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September 2020 Newsletter

Table of Contents – September 2020

The Scope of Acupuncture 

A couple of years ago, I was surprised to see a physician-colleague of mine sitting in my office as a patient. He was a very well-known physician in the community with a vast specialty practice, but he had recently quit his practice, abruptly and mysteriously, at a quite young age, i.e. early 50’s. He told me that he had been diagnosed with spondyloarthropathy and was suffering from severe pain in the elbows, wrists, low back and fatigue. He had received every available conventional therapy without any improvement and was suffering from a relentless progression of the problem. He came to me to see whether acupuncture might help him. 

As I did not find any precedence of a successful outcome in a similar condition following acupuncture, I told him that I had no idea whether it would help him, but I agreed to give him a trial of few acupuncture treatments. Following the treatments, the patient had major improvements, so he continued to receive periodic treatments. 

Not long ago, I received the following letter from him. 

Tapan, ... I would like to express how grateful I am for all that you have done for me over the past couple of years. I was on the verge of being in a wheel chair when I first arrived in your office.My left arm was completely useless due to severe pain and dysfunction; the right arm was barely functional. It took me an hour to get out of the bed in the morning due to all the pain and dysfunction caused by “undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy.” All the expensive drugs had failed and Prednisone produced steroid myopathy and muscle loss each time I tried it. When I walked into your office, my left arm was useless, the right of extremely restricted use.  

After 30 minutes of acupuncture, I stood up and had use of both arms!!! I still had pain, but I could brush my teeth, button my shirt and drink from a glass without much great pain. It changed my life dramatically. Since then, you have given me many thoughtful and targeted treatments which restored to me  so much function, that I have been able to live a fairly normal life; I have also been able to engage in a hobby that is mildly strenuous.* I doubt that the spondyloarthropathy will ever be forever cured, but you have succeeded in beating it back to a point, when I can have a mostly normal life. For that, I am profoundly grateful. … 

Since my initiation in acupuncture, I have been experiencing treatment outcomes ranging from good to miraculous (of course, there are a small number of failures), but this patient’s transformation was breathtaking. The patient’s hobby is competitive rifle shooting, which involves carrying the rifle through rough terrain, walking, running, assuming awkward positions and shooting, all of which is extremely strenuous. The patient has since rejoined the competition in a full-fledged manner and even captured the top position in some events, amongst many younger and healthy competitors. 

The illustration of this case is especially for the newcomers in the field who remain doubtful about its potential, do not practice this tool regularly or even have decided to give it up. Acupuncture’s scope of effectiveness extends far beyond the usually catalogued ailments amenable to acupuncture, and it is for us to discover the beneficial effects in many other hitherto untreatable conditions.

Tapan K. Chaudhuri, MD, FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors

Welcome New AAMA Member

Please join us in welcoming the following new member who became part of the Academy in August 2020:

  • Lisa Caprio, MD of Naples, FL 
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, the membership committee chair.

Physician Earns ABMA Certification

Congratulations to the following physician who has completed the process (www.dabma.org/requirements.asp) set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be certified as a Diplomate for 10 years: 

  • James R. LaManna, MD, DABMA of Gillette, WY 

Legislative Advocacy – Committee Update

Legislative tracking and advocacy are ongoing priorities of the AAMA Board of Directors. 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 (info@medicalacupuncture.org) or phone (310-379-8261). During the last month, the committee has focused efforts on three issues:
  1. Continuing its work with the VA contact regarding issues with Optum. (Physician acupuncturists are having difficulty securing contracts and being paid to provide acupuncture treatments for veterans.)
  2. Gathering information for input to CMS regarding the new pricing for CPT codes and will report findings/results when available.
  3. Communicating to the Ohio Department of Medicaid that E&M codes should be included at the same visit as an acupuncture treatment rather than having the patient come back for a second appointment. 

In Remembrance: Prof. Hugh MacPherson

It was with great sadness that we received the news of the passing of Prof. Hugh MacPherson, a pioneer in the field of acupuncture research and the UK’s first Professor of Acupuncture Research. Hugh's work influenced our profession and we all benefited from his tremendous work, which will stand for many, many years to come. Read more about his life and work. https://healthyseminars.com/hugh 

Acupuncture Today Reports ICD-10 Code Changes

“Here are the 2021 diagnosis stats for ICD-10. There will be 72,616 codes in ICD-10CM (clinical modification), featuring 490 additions, 58 deletions and 47 revisions. While this is certainly a considerable number of changes, it is always important to focus on codes commonly used by you and/or under the scope, guise and reimbursement for acupuncture providers.” Read the full article.

New Webinar Series Focuses on Business Practices & Strategies

How to Successfully Expand and Energize Your Medical Acupuncture Practice
Presented by Nick Kouchis, MD, DABMA
New Series of 1-Hour Live Webcasts
All webcasts 8pm EST, 7pm CST, 5pm PST

  • Wednesday, October 7, 2020 – Establish & Promote Effective Acupuncture Services
  • Wednesday, October 14, 2020 – Lead a Productive Business

Overview: Incorporating medical acupuncture into a traditional medical practice has been a unique challenge for most physicians and has been accomplished with various levels of successes and failures. While physicians exhibit excitement and enthusiasm for learning medical acupuncture and providing these exceptional services for our patients, lack of knowledge and instruction in practice management and business practices leave many underprepared, frustrated, and struggling to achieve the successes possible. This 3-part series examines the fundamental components of thriving and prosperous medical acupuncture practices to provide the attendee with the ideas and strategies to successfully expand and energize a medical acupuncture practice. While there is benefit to participating in all three parts, each is a stand-alone presentation. Register for each separately.

