Message from the AAMA Board

An Update from the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation

Dear AAMA community,

It has been my honor serving as president of the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF) for the past year.

I would like to share my enthusiasm for the future direction of MARF, which includes our work on advancing AAMA’s role in supporting rigorous acupuncture research. MARF Board of Trustees have agreed on following mission and vision statements:

Mission Statement

To champion medical acupuncture by building infrastructure for medical acupuncture research through mentorship, education, and funding.

Vision Statement

To enhance patients’ well-being through evidence-based medical acupuncture research.

We have established the Allen McDaniels Grant – Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation and recently awarded our very first clinical pilot research grant. Presently, we are inviting motivated AAMA members to volunteer to serve on MARF Board of Trustees and/or to serve as research partners to build collaborative efforts between our academic and community colleagues.   Such collaborations will enrich acupuncture publications and presentations and ease IRB approval process for our community partners.

I was fortunate to present my acupuncture research at several national urological meetings (American Urogynecological Society and American Urological Association) and received much warmer receptions than my prior acupuncture presentations to surgical communities. I think this demonstrates a shift toward acceptance of this powerful treatment modality by medical practitioners at large.

I seek to empower AAMA members to improve treatment approaches in their respective specialties by pursuing and publishing their acupuncture research.

Larissa Bresler, MD, DABMA
Associate Professor of Urology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, LUMC, HVA
AAMA Board of Directors and MARF President

Serve on the AAMA Board of Directors and/or Committees

The Academy is a member-driven organization. Members of the Academy serve on the Board of Directors and on Committees advising the Board and make decisions regarding the priorities, programs and activities of our organization. They help guide the future of the Academy. All members are invited to take part in this volunteer governance process. You can take on a small task with a clearly defined time commitment, or you can play a more significant leadership role as a member of a standing committee or as a Board member. Committee volunteers are welcome year-round. The Board of Directors holds elections in the spring each year, when Directors and Officers are chosen by the members to guide the Academy for the following year. If you are interested in being considered for a seat on the Board of Directors, please reach out and let us know. We welcome your inquiry! Learn more.

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities

AAMA Annual Review Course
March 18-April 14, 2022

2022 AAPM Annual Meeting: Today and Tomorrow in Pain Medicine: Innovations and Practical Applications
Scottsdale, AZ
March 17-20

2022 AAMA Annual Symposium
Cincinnati, OH
May 5-8, 2022

2022 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health
Phoenix, AZ
May 23-26, 2022

Bologna, Itlaly
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

Welcome Our New & Returning AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the Academy in November 2021.

  • Roger A. Donovick, MD of Lincoln, NE
  • Sargent, MD of Encinitas, CA
  • Steven D. Sikora, MD of Joint Base Andrews, MD

And welcome back a returning member!

  • Richard Kennedy, MD of Washington, DC

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.

Physicians Complete 10-Year ABMA Recertification Process

Congratulations to the following physicians who have completed the process ( set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be re-certified as a Diplomate for another 10 years:

  • Elaine Chu, MD, DABMA of La Canada Flintridge, CA
  • Gaston Dana, DO, DABMA of Franklin, IN
  • Rafael Iriarte, MD, DABMA of Coto Laurel, PR
  • David Teitelbaum, DO, DABMA of Fort Worth, TX

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 36 bills regarding acupuncture and dry needling. Of note:

The bill permitting dry needling by PTs has passed the New Jersey Senate and has been introduced in the House.

The Legislative Committee will continue to watch for bills that affect AAMA members and respond to the authors and co-sponsors appropriately. We will also contact YOU when legislation in your state may affect your ability to practice acupuncture. In that event, we ask that you 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:

Marshall Sager, DO, DABMA, FAAMA (1938-2021)

Dr. Marshall Harris Sager, 83, died November 4, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, from complications related to Parkinson’s Disease. He was a longtime AAMA member, past AAMA President, extensively involved in the creation of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) certification process and was the first ABMA Chair. A colleague, friend and mentor to many AAMA members, Sager worked tirelessly on behalf of the Academy for many years. He will be missed.

Born November 2, 1938, he was the oldest child of the late Louis and Sarah (Portner) Sager. After graduating from Pottstown High School, Dr. Sager attended Lehigh University and served in the United States Marines before studying medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy. He established a primary care practice in Pottstown in 1969. In 1992, Dr. Sager moved to Bryn Mawr and opened a practice in Bala Cynwyd devoted to acupuncture. He retired to Atlantic City in 2019.

The family suggests a donation to the Parkinson’s Foundation, PO Box 6003, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9902 in memory of Dr. Sager. More.

AAMA Member Peter Dorsher, MD, Publishes New Research

Peter Dorsher, MD, has just published an invited, open access article in Longhua Chinese Medicine (the official journal of Shanghai College of Traditional Medicine) detailing a unified, evidenced-based model of acupuncture’s mechanisms. Read the article, Acupuncture’s neuroanatomic and neurophysiologic basis. 

