Pre-Symposium Workshops

The optional Pre-Symposium is intended to provide a more concentrated learning experience where the faculty can spend the 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 American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture designates this live activity (each Pre-Symposium) for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Workshop I – "Pediatrics – The San Jiao and Its Role in Healthy Growth and Development"

Stephen Cowan, MD

The San Jiao/Triple Burner is a novel concept in Chinese medicine that until recently was utterly overlooked in western medicine.  The advent of the modern epidemic of chronic inflammation demands a different approach from that which has been effective in treating acute conditions.  Recent advances in systems-based medicine have brought a deeper understanding to the function of a unified neuro-gastro-immune system that classical Chinese medicine conceptualized two thousand years ago in such texts as the Nanjing Classic of Difficulties. In this Pre-symposium workshop, we will examine the functions of the San Jiao, its anatomic and physiologic correlates, and its practical applications in the treatment of pediatric disorders rooted in chronic inflammation.  These disorders include conditions such as allergies, asthma, eczema, anxiety, migraine, fibromyalgia, developmental disorders of childhood, ADHD, arthritis, and colitis. Acupuncture, qigong, tuina, craniosacral techniques and herbs will be included in this discussion.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to –

  • Articulate the functions of the San Jiao/Triple Burner from the viewpoint of classical Chinese medicine
  • Recognize how the western neuroimmune system correlates to the San Jiao/Triple Burner system in classical Chinese medicine
  • Recognize the application of the San Jiao/Triple Burner for conditions of chronic inflammation

Workshop II – "The Auricular Causative Approach for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurologic Conditions"

Nadia Volf, MD, PhD

Auricular Causative diagnosis allows the practitioner to identify the underlying origins of certain neurologic conditions. Auricular Causative diagnosis has been found to be an effective diagnostic method and treatment strategy by many practitioners. Utilizing illustrated case studies and experiential work, this pre-symposium workshop will be devoted to developing individualized acupuncture approaches to acute, chronic, and progressive neurologic conditions. The neurologic conditions studied may include stroke, Bell’s palsy, trigeminal neuralgia and facial pain, neuritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, hemiplegia, epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dementia.  Sufficient time will be allotted for practice during the pre-symposium workshop. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to use the Auricular Causative diagnostic and treatment approach for neurologic conditions in their practices.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to –  

  • Describe the somatotopic mapping of the ear
  • Describe the physiologic construct of Auricular Causative diagnosis
  • Identify auricular changes and their significance in relation to specific neurologic conditions
  • Recognize the auricular manifestation of a neurologic symptom, and, more importantly, identify its origin
  • Identify the weakest organ involved in the neurologic condition, even before the appearance of a symptom
  • Apply the most effective acupuncture for the treatment of acute, chronic, and progressive neurologic conditions based on Auricular Causative diagnosis

Workshop III – "Integrative Oncology: Supportive Care for Cancer Patients"

Butch Levy, MD

This workshop will cover a broad range of topics that will provide you, the practitioner, with advanced, practical, cutting-edge skills for the supportive care of your cancer patients.  The paradigms of Chinese, Japanese, Functional, and Western medicines will be integrated to provide multiple perspectives on diagnosis and  treatment.

To begin, the pathways and therapeutic modalities needed to reduce cancer risk will be discussed, as well as understanding how the terrain of the patient contributes to cancer occurrence, prevention, and treatment. Topics for this portion include environmental burden, hormonal balances, chronic infections, lifestyle issues, nutritional depletion, and genetic influences.

In order to improve supportive care, diagnostic tools helping to access deeper pathways of the web will be discussed.  These tools help to expand care to include not only the regular Meridians, but also the Extra Vessels and the Divergent Channels. The Japanese abdominal palpatory approach to herbal diagnosis and treatment, Kampo, will also be described.

In order to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and speed recovery, four phases of supportive acupuncture and herbal care will be presented. Further, a separate discussion on radiation side effects will be provided.

For patients completing chemotherapy treatment, protocols will be presented to enhance rejuvenation and hopefully prevent reoccurrence.  These will include acupuncture protocols and herbal formulas specific to many common cancers, along with laboratory testing and necessary lifestyle changes that are necessary to implement for long term survival.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to –

  • Recognize how each patient presents with his/her own terrain and how this forms the basis both for cancer risk and for opportunities for prevention and treatment.
  • Utilize the 12 primary meridians, the Eight Extra Vessels, and the Divergent channels both for diagnosis (including pulses) and treatment.
  • Apply tools from Functional Medicine, such as the use of lab work to recognize chronic inflammation.
  • Describe the fundamentals of the Divergent Channel network.
  • Optimize lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet, and fitness.
  • Implement strategies to accelerate post-operative recovery.
  • Manage and minimize neuropathy from chemotherapy.
  • Assess the use of individual herbs and acupuncture protocols for specific cancers with the goal of reducing recurrences.   

Workshop IV – "How to Successfully Incorporate Medical Acupuncture into Your Medical Practice"

Nick Kouchis, MD

This workshop will provide the attendee with an overview of the opportunities and challenges to the incorporation of Medical Acupuncture into current medical practice.

Through the exploration of seven topics, the attendee will be able to construct a business plan and implement steps important to operating a successful Medical Acupuncture practice. These seven topics include 1) articulating the individual provider’s mission and practice objectives, 2) evaluating the current practice setting to identify opportunities for and barriers to the incorporation of Medical Acupuncture, 3) establishing which Medical Acupuncture services are fit to be offered in the practice, and thereby create marketing goals and strategies for those services, 4) determining the necessary clinical office setup and supplies needed to implement practice, 5) calculating new Medical Acupuncture expenses and overhead costs, 6) formulating payment and billing practices, 7) satisfying legal and regulatory requirements.

The workshop will consist of lecture format, panel discussion, written worksheets, and attendee questions. Through these means of attendee engagement, general practice management operations and individual factors will be addressed.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to –

  • Articulate your mission and practice objectives
  • Evaluate your practice setting type
  • Establish your patient care services and marketing
  • Determine necessary clinical setup and supplies
  • Calculate expenses and overhead costs
  • Formulate income and billing practices
  • Satisfy legal and regulatory issues


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