Message from the AAMA Board

One More Surprise

— Gary Stanton, MD, FAAMA, AAMA Board of Directors

This past April, I wrote an AAMA Newsletter guest column about “My Surprises in Auriculotherapy.” When invited to write another, I chose another surprising result — this time with medical acupuncture.

In 2015, a then 56-year-old woman came to my office for acupuncture for chronic pain related to multiple chemical sensitivities. During the prior seven years, she had been excessively sensitive to a great variety of chemical substances. Exposure to some chemicals caused a characteristic syndrome of numbness over her left scalp and face, followed by erythema and painful burning of the face and head with headache and nausea, then descending severe pains involving her entire body. Such symptoms would last 24 hours.

A neurologist carried out a brain MRI scan, an EEG, multiple blood and urine tests. All negative. An allergist at a tertiary care institution diagnosed her to have an environmental illness with multiple chemical sensitivities. Over-the-counter and prescription medications were inadequate to prevent or suppress her symptoms.

Recurrences were frequent, such that she routinely would go to the emergency department two or three times every month, often by ambulance! She would be treated with parenteral opiates and antiemetics, among other symptomatic treatments. She often would have to stay in the ED for hours under observation. She estimated that she had gone to the ED perhaps 200 times during those seven years.

I proposed medical acupuncture with standard steel needles. Most commonly, points treated bilaterally have included Sp4, Pc6, Ki6, Lu7, Li3, and St36, in addition to REN 12 and yin tang. Treatments typically last 30 minutes.

From the very beginning, the patient experienced surprisingly good results. Her chemical sensitivity reactions greatly diminished in number and in intensity. Her ambulance rides and trips to the ED ceased. Her breakthrough symptoms became relatively tolerable with ongoing acupuncture treatments. She reported no negative effects of acupuncture.

During the past seven years, the patient has returned for medical acupuncture treatments generally on a monthly basis. Treatments have remained beneficial. During every treatment session, the patient has expressed her thanks for acupuncture, saying this is only therapy that has given her a substantial benefit.

Beyond her gratitude, one can easily imagine how cost-effective medical acupuncture has been for this patient. I wish that physicians and their patients would consider medical acupuncture as a treatment option sooner, rather than later.

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities

2022 AAMA Annual Symposium Recordings
Affordable Medical Acupuncture CME
On-demand recorded sessions

Workshop: Treating Musculoskeletal Pain and Dysfunction without Drugs and Surgery: Integrating Dry Needling, Osteopathic Manipulation and Muscle Testing
October 8-9, 2022

35th ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress
From Research to Clinical Practice: towards Integrative Medicine
Bologna, Italy
October 14-16, 2022

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.

AAMA News & Announcements

AAMA Legislative Committee Report

The Legislative Committee continues its work monitoring and responding to legislation relevant to our members and their practice of medical acupuncture. Currently, the committee is monitoring 39 bills regarding acupuncture, chronic pain, substance use disorder, and dry needling.

The Legislative Committee will continue to watch for bills that affect AAMA members and respond to the authors and co-sponsors appropriately. The committee members will contact YOU when legislation in your state may affect your ability to practice acupuncture. In that event, you are encouraged to write your representatives and senators since they prefer to hear directly from their constituents. If you learn of relevant legislative activity, please connect with the committee by email:

LAST CHANCE!! AAMA Benefits Expiring for Members Who Haven’t Renewed

The AAMA membership year ended June 30, 2022. If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes and renew your membership today! 

Your AAMA membership comes with valuable benefits, including:


ACCESS EXTENDED: AAMA Annual Symposium Recordings Expire 9/30
It’s not too late to register and earn CME!

On-Demand 2022 Symposium Recordings

Nearly all of the virtual Symposium sessions were recorded and are available for on-demand viewing. If you were not able to attend in-person, you can now purchase access to the on-demand recording package! Access is available through September 30, 2022.

Topics include:

  • pediatric acupuncture
  • physician wellness and acupuncture
  • perioperative acupuncture
  • facial pain
  • allergies
  • foot and ankle pain
  • battlefield acupuncture
  • hand acupuncture
What Does the On-Demand Package Fee Cover?
  • Symposium Session recording access
  • Up to maximum of 20 CME credits (must complete quiz for each session for credit where applicable)
  • Review of all symposium documentation and materials
  • Exhibit hall access

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements Strategic Plan – Invitation to Comment

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health has initiated a strategic planning process that will culminate in the ODS Strategic Plan for 2022-26. To assist with this process, ODS requests input from research communities—academic, government, and industry—and from other interested parties. The overall purpose of the strategic planning effort is to identify both new opportunities and emerging needs for incorporation in the programmatic efforts of the office. At this time, ODS desires comment on the Draft Strategic Plan regarding these important issues:

  • Are there additional emerging public health issues that ODS can help address?
  • Are there existing knowledge gaps that ODS can help address (not included in the current plan)?
  • Is there anything that ODS can do differently to meet the needs of its stakeholders?

