Message from the AAMA Board

Holiday Greetings from the AAMA
— Kendra Unger, MD, FAAMA, Immediate Past President, AAMA

December is a month of celebration and reflection. It is a time in which the world reflects on the past year and makes plans for the future. We have all experienced both hardships and reasons to celebrate this year. I pray that the hardships will be lessons for us and the that blessings will continue to be a light for 2024.

The AAMA has been hard at work this last year. We have been working diligently to rebuild the physical presence of our symposium to encourage and strengthen relationships and clinical applications among our colleagues. We have also been reaching out to our members to share our initiatives and to highlight the important work that you are doing. This giving season has also encouraged us to focus on membership needs and to create new services that will benefit all members. These are just a few blessings from 2023 that shine light and hope into 2024 for the AAMA.

I am making my list and checking it twice. I would like all our members to remember that you are our greatest gift. We are successful because of your commitment to the practice of medical acupuncture, to your patients and to the AAMA. Each of you is unique and the contributions you make to the AAMA are priceless.

As I think about 2024 with renewed hope and excitement, I would like to invite all our members to make joining an AAMA committee your New year’s resolution. There are so many things we can accomplish together, and we need your ideas and your continued involvement. If you are already an active member of a committee, thank you! If your resolution is to be more present, we invite you to reach out so we can connect you with a committee that matches your skill set.

One of my favorite group of reflections from 2023 is my involvement in the AAMA. I hope that each of you have also experienced this gift. I look forward to working with you in the year to come with anticipation to see what great things we can accomplish.

I am wishing you much cheer this holiday season and may your new year be filled with joy and happiness.

Member Spotlight:
Lisa Benson, MD

Dr. Lisa Benson is board certified in both internal medicine and medical acupuncture. She is self-employed, practicing medical acupuncture in Buffalo, NY. She has been a member of the AAMA since 2010 and has served for a decade on the AAMA’s Education Committee.

“Education has always been my thing,” says Benson. “I have been on the Education Committee for over 10 years and have been chair for about 4. I come from generations of teachers and it was a natural fit. It is so exciting to seek out new teachers and new techniques to bring to the AAMA membership; this was especially so during the height of the Pandemic when our monthly webinars were a way to stay connected.”

We asked Dr. Benson 7 questions about her practice of medical acupuncture. Read more to learn about her acupuncture journey!


*We’d love to feature you and your practice, too. Please send us an email if you’d like to share feedback for a future Member Spotlight feature. 

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities

Integrative Manual Approach to Lower Back and Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction
January 27 & 28
Madison Heights/Troy, MI

AAMA 2024 Review Course
Feb 16-March 14, 2024
Virtual lectures with weekly live sessions

AAMA Core Refresher
April 10, 2024
Minneapolis, MN

AAMA Annual Symposium
April 11-14, 2024
Minneapolis, MN
Hotel Details – reserve room!

ABMA Certification Exam
April 14, 2024
Minneapolis, MN
Apply for certification – must be Board eligible to sit for exam.

1st Croatian Congress of Acupuncture
April 19-21, 2024
Opatija, Croatia

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 AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the Academy in November 2023.

  • Nikki D Floyd, MD, of Waynesboro, PA
  • Thanh Mai Huynh, MD, of Orange, CA
  • Andrew H. Page, PA-C, of Swansboro, NC
  • Kseniya Khmara, MD, of Palm Beach Shores, FL

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 Kendra Unger, the membership committee chair.

DON’T FORGET: If you would like to sponsor a medical student member for $75/year, please email AAMA today and let us know.

AAMA Legislative Committee Report

Legislators are beginning to pre-file bills for the new sessions starting in January. The Legislative Committee tracks this information daily and addresses acupuncture-related bills, watching for bills that would affect AAMA members and responding to the authors and co-sponsors appropriately.

Remember: 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:

Registration Now Open: 2024 Annual Symposium

What fuels your passion for excellence? What sustains your commitment to compassionate patient care? How to do stay focused on your purpose?

Reconnect with your north star in the North Star State!

The Annual AAMA Symposium will be held April 11-14, 2024, at the Radisson Blu Hotel Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. The theme of the meeting is “Embracing the Diversity of Acupuncture: Connecting People and Paradigms.” The program will focus 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. The program includes 2.5 days of morning plenary presentations, and the afternoons feature concurrent workshops on relevant topics. A number of popular annual events will return for the meeting. These include the Founders Lecture, Poster Presentation session and plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and exhibit companies. Register now!

LAST CHANCE: Research Paper Competition Jan 5th

Share your research with your peers. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-place awards will be awarded at the AAMA 2024 Symposium. The deadline for submission of research papers for the competition is January 5, 2024. If your paper is selected as one of the winners, you will be notified by February 9, 2024.

The First Place winning paper will be presented in a 30-minute Plenary Session at the AAMA 2024 Symposium at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN, April 11-14, 2024. Papers for second and third place will be announced at the Symposium.

Review the full rules.

