Message from the AAMA Board


— Janice C. Brown MD, MPH

That is what acupuncture can do, transform someone. I have helped many patients transform with acupuncture, unbeknownst to them. But one patient really sticks out.

An elderly man worn by the ebbs and flows of life. He suffered from constant low back and neck pain, his spine deformed by scoliosis that developed in the latter years of his life. He suffered from constipation severe enough that he had to go the hospital on several occasions and from abdominal cramping that seemed to have no rhyme or reason as to when it occurred.

We met one morning for his initial evaluation, his wife by his side. Acupuncture was his last resort; surgery was not an option, the standard oral pain medications were mediocre in effect, the lumbar epidural steroid injections no longer worked. I did my usual intake and examination noting that his scoliosis encompassed both the coronal and transverse planes. His muscles were tight and unforgiving. He walked, hunched over and clearly in pain. His nervous system remained intact.

As I know the benefits of acupuncture, I did not hesitate to get him scheduled with recommendations for weekly sessions. He was skeptical after the first treatment; he did not feel better, his pain was the same intensity. The second session was the same. His wife was there to support him, reminding him that this was it, he had no other treatment options available. He continued, and by the sixth session he noted that his back was feeling better, the pain almost gone. His wife confirmed that he asked less often for oral pain medications.

What did I observe? A transformed man. He was walking more upright with less shuffling of his gait. He was able to get on/off the table with less effort (he needed his wife’s help prior). He was brighter and engaged more in conversation. He had less constipation and abdominal discomfort (I did do a treatment to unblock his GI system). His wife was even more relaxed. He was amazed in a subtle way being the stoic, retired professor he was. His request? “Can you work on my neck?”

If you are a physician who practices acupuncture, share your story of transformation with your colleagues. If not, share this article with them. Acupuncture has and always will have the power to transform as long as the human body exists in its current form. So why not add it to your toolbox? It is truly a game changer.

Janice C. Brown MD, MPH practices acupuncture daily in her Integrative Pain Management Clinic within SIMED Health in Ocala, FL. She can be contacted at

AAMA invites leadership volunteers

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


Integrative Medicine & Health Symposium
February 28-March 2, 2023
Chicago, IL

AAMA Annual Medical Acupuncture Review Course
Online: On-demand & Live Sessions
February 17-March 16
Register now!

Medical Acupuncture Core Refresher
April 12, 2023
Dallas, TX Metro Area
Register now!

AAMA Annual Symposium
April 13-16, 2023
Dallas, TX Metro Area
Register now!

SAR 2023 Conference
From Mechanism to Patient-Centered Care: Research in Acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine
May 18-21, 2023
New York City, NY, USA

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 December 2022.

  • Brian Y Kim, DO of Clarksville, MD
  • Andrea A. Riley, ARNP of Anacortes, WA
  • Fatima Siddiqui, MD of Galena, OH

And a warm welcome back to our returning members!

  • Michael A. Palmer, MD of West Windsor, NJ
  • Michael A. Pilla, MD of Nashville, TN

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.

AAMA Legislative Committee Report

Legislation is being introduced in new sessions at both the state level and in Congress. The Legislative Committee is currently monitoring bills relating to acupuncture (KY, MT, NJ, TX, & VA), treatment of chronic pain (MT & NH), and dry needling (NJ & WA). Letters will be sent to bill sponsors as appropriate.

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:

David Nagel, MD, Begins Term in New Hampshire House of Representatives

Longtime AAMA member, David Nagel, MD, ran for election to the New Hampshire House of Representatives to represent Belknap 6. He won in the general election in November and assumed office on December 7, 2022. His current term will end on December 4, 2024. We asked Dr. Nagel to share his thoughts about the intersection of public service and medicine. Here are his comments:

AAMA: Why did you decide to run for office? Do you have any prior public service experience?

Nagel: Years ago, my mom, who is my hero, was functionally bullied by an able-bodied person who verbally pushed her out of the way. My mom had severe RA and was very limited. I was so angered by this stigmatization that I felt a need to stand up for her and others like her. My mom always stood up for those in need. She couldn’t walk well, but she had a finger and a phone, and she created a model of what I call “kitchen-table advocacy.” The world did not treat her well, but she did her best to not let that happen to others. She has always been my inspiration.

I joke that I am a middle child born on a Wednesday; I get in the middle of everything. I have always felt a need to stand up for the marginalized. That led me to be involved in advocacy at a young age. I started merely by standing up for someone who was being bullied when I was in fourth grade.

I have been involved in advocacy and public policy for those with chronic and end of life pain for more than 30 years. My book, Needless Suffering, How Society Fails Those with Chronic Pain (2016), is a policy/advocacy book that aims to change the way those in pain are perceived, judged and treated. The book changed my life by giving me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams, and, to quote others, all I did was say what needed to be said.