Responses will be accepted until October 15, 2022. Learn more and submit comments.

Acupuncture Today Article Highlights Legal Hurdles for Physicians who Practice Medical Acupuncture

In a recent article — “Has Your State Eliminated the HIPAA Compliance Loophole?” — David Bibbey, MSOM, DIPL. AC., LAc, writes: “It’s easy to assume federal HIPAA laws and rules are the only comprehensive regulations covering patient privacy and data security, because “HIPAA” gets all the attention. But over the past decade, individual states have enacted strict consumer protections; many now include civil and criminal codes allowing for prosecutions and hefty fines for patient privacy and data security violations and noncompliance. The best way to avoid these issues is to know which state and federal laws apply to your practice, and update your existing technology, documentation and training accordingly.” Read the full article.

Workshop: Treating Musculoskeletal Pain and Dysfunction Without Drugs and Surgery: Integrating Dry Needling, Osteopathic Manipulation, and Manual Muscle Testing

October 8-9, 2022
Presenters: Dr. Jay Sandweiss and Dr. Joseph Audette

AAMA members are invited to attend a new workshop presented by Drs. Audette and Sandweiss, which will present a highly effective approach for diagnosing and treating common musculoskeletal problems, such as tennis elbow, golfer elbow, rotator cuff syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain, ankle pain, neck, hip and back pain. Attendees will learn to integrate osteopathic manipulation, dry needling and manual muscle testing. Space is limited. Early registration discount expires August 15, 2022.

ICMART 2022 – AAMA Members Scheduled to Present

Reminder: AAMA members are invited to attend the 35th ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress in Bologna, Italy, October 14-16, 2022. The AAMA’s organizational membership in ICMART extends to all AAMA members, who can register for this event at the discounted member rate. This year’s theme is From Research to Clinical Practice: Towards Integrative Medicine. 

Two AAMA leaders are scheduled to present:

  • Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA: “SAAT (Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment) Technique for Treating Allergies A New Magical Auricular Approach”
  • Kendra Unger, MD, FAAMA: “Acupuncture for the Knee”

Learn more and register.

Are You Following Us?

Join the conversations online with fellow physician acupuncturists from around the country! You can find AAMA on:

There’s even a closed group on Facebook for discussion between members:

In Case You Missed It Last Month

Annual Symposium — Photo Gallery

After two years of COVID-19 interruptions, we were finally able to meet again in-person at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, in Cincinnati, OH, from May 6-8, 2022. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Healing Through Acupuncture. Needed Now More than Ever.” Attendees were happy to see familiar faces again and do some much-needed networking and in-person education. The outstanding program focused on a diverse array of topics that are of interest to health care professionals engaged in, or interested in, incorporating medical acupuncture in their practice. A number of popular annual events returned for this meeting, including the Founders Lecture, Poster Presentation session and plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and exhibit companies. View photos from the event.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 


Effect of Adjunctive Acupuncture on Pain Relief Among Emergency Department Patients With Acute Renal Colic Due to Urolithiasis: A Randomized Clinical Trial
[JAMA Network Open]
“Conclusions and Relevance  These findings suggest that acupuncture plus intramuscular injection of diclofenac is safe and provides fast and substantial pain relief for patients with renal colic compared with sham acupuncture in the emergency setting. However, no difference in rescue analgesia was found, possibly because of the ceiling effect caused by subsequent but robust analgesia of diclofenac. Acupuncture can be considered an optional adjunctive therapy in relieving acute renal colic.”

Acupuncture for Pain Management in Pediatric Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
[Children – The Use of Complementary and Integrative Medicine Therapies for Pediatric Pain Management]
“Acupuncture is feasible and acceptable, with statistically significant findings for effectiveness as an adjunct treatment for pain in this setting. It is concluded that acupuncture is a promising and understudied therapy for the treatment of pain during an acute pain episode in pediatric patients with SCD.”

Knowledge Mapping of Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia from 1990 to 2022: A Bibliometric Analysis
[Journal of Pain Research]
“Acupuncture can effectively relieve pain in patients with fibromyalgia and improve accompanying symptoms such as anxiety and depression. However, the design of clinical trials still needs to be optimized to better verify the efficacy of acupuncture on various clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia. Exploring the central analgesic mechanism of acupuncture on fibromyalgia is also the focus research direction now and future.”


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