2024 Medical Acupuncture Review Course – Register Now

The Medical Acupuncture Review Course provides a 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 those who obtained their acupuncture training some time ago and for 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

Course series starts on Friday, February 16, and ends Thursday, March 14. Save the dates and register now! 

Register Now for AAMA’s One-day “Core Refresher”

The AAMA’s Core Refresher is a one-day summary of the fundamental principles with which a physician practicing medical acupuncture should be familiar. While the 8-week Medical Acupuncture Review Course takes a deep dive into each of the core areas, this one-day Core Refresher provides a hands-on, broad strokes update using clinical case presentations and point locations and their specific applications to illustrate core principles.

This course is ideal for all members who wants to brush up on core principles, review point locations and examine recent scientific data. Join your peers for this fast-paced, interactive day to hone your medical acupuncture skills! 

Register now.

Fellow Application Deadline for 2024 is March 15

To be nominated to Fellow of the Academy one must submit an application documenting the following:

  • Possess an MD or DO degree or equivalent.
  • Be licensed to practice as an MD, DO or homeopathic physician in the US or Canada.
  • Be Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture.
  • Be a current Full member of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.
  • Have a minimum of five years of Western medicine practice experience or be Board Certified in his or her medical specialty.
  • Have a minimum of four years of clinical experience in medical acupuncture since completing a basic training program in medical acupuncture.
  • Have published or have accepted for publication an acupuncture related article in a recognized medical periodical. OR Have documented ten hours or more of experience teaching medical professionals on acupuncture related topics.

Want to learn more?

NCCIH: What the Science Says About Cancer and Complementary Treatments

Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer use complementary health approaches. Findings from a substantial amount of research suggest that some complementary psychological and/or physical approaches, such as acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and yoga, may help manage cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment.

This new NCCIH resources includes specific details about acupuncture that may be of interest to patients: “Available data suggest that acupuncture may help reduce cancer pain, manage treatment-related nausea and vomiting in people with cancer, and relieve cancer-related fatigue. Research on the effects of acupuncture on cancer-related hot flashes is limited.”

View full resource: Complementary Psychological and/or Physical Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects

New Medscape Resource

Medscape has started a new service called Read by QxMD, which grants 0.5 hr AMA approved CME for reading articles, up to 20 hrs per year.  A quick search for “acupuncture” yielded 20 articles in the first response page and apparently more articles in reserve upon request. AAMA members may find these articles interesting and useful.  View on Medscape:

Code Changes, from “Acupuncture Today”

Highlights from the article “Diagnosis Code Changes for Acupuncturists” include:

  • Diagnosis coding updates occur every October 1st. Although they are next-year changes (in this case, 2024), their effective date is Oct. 1 of the year prior.
  • This year’s updates include four new migraine diagnosis codes to describe chronic migraines.
  • The code updates also include five new codes to report Parkinson’s disease (G20); and a new code for resistant hypertension.

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.

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

Let’s Meet in Minneapolis!

Clear your calendar in April 2024 for the Annual Symposium! We’re heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where we’ll meet at the Radisson Blu hotel, which is connected by a skywalk to the world-famous Mall of America. Give yourself an extra day or two to enjoy the city — or just the mall! Want to plan your adventures around the Twin Cities? Here’s some info to get you started. 

Apply for Board Certification in Medical Acupuncture

If you’re interested in becoming DABMA certified, fall is the perfect time to learn more about the application process. Candidates for certification in medical acupuncture must meet minimum general requirements, education and training requirements, experience requirements and must successfully pass the Board examination in order to achieve certification. Learn more:

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 and Safety of Auricular Acupuncture for DepressionA Randomized Clinical Trial
[JAMA Open Network]
Conclusions and Relevance:  The results of this randomized clinical trial suggest that SA over 6 weeks is safe. Although there was no statistically significant difference between groups for the primary efficacy outcome, patients receiving SA did experience greater symptom remission at 3 months. A larger sample size and longer intervention are needed to further evaluate the efficacy of SA for depression.

Comparative effects of acupuncture and metformin on insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese and lean women with polycystic ovary syndrome and insulin resistance: a post hoc analysis of a randomized trial
[Frontiers in Medicine]
Conclusion: In overweight/obese women with PCOS and IR, acupuncture was less effective than metformin in enhancing insulin sensitivity. However, in lean women, acupuncture’s efficacy was comparable to metformin. Further studies are required to validate these observations.

Novel insights into weight loss: acupuncture combined with a very low-carbohydrate diet—a Swiss experience
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
Conclusion: Although this study lacked a control group and was retrospective and observational in nature, a program of acupuncture combined with a very low-carbohydrate diet appeared to be effective at inducing weight loss among obese patients. The observed weight reduction in this retrospective chart review represents a good starting point for further investigation of this approach via a comparative evaluation.

Changes in Pain Among Housed and Unhoused U.S. Veterans After Receiving Battlefield Acupuncture at One Medical Center
[Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine]
Results indicated significant reductions in the impact of pain on activity, sleep, and stress among both homeless and housed veterans. Although overall pain levels were not significantly impacted, further research on the impact of BFA on homeless populations is warranted.


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