Call for Entries: 2022 Medical Acupuncture Research Paper Competition

This is a call for entries for the annual Medical Acupuncture Research Paper Competition. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place awards will be presented at the AAMA 2022 Symposium. The deadline for submission of research papers for the competition is January 14, 2022. If your paper is selected as one of the winners, you will be notified by March 1, 2022.

The First Place winning paper is to be presented in a 30-minute Plenary Session at the AAMA 2022 Symposium at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, OH, May 5-8, 2022. Papers for second and third place to be announced at the Symposium. Authors will be acknowledged there.

Submissions must be original work, in either clinical research or basic biochemical or physiological research pertaining to acupuncture. The work must not have been previously published. Work completed and accepted for publication during the 2021-22 year period will be considered, if the publishing journal will allow presentation at AAMA Symposium. Please follow all instructions carefully to allow your application to be considered fully.

We are pleased to offer:

  • First Place: $750 stipend, Symposium Registration. Paper to be presented at the AAMA 2022 Symposium.
  • Second Place: $500 stipend, Symposium Registration
  • Third Place: $350 stipend and Symposium Registration

Review the competition rules and details.

2022 Medical Acupuncture Review Course (March 18-April 14, 2022)

The Medical Acupuncture Review Course provides an online/virtual, broad-based refresher course on the major subject matter areas with which a well-trained physician should be familiar. The review course is especially useful as a refresher for (1) those who obtained their acupuncture training some time ago and for (2) those who are seeking an organized review prior to taking the ABMA Board Certification Examination.

The overall objectives of the Medical Acupuncture Review Course are for a participant to be able to:

  • Analyze and solidify previously acquired knowledge and experience in medical acupuncture
  • Organize and reinforce understanding of the basic material appropriate for a physician practicing acupuncture in North America
  • Differentiate and examine participant’s previous studies of certain specialized aspects of acupuncture not always utilized in traditional practice

Learn more about the 2022 Medical Acupuncture Review Course now.

Call for Papers on Laser Acupuncture

Medical Acupuncture, the official journal of the AAMA, has announced a new Special Issue on Laser Acupuncture to be guest-edited by Dr. Litscher and Dr. Quah-Smith. The editors invite manuscript submissions related to high-level acupuncture research and/or acupuncture practice and of significant interest to the readership of Medical Acupuncture. Manuscript topics should be related to Laser Acupuncture or Laser and Photobiomodulation. Submission deadline: May 15, 2022. Read more.

ICD-10 Coding Changes – UPDATE

Last month, we shared the link to an Acupuncture Today article that outlined some recent changes to the coding that might affect acupuncturists. As reported by AAMA members who delved more deeply into the new coding details, the article appears to paint with a broad brush something that requires a closer read. Bottom line: AAMA members are encouraged to contact individual providers to verify which codes they will cover for low and unspecified back pain.

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

Order “What’s This Acupuncture About?” Patient Education Brochures

Physicians who offer medical acupuncture treatments as part of their practice may have patients who want to learn more about how medical acupuncture works. This helpful resource is designed for use in medical offices and is perfect for waiting room literature displays.

The AAMA has published the content of this brochure as part of the patient-facing educational resources section of this website.

The brochures are available in English and Spanish. They are sold in bundles of 100; the minimum order is 100 brochures.

Download the brochure order form to view pricing information.

Boost Your DABMA Branding with AAMA Certification Mark

The AAMA’s medical acupuncture certification mark represents the AAMA’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of education and training in medical acupuncture. If you are a full member or Fellow of the AAMA with DABMA certification, you may request an electronic file of the certification mark and guidelines for its usage. Upon verification of your status, a jpg file will be sent to you. Email the AAMA.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 


Efficacy of Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome : A Randomized Trial
[Annals of Internal Medicine]
Conclusion: Compared with sham therapy, 20 sessions of acupuncture over 8 weeks resulted in greater improvement in symptoms of moderate to severe CP/CPPS, with durable effects 24 weeks after treatment.


Complementary Psychological and/or Physical Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects
[NCCIH Clinical Digest]
The Society for Integrative Oncology has issued evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for health care providers to consider when incorporating complementary health approaches in the care of people with cancer. The guidelines state that, when used in addition to conventional therapies, some of these approaches help to control symptoms and enhance patients’ well-being.


A randomized controlled clinical trial comparing different numbers of acupuncture sessions for migraine
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
Both 5 and 10 sessions of acupuncture were associated with apparent benefits in terms of preventing migraine attacks, reducing the severity of the headache and improving quality of life, based on comparisons between baseline and follow-up in both study groups.


A Review of Acupuncture Treatment for Infertility
[Journal of Acupuncture Research ]
For infertility treatment studies using acupuncture, polycystic ovarian syndrome was the main cause of infertility, the most common acupoint used was CV4, CV3, CV6, SP6, BL23, and the treatment effect significantly improved in the group receiving acupuncture treatment compared with the control group, or the group taking Western medicine alone. In some studies, the group using acupuncture treatment did not show side effects. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for infertility.


Note: Some of these news sources may require you to create a free account to read their content, while others may have a paywall.