I am amazed at the power of the letters “MD” that allow me to advocate for others — both in my practice and in the broader social realm. In an un-friendly medical world, dominated by a medical-industrial complex that burns out health care providers, I have found that this work allows me to retain the special needs and feelings that made me what to become a doctor in the first place.

In short, I chose to run for office because I believe that I can have greater power to make social change as in insider than I can as an outsider. I fully accept that may be an illusion, but one I feel compelled to follow.

AAMA: Not everyone is as comfortable engaging in policy and advocacy activities as you are. Do you have counsel for those who are involved with AAMA who may need a nudge to get more involved?

Nagel: I learned a long time ago, if you are not involved they won’t hear you. It is very easy to whine about how things are, or how they should be, but whining accomplishes nothing. I also learned how hard decision-making gets in the political arena, and, dare I say, I have developed a respect for those who struggle to make fair decisions. There all sorts of ways of getting involved. My mom used the phone. My own model is what I call “John the Baptist Advocacy” — a voice crying in the wilderness. You need to find a model that suits who you are. Never try to be someone you are not. Mother Teresa understood this intuitively.  In her Mission, she found a place for everyone who had a desire to help, no matter their physical, spiritual, intellectual, or social limitations.

AAMA: Are there any specific health care issues you hope to address/change while in office?

Nagel: My priority is to eliminate barriers to health care for those disparaged: those in pain; those suffering from mental health problems; those with addiction; those of color or other ethnicities; women, veterans, children, and other vulnerable populations. We are trying to create a world of inclusion. I am very interested in Native American rights here in New Hampshire. I am very interested in challenging insurers on policies that create unnecessary barriers to care, such as excessive co-pays, deductibles, and premiums, as well as the practice of prior authorizations. Related, I want to upend the medical pyramid and change the way we fund care from fragmented, bio-medical proceduralization to management, including primary care and management of complex physical and mental conditions.

Already I have a number of bills before our legislature that focus on patients’ rights and access to care.  NH HB 303, for example, deals specifically with increased access to alternative therapies. I believe in working with broad coalitions of people to make change, and HB 303 started with the creation of a broad coalition of diverse people, always including patients, who came together to achieve a goal.  We wrote this bill together.

AAMA: What strengths do you think physicians bring to the table as policy-makers and legislators?

Nagel: I have always struggled with concepts of ego and pecking order. I believe all individuals are important, and our place on an artificial hierarchy does not determine who we are, how important our voice is, or who should be listened to. At the same time, I am a realist. For good or bad, the degree “MD” allows us to occupy a higher rung.  We are respected, and greater value is placed on our voices. With that reality come increased responsibilities and opportunities, which can be used for the greater good.

I have come to understand that legislators are lacking in knowledge and desperate for direction. Physician legislators can provide that knowledge and, frequently, our voices and our knowledge can change the entire direction of policy dialogue. That is a powerful attribute, one that needs to be respected.

2023 Symposium Ad

2023 Annual Symposium – Dates, Deadlines & Details

The 2023 AAMA Symposium will be held April 14-16, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. Make plans now to re-connect with friends and colleagues at this four-day educational event!

Symposium Objectives

  • Expand awareness of scientific research into the effects of acupuncture.
  • Focus on clinically relevant treatment approaches that can easily be integrated into clinical practice.
  • Introduce attendees to a variety of approaches for the treatment of common conditions seen in clinical practice.
  • Teach attendees new ways to tailor acupuncture treatments to their individual patients.
  • Provide time for networking with leaders, peers and friends who practice medical acupuncture.

Early-Bird Discount Ends February 1st

Register now and save up to $50! The early-registration discount ends February 1, 2013. Registrations received after March 15 will be charged the late registration fee. Register now.

Hotel Details

The Annual AAMA Symposium will be at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel in Dallas, TX. The AAMA has negotiated a discounted rate of $169 + tax/night. Book your room now. The discount expires March 21, 2023, or whenever the room block sells out.

Pre-Symposium Workshops Filling Fast! 

The following workshops are scheduled for Thursday, April 13, 2023. Attendees may select one workshop as an optional add-on to expand the educational opportunities provided at the Symposium. (There is an additional fee to attend a Pre-Symposium Workshop.) View workshop schedule.

  • “Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain: Combining Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Myofascial Meridian, and Acupuncture Traditions” – Peter Dorsher, MD
  • “MU-SHU-PULSE & Other Special Points: New Concepts and Constructs for Treating Meridian and Channel Disturbances” – Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA
  • “The Western Medical Acupuncture Approach to Headache” – Mike Cummings, MD
  • “Introduction to Neijing Nature-based Medicine” – Ed Neal, MD, MSOM

Call for Poster Presentation Abstracts

Members are invited to submit an abstract for a Poster Presentation at the AAMA 2023 Symposium to be held April 13-16, 2023 at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel in Dallas, TX. Acupuncture research of all types is welcomed, including observational studies, surveys and clinical case series. Presentation of educational or quality improvement projects is also encouraged. Submission deadline: February 17, 2023.

