Table of Contents – August 2020 

A Message of Hope

Dear AAMA family,   

As we all adjust to the “new normal,” I would like to share this message of hope with you.   

I am confident that we will weather this storm because medical acupuncturists are resilient, tough, and resourceful. Many of us studied acupuncture and built our acupuncture practices years after completing residencies, and we have succeeded in advocating a holistic approach to healing with medical acupuncture. As I think of my grandparents surviving in war-torn Europe, I realize that every generation must face major challenges and COVID-19 is one of ours.   

AAMA is the only organization formed and run by physician-acupuncturists for physician-acupuncturists. Our board of directors and committees are hardworking and dedicated to making positive changes in our organization. One such positive change is the creation of the research committee and our first research grant. We dedicated this grant to our dearly departed friend, mentor, and colleague, Allen McDaniels, who was one of the original founders of the AAMA and a vocal supporter of medical acupuncture research. I imagine Allen smiling down on us as we are just weeks away from awarding our very first grant. (We will make a separate announcement when the grant is awarded with the summary of the project and its principal investigator’s biosketch.) 

Despite all the COVID-related financial and administrative challenges, I am optimistic about the AAMA’s future because our members are strong in spirit and dedicated to the science and practice of medical acupuncture.   Please support our AAMA family by renewing your memberships, attending virtual workshops, volunteering on committees, and donating. Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) donations are tax deductible and will go directly to MARF grant and research related presentations.    

Thank you for all that you do, donning and doffing endless PPEs and facing each day with a smile 🙂 (yes, there is an emoji in this column).    

With endless respect,
Your friendly neighborhood acurologist

Larissa Bresler, MD, DABMA
AAMA Board of Directors
Associate Professor of Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology   

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the Academy in July 2020:   

  • Jennifer A. Neff, MD, of Carlsbad, CA
  • Angela M Garcia, MD, of Pittsburgh, PA 
  • Chaney G. Stewman, MD, of Philadelphia, PA

And a special welcome to returning member Alison Lee, MD, FAAMA, of Walled Lake, MI. We’re delighted to have you back as a member once again, Dr. Lee!  

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 ( set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be certified as a Diplomate for 10 years:

  • Stephanie Cheng, MD, DABMA of New York, NY 

Legislative Advocacy – Committee Update

This month, the Legislative Committee co-chairs have reviewed bills from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts regarding dry needling, auricular detoxification protocol, and insurance coverage for non-opioid treatments for chronic pain. Appropriate letters will be sent to the bills’ sponsors.    

Following the query in last month’s newsletter, two more AAMA members reached out to the Committee about difficulty securing a contract with Optum to provide acupuncture treatments for veterans. This information was forwarded to a representative at the VA who is working to resolve the problem.   

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 ( or phone (310-379-8261).    

Two New Mental Health Webinars Announced by AAMA

The mental well-being of society and patients is currently challenged via a multitude of stressors with extreme intensity; stress, worry, frustration, sadness, and anxiety abound. Energetic medicine offers specialized tools to alleviate these negative psychological feelings and help put things in perspective to allow one to function with more ease and enjoy life amidst uncertainty and turmoil. These webinars will offer the maximum number of tools, illuminated by energetic reasoning, to assist in alleviating emotional suffering and ultimately prevent disease amidst these unprecedented times. Both webinars will be presented by Susie Hayes, MS, LAc.

Advanced Acupuncture to Promote Mental Well-Being
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT
Register now.     

Advanced Curious Points for Treating Mental Illness
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT
Register now.     

Updated Patient-Education Materials Focus on Opioids

One of the ways the AAMA supports its members and their practices is by offering free and low-cost patient-education resources and materials. Teaching the public about medical acupuncture and its benefits strengthens our medical field and encourages patients to seek safe, effective care from physician acupuncturists. The AAMA now offers free downloads of two versions of the brochure Acupuncture: A Promising Solution to the Opioid Crisis. Written and designed specifically with patients in mind, the original two-page PDF was emailed to all members in 2018. Now also available in a new, tri-fold brochure design! Download one or both of the PDF files and print your own fliers and/or brochures today.

New TCM Resource for AAMA Members

Members of the AAMA’s Education Committee searched and collected references from the Medical Acupuncture journal related to the subject of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a resource to physicians interested in this topic and looking for a source of subject material. AAMA members can access the journal for free through this website once logged into AAMA member account. Visit the new TCM page on the AAMA website.   