AAMA Offers Growing List of On-Demand Webinars with CME

If you’ve missed any of the recent AAMA webinars, don’t fret. The list of recorded, on-demand webinars available to members is growing – and includes stand-alone programs and series-format programs with related themes. Check out what’s available now and look for new titles to be added soon. https://www.medicalacupuncture.org/Webinars 

Final Reminder: Don’t Lose Your AAMA Membership Benefits – Renew Today

This is your last chance to renew your membership and maintain access to your member benefits. With the AAMA, you can make professional connections to further your career, learn and earn CME, and attract new clients who are seeking medical acupuncture. The AAMA also offers resources to support your research and advocates on your behalf in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill. Make an investment in your career and your future … renew today before your membership lapses. http://www.medicalacupuncture.org/Store/c/membership-renewal 

Save $$ By Recruiting NEW Members to Join

Do you know someone who could – and should – become an AAMA member? Earn $50 for yourself by recruiting a new member to join the Academy. Reach out to your colleagues, people you met in acupuncture trainings, people you know who need to be involved with the Academy. 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)

Call for Abstracts: Integrative Medicine Network Forum 2020

The Osher Center’s Integrative Medicine (IM) Network Forum is scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2020 (8:30am to 3:30pm ET) as a free virtual event that aims to convene the IM community—both within and beyond Harvard Medical School and its teaching affiliates—to build our network, strengthen our connections, and provide an environment for seeding new ideas and opportunities. Within this context, participants will explore three main educational themes in healthcare: resiliency; interprofessional education; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital invites the submission of abstracts related to Integrative Medicine in the following three categories:

  • Basic/translational research
  • Clinical research
  • Education research or initiatives

Up to 100 abstracts will be selected to be presented as posters in an online virtual platform. Call for Abstracts Deadline – September 18, 2020. Learn more.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It Last Month 

New TCM Resource for AAMA Members
A collection of references related to the subject of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is available to AAMA members looking for a source of subject material. Access this information for free through this website by logging in with your AAMA member account.

Updated Patient-Education Materials Focus on Opioids
The AAMA now offers free downloads of two versions of the brochure “Acupuncture: A Promising Solution to the Opioid Crisis.” Download one or both of the PDF files and print your own fliers and/or brochures today.

AAMA Query: Insurance Contracts

Members of the AAAM Legislative Committee are working with an AAMA member who is having difficulty securing a contract with Optum to provide acupuncture treatments for veterans. Are you having a similar problem with Optum or another insurance provider? Please reach out to us and share details about your experience. Together, we may be able to find a solution.  Contact AAMA.

Clinical Registry: COVID-19 and Integrative Health
Call for participation: a clinical registry aiming to capture key case, treatment/supportive care, and outcome variables related to the use of traditional, complementary, and integrative health and medicine products and practices in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Professional Development Opportunities

Webinar Series: How to Successfully Expand and Energize Your Medical Acupuncture Practice
Presented by Nick Kouchis, MD, DABMA
All webcasts 8pm EST, 7pm CST, 5pm PST
Register for each webcast separately.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020 – Establish & Promote Effective Acupuncture Services
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 – Lead a Productive Business

The Osher Center’s Integrative Medicine Network Forum
Friday, November 6, 2020
8:30am to 3:30pm ET
Free virtual event

2021 Medical Acupuncture Review Course
April 27-28, 2021 - Cincinnati, OH
Save the date! 

AAMA 2021 Annual Symposium
April 29-May 2, 2021 - Cincinnati, OH
Save the date!

ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress
July 2-4, 2021
Athens, Greece

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: August 2020  

Most-recent CME Article: Electroacupuncture to Increase Neuronal Stem Cell Growth

New Scientific Research 

Does Offering Battlefield Acupuncture Lead to Subsequent Use of Traditional Acupuncture?
[Medical Care, American Public Health Association]
Veterans Health Administration encourages auricular acupuncture(Battlefield Acupuncture/BFA) as a nonpharmacologic approach to pain management. Qualitative reports highlighted a “gateway hypothesis”: providing BFA can lead to additional nonpharmacologic treatments. This analysis examines subsequent use of traditional acupuncture.

Efficacy of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a trial sequential meta-analysis
[Journal of Neurology]
“Acupuncture can reduce migraine episodes compared to sham one and can be an alternative and safe prophylactic treatment for conventional drugs therapy, but it should be further verified through more RCTs. Available studies suggested acupuncture was superior to sham acupuncture and conventional drugs in terms of responder rate as verified by TSA.” 

Efficacy of electroacupuncture plus warm needling therapy for plantar heel pain: a randomised waitlist-controlled trial
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
After finding that adult patients with plantar heel pain (PHP) who received electroacupuncture plus warm needling (EAWN) therapy exhibited greater improvements in pain and functionality, researchers concluded that EAWN therapy could be an effective treatment for PHP in middle-aged and older adults.


Live Webcast!

Nick Kouchis, MD, FAAMA will present a 3-Part live webcast series "How to Successfully Expand and Energize Your Medical Acupuncture Practice"

Part 1: Plan for Success (September 23, 2020)
Part 2: Establish & Promote Effective Acupuncture Services (October 7, 2020)
Part 3: Lead a Productive Business (October 14, 2020)
8:00 pm EDT / 7:00 pm CDT / 5:00 pm PDT

 Click here for more information.

 

 

Register Now

Scientific Research

Read more evidence-based research on acupuncture and its applications in medical practice.