Posters will be displayed during the Saturday, April 15th reception. If your poster submission is accepted for presentation, you will be notified by March 3, 2023.

NEW for 2023!! If accepted for presentation, the poster presenter is expected to submit a short (no more than 3 minutes) video presentation describing the work/presentation. The videos will be made available to meeting registrants during and after the meeting to highlight the presenter’s work. More.

REGISTER NOW: Medical Acupuncture Core Refresher

The Core Refresher is designed to be a stand-alone summary of the core principles with which a contemporary physician practicing medical acupuncture should be familiar. While the Medical Acupuncture Review Course does a deep dive into each of the core areas, the Core Refresher provides an interactive, hands-on broad strokes reminder/update utilizing clinical case presentations, as well as relevant point locations and their specific applications, to illustrate core principles. More.

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. Last year, the course was reorganized into an online/virtual product with eight pre-recorded lecture sessions that are available on certain release dates. Course participants will have 7-10 days to review the lectures at their convenience and complete short quiz after each section. There also will be a live summary/discussion session for every two sections of material. Course begins Friday, February 17. Register now!

Fellow Application Deadline for 2023 is March 17

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: Mind and Body Practices for Sleep Disorders

Research has demonstrated beneficial results of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) for people with chronic insomnia disorder. There is also some evidence suggesting that relaxation therapy may be useful for this condition. There is limited evidence that other complementary health approaches such as yoga and meditation may be helpful for people with sleep problems. This issue of the digest provides a summary of the current research for several health approaches for sleep disorders, including CBT-I, relaxation techniques, yoga, and meditation and mindfulness practices. More.

Call for Papers: Sports Injuries & Acupuncture

AAMA members are invited to contribute to a special issue of the journal Medical Acupuncture, which will focus on “The Role of Acupuncture in Sports Injuries and Best Practices.” Please contribute your clinical experience and research on the use of acupuncture and electroacupuncture in treating sports injuries. Your article will undergo blinded peer review, and if accepted for publication, will be included in the special issue and promoted globally. The issue will provide a broad overview of the best practices of acupuncture to palliate and assist in healing acute and chronic sport injuries. The deadline for article submission is May 5, 2023. Please review details about suggested topics and submission criteria. Learn more.

LAST CHANCE: Acupuncture for Disaster/Crisis Relief

Medical Acupuncture is planning a Special Issue focusing on how acupuncture and related therapies can be used for humanitarian purposes to support people affected by disasters, displacement, environmental devastation, poverty, and human conflict. In humanitarian crises, individuals, families, and entire communities are affected by traumatic events. The editors invite manuscripts from clinicians who have utilized acupuncture and related integrative medical therapies to help people cope with physical and emotional injuries stemming from traumatic experience with a focus on humanitarian service efforts. We are interested in submissions from all cultural perspectives. We also welcome submissions that focus on the impact of traumatic stress on children and animals. Case series, original research, as well as review articles with a focus on practical application, are encouraged. The deadline for manuscript submission is: February 1, 2023. 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

Call for Webinar Presenters

The Education Committee invites AAMA members to propose and present an educational webinar to their AAMA peers. Share your expertise so your colleagues can gain insights and knowledge to help them take their practices and skills to the next level, while earning valuable CME credits. Learn more. Interested parties should complete the proposal form and return to the AAMA at

NCCIH: Asking the Right Questions on Pain

NCCIH Director Helen M. Langevin, MD: “In the quest to suppress pain, are we blocking our body’s own ability to heal? That’s one of the key questions explored at recent scientific meetings, including the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) World Congress on Pain, which I attended in September, and the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) meeting a few weeks ago, where I serve as chair.” Read more.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Acupuncture during gynecological oncology surgery: A randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of integrative therapies on perioperative pain and anxiety
A preoperative touch/relaxation intervention may significantly reduce postoperative anxiety, possibly depression, in patients undergoing gynecological oncology surgery. The addition of intraoperative acupuncture significantly reduced severe pain when compared with controls. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and better understand the impact of intraoperative acupuncture on postoperative pain.

Acupuncture and acupressure with improved cancer-related depression of retrospective studies
[Frontiers in Oncology]
This study found that acupuncture and acupressure are as effective as medication in the treatment of cancer-related depression, provide a reliable basis for the clinical use of acupuncture to treat cancer-related depression, help promote nonpharmacological treatment for cancer-related complications. These approaches thus help reduce drug resistance and adverse reactions and improve patients’ quality of life.

Effect of Acupuncture on Postoperative Pain in Patients after Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: A Randomized Clinical Trial
[Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine]
Acupuncture can clinically improve the short-term treatment of postoperative pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy and reduce the request for extra analgesics; therefore, acupuncture might be a potential method as one of multimodal analgesia techniques to treat postoperative pain following laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


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