Physician Acupuncturist – Job Opportunity in Maryland

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, seeks a full-time Complementary & Alternative Medicine Physician to join a dynamic team. This is a rewarding opportunity to provide full range of integrative medicine services to our active-duty, retired military, and their families. Read more and apply.    

Harvard Researchers Find Acupuncture Reduces Systemic Inflammation

A team of researchers led by neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School has successfully used acupuncture to tame cytokine storms in mice with systemic inflammation. In the study, published in Neuron, acupuncture activated different signaling pathways that triggered either a pro-inflammatory or an anti-inflammatory response in animals with bacterially induced systemic inflammation. The article is getting some attention in scientific news, including a write-up by NCCIH. Read more about the Harvard team.    

Don’t Lose Your AAMA Membership Benefits – Renew Today

Now more than ever, the AAMA has your back. Exclusive membership benefits can strengthen your practice to help you better care for your patients. 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 expires.

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)    

Calls for Papers/Submissions

CLINICAL PEARLS: Reduced Lactation in Nursing Mothers
Medical Acupuncture, the official journal of the AAMA, publishes an interactive Clinical Pearls section in each issue. For an upcoming issue, we are seeking details about how you treat Reduced Lactation in Nursing Mothers with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs. Your response will be considered for possible publication. Please send your 500-750 word contribution in a Word document that contains your complete name, degrees, affiliation, mailing address, and full contact information, including telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address to Yael BenPorat by August 28, 2020.    

LAST CHANCE: Acupuncture, Internal Medicine, and COVID-19
Call for papers: Medical Acupuncture is planning a Special Issue focusing on how acupuncture and auricular medicine can be used as an effective adjunct to treat a variety of internal medicine related conditions. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are also seeking articles highlighting the use of acupuncture and/or traditional Chinese medicine in caring for patients affected with COVID-19. Deadline for Manuscript Submission: August 31, 2020. 

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It Last Month

AAMA Medicare Survey Summary
Did you miss the summary of the results of the member survey regarding Medicare coverage for acupuncture services? Almost 200 AAMA members participated in the survey. More than half of the respondents were solo owners of a private practice while about 20% were employed in a group practice. Read more.  

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.     

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

AAMA Webinar: Advanced Acupuncture to Promote Mental Well-Being
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT
Register now.     

AAMA Webinar: Advanced Curious Points for Treating Mental Illness
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 8pm ET/7pm CT/5pm PT
Register now.  

KIOM-SAR 2020 International Research Conference
September 11-13, 2020 (new dates!) 
Seoul, South Korea, AND live streaming    

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
Now 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:   

Most Recent Issue: June 2020 

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

New Scientific Research

Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis
[American Family Physician – non-subscribers must purchase to read full article]
Electroacupuncture can be used to improve pain and physical function in adults with knee osteoarthritis. (Strength of Recommendation [SOR]: A, based on multiple meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials [RCTs].) Electroacupuncture seems to be more effective than needle acupuncture for symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, but both treatments are more effective than standard care. (SOR: B, based on network meta-analyses with inconsistent results.) Needle-only acupuncture offers pain relief and functional improvement, but not consistently at clinically relevant levels. (SOR: B, based on network meta-analyses with inconsistent results.) 

Acupuncture Reduced Medical Expenditure in Migraine Patients: Real-World Data of a 10-Year National Cohort Study
According to our real-world data, acupuncture can reduce the medical expenditure in migraine patients within one year after diagnosis. For the health policy maker, it is cost effective to encourage combining acupuncture and western medicine to treat migraine patients. For the doctors in routine clinical practice, who may consider to consult acupuncture doctors to deal with the migraine patients together.   

The Role of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Chronic Pain
[Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology – Fee for full article]
Acupuncture’s efficacy in five pain conditions—low back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, neck pain, and abdominal pain—was evaluated in this evidence-based, comprehensive review. Based on the most recent evidence, migraine and fibromyalgia are two conditions with the most favorable outcomes after acupuncture.   

Acupuncture for Regulating Blood Pressure of Stroke Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
[Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine]
Conclusions: It was concluded that acupuncture may be a suitable treatment option for regulating BP after stroke. However, the trials are not free from bias. Further reviews would yield positive results if well-designed trials are conducted. 

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