its next conference in Boston, MA, USA November 12-14, 2015. For more information, visit or email Laura Triplett, Executive Director:

Journal CME

Medical Acupuncture, the Official Journal of the AAMA, now 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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