2023 Symposium Ad

Pre-Symposium Workshops

The Pre-Symposium workshops are intended to provide a more concentrated learning experience where the faculty can focus on a topic in greater depth, and with more time for practical examples from clinical experiences. They are optional workshops with separate fee(s).


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 each Pre-Symposium workshop 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.

“Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain: Combining Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Myofascial Meridian, and Acupuncture Traditions”

Presented by: Peter Dorsher, MD

This session is designed to provide pragmatic evidence-based point selections that combine contemporary myofascial pain and myofascial meridian allopathic principles with those of the acupuncture tradition. The anatomic and physiologic overlaps of these manual and needling traditions will be demonstrated along with skills training in acupuncture meridian physical examination principles and myofascial meridian stretches to enhance needling outcomes.

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

  • Discuss similarities and differences of Travell and Simon’s “most common” myofascial trigger points and Classical acupoints
  • Name the key difference between acupuncture “muscle meridians” and the Principal meridians
  • Discuss the concept of myofascial meridians and their distribution overlaps with Principal meridian
  • Demonstrate on physical examination strength changes along Primary and Six Stages coupled meridians
  • Describe principles for treating musculoskeletal joint pain combining myofascial trigger points and Classical acupoints using
    local and distal points
  • Demonstrate how to stretch along myofascial meridians to enhance needling treatment
  • Discuss generalizability of these findings to manual, needling, laser, and electrotherapy techniques

“MU-SHU-PULSE & Other Special Points: New Concepts and Constructs for Treating Meridian and Channel Disturbances”

Presented by: Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA


Using a “hands on” approach, Dr. Sandweiss will lecture, demonstrate, and have class attendees practice all techniques with partners. He will present a unique approach to diagnosing and treating imbalances within the acupuncture meridian system. This includes a review of the well-known MU-SHU points, and traditional radial artery pulse points with an algorithm that allows the practitioner to quickly find the particular acupuncture points that will treat these imbalances. Attendees will appreciate the relationship between specific acupuncture meridians and associated major muscles in the body. Fourteen manual muscle tests will be presented that each represent one of the twelve distinct meridian channels and additionally the governing and conception vessels. These muscle tests are organized in a sequence that represents the 24-hour energy cycle of Qi. Finally, Dr. Sandweiss will demonstrate specific osteopathic manipulation techniques that release restrictions at major acupuncture points.

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

  • Identify meridian imbalances using MU points combined with manual muscle testing.
  • Identify meridian imbalances using radial artery pulse points with manual muscle testing.
  • Evaluate for the presence of segmental level somatic dysfunctions that are present at the precise location of back SHU points and learn fast effective treatments for resolving those dysfunctions.
  • Distinguish specific major muscle groups that are correlated with specific acupuncture meridians (e.g. PSOAS muscle relationship to the kidney meridian)
  • Apply a muscle dance sequence that follows the 24-hour clock RONG cycle demonstrating the kinesiology movements of each of those muscles and the corresponding manual muscle test for that muscle group.
  • Apply several osteopathic manipulation techniques for releasing specific acupuncture points and their associated channels.

“The Western Medical Acupuncture Approach to Headache”

Presented by: Mike Cummings, MD


In 2012, acupuncture was recommended by the National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK for the prophylaxsis of migraine headache and tension type headache (TTH). As a result of this the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) developed a day of education focussed on the use of acupuncture to treat headache. Whilst the NICE guideline focused on the treatment of migraine and TTH, the BMAS includes an awareness of the importance of myofascial headache, which rarely presents to the academic neurologists who write the International Headache Society (IHS) classifications of headache or advise on national guidelines.

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

  • Outline the common headache conditions and their prevalence
  • Describe the evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in chronic headache
  • Demonstrate safe needling techniques to target common points used in treating both acute and chronic headache
  • Describe an technique that allows assessment of the sensitivity of individual patients and the tailoring of the treatment approach

“Introduction to Neijing Nature-based Medicine”

Presented by: Ed Neal, MD, MSOM


In this one day pre-symposium workshop, we will spend the day reviewing the history and principles of the Huangdi Neijing, the fundamental source text of Chinese medicine. This text has played a central role in the formation of Chinese medicine, yet its principles and techniques are not well understood, particularly in the west. Over the past 20 years, through extensive classical text research, a wealth of new information has been discovered about these writings. During the morning session of the workshop, we will review the basic history and principles of these texts. In the afternoon, we will focus on experiential learning, learning basic techniques of assessment and treatment.

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

  • Discuss and explain the historical context and development of the Neijing text and it’s importance to the current practice of Chinese medicine.
  • Describe the basic principles of Neijing medicine – what they are and how they differ from current descriptions of Chinese medicine.
  • Describe the scholarly approaches for researching the early Chinese medical classics.
  • Identify basic clinical approaches of Neijing nature-based medicine; including a new unified model of human illness
  • Demonstrate specific beginner–level assessment techniques that can be used immediately in clinical practice.
  • Use various methods to continue learning through a study of the medical classics.

COVID Safety Information

The health and safety of our meeting attendees is our highest priority, and AAMA is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. AAMA is committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe environment that does not place conference attendees at undue risk.

All precautions will be taken in regards to COVID-19, but all presenters and participants acknowledge that they recognize the risks associated with attending and interacting with meeting attendees, staff, and others while participating in the AAMA Annual Symposium. Individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC are prohibited from attending the meeting.

Have a question about a Pre-Symposium Workshop?Email AAMA