Message from the AAMA Board

Auriculotherapy Meets the Field of Psychology

— Gary Stanton, MD, FAAMA

I am pleased to report that during the past year I have been a member of the Scientific Board of the upcoming 11th International Auriculotherapy Symposium, which will take place September 8-10 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The theme of the symposium is “Auriculotherapy Meets the Field of Psychology.” The conchal region of the ear is innervated by the auricular (sensory) branch of the vagus nerve. Stephen Porges, PhD — known for his work in Polyvagal Theory — has been invited to be President of the Symposium. Therefore, this promises to be a very interesting symposium.

Respected European and American speakers at the symposium include Dr. Frank Bahr, Dr. Bruno Bonaz, Dr. Gerhard Litscher, Dr. Raphael Nogier, Dr. Terry Oleson, and Dr. Beate Strittmatter, among others. These speakers represent essentially French and German approaches to auriculotherapy. In addition, eminent speakers from China will represent Chinese approaches to auricular acupuncture. There will be other international speakers, as well. The similarities and differences among these approaches, focusing  particularly on ear acupuncture and the psyche, should stimulate robust discussion.

For my part, I decided to base my keynote address on just one ear point: the shen men point. This is one of the best known ear acupuncture points, also called the “cosmonaut” point by French auriculotherapists. It is widely used for the treatment of anxiety and stress. However, even for this point, different therapists may have different opinions regarding its functions, indications, even its location.

For those of you who are interested in the symposium but cannot come to Copenhagen, an online version will be available. The official language of the symposium is English.

For more information, please see: I look forward to seeing you in Copenhagen this September.

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 Webinar: Adverse Events from Acupuncture: Eye & CNS
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT
Presenter: Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA

AAMA Annual Symposium
Purchase access through October 1, 2023
28+ possible credits

NCCIH Joint Pain Event
Understanding and Restoring Whole Joint Health in Pain Management
July 25, 2023
Virtual Event

11th International Auriculotherapy Symposium
“Auriculotherapy Meets the Field of Psychology”
September 8-10, 2023
Copenhagen, Denmark (Online also available!)

ICMART 2023 – Amsterdam
September 29-Oct. 1, 2023
AAMA Members register as ICMART Members
Early-bird deadline extended to July 29!!

Applied Kinesiology: Manual Muscle Testing Comes Alive!
October 28-29, 2023
Ann Arbor, MI

AAMA Annual Symposium
Minneapolis, MN
April 11-14, 2024

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 June 2023.

  • Anthony D. Agra, MD, of Columbus, OH
  • Biljana D Beretich, MD, MPH, of North Yarmouth, ME
  • Diane D. Daly, MD, of New Haven, IN
  • Pam deWilde, DO, of Lewisburg, WV
  • Thomas M. Gannon, DO, of Lewisburg, WV
  • Liam J. Lunstrum, DO, of Spokane, WA
  • Jose Luis Olarte-Motta, MD, of San Antonio, TX
  • Allison R. Salib, DO, of Punta Gorda, 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. And if you would like to sponsor a medical student member for $75/year, please email AAMA today and let us know.

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:

  • Julie Dahl-Smith, DO, DABMA, of  Augusta, GA
  • James D. Duffy, MD, DABMA, of Oriana, CA
  • Hong Lei, MD, DABMA, of Tucson, AZ
  • Gregory D. Rufolf, MD, DABMA, of Seattle, WA
  • Gary Stanton, MD, DABMA, of Concord, MA

AAMA Legislative Committee Report

The committee continues to monitor 71 bills concerning acupuncture, chronic pain, and dry needling. There has been no new movement on HR3133, the Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act.

The Legislative Committee watches 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:

Learn On The Go This Summer With
On-Demand Recordings 2023 Symposium

Missed the Annual Symposium in Texas? Don’t worry! Nearly all of the Symposium sessions were recorded and are available for on-demand viewing. AAMA members can now purchase access to the on-demand recording package. Access is available until October 1, 2023. Topics include:

  • Stroke Recovery
  • PTSD
  • Chronic Pain
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Battlefield Acupuncture
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Laser acupuncture
  • And many, many more!
What Does the On-Demand Package Fee Cover?
  • Symposium Session recording access
  • Up to maximum of 28.75 CME credits (must complete quiz for each session for credit where applicable)
  • Review of all symposium documentation and materials
  • Exhibit company access
Purchase access now and view all the recorded sessions until October 1, 2023!

AAMA Webinar – Adverse Events from Acupuncture: Eye & CNS

Live: Wednesday, August 30, 2023
8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT
Presented by Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA
** Recording available to all registrants following live webinar

An adverse event is a harmful or negative outcome that may happen when a patient has been provided medical care. One in ten acupuncture patients will experience an adverse event. This presentation will focus on injuries that can happen due to improper needling of points around the eye and near the central nervous system. Local anatomy and correct needling instructions will be given for acupuncture points which have a greater possibility of incurring an adverse event.

Learn more and register. Can’t make the live webinar date? Register anyway and access the recording later at a time that works for your schedule!

URGENT: Seeking Evidence and Data on Nonpharmacologic Treatment for Maternal Mental Health Conditions

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is  seeking scientific information submissions from the public. Scientific information is being solicited to inform our review on Nonpharmacologic Treatment for Maternal Mental Health Conditions, which is currently being conducted by the AHRQ’s Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPC) Program. Access to published and unpublished pertinent scientific information will improve the quality of this review. Submission Deadline: On or before July 27, 2023. Email submissions: See full details here.

Member Highlighted in Video: “Increased Acupuncture Demand from Patients and Physicians”

Featured by Anesthesiology News in a video and accompanying written article, AAMA member Stephanie Cheng, MD, explores the topic of medical acupuncture and its growing use alongside anesthesiology. “The integration of nonpharmacologic methods to help with acute pain is understated and underutilized,” said Dr. Cheng, an anesthesiologist and a medical acupuncturist at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in New York City. “As we all know, opioid abuse has entered the national dialogue as an epidemic, and the crisis has worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic.” Watch video and read article now. (Free registration required.)

ICMART – Early Registration Discount Extended to 7/29

The preliminary agenda for ICMART 2023 – Amsterdam has been released. The event, scheduled for September 29-Oct. 1, 2023, is well known for its high scientific standards and great social events. Remember: All AAMA members are eligible to register as ICMART Members for member rates. Learn more and register.

NCCIH Clinical Digest: Headaches

Results of research on mind and body practices such as relaxation training, biofeedback, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation for headaches suggest that these approaches may help relieve headaches and may be helpful for migraines. Several dietary supplements, including riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and the herbs butterbur and feverfew, have been studied for migraine, with some promising results in preliminary studies. Read what the science says.

Tour the NIH – No Travel Necessary

The NIH has released a powerful online tool to introduce their facilities and their work to potential research partners, employees and the public. The NIH Virtual Tour website, an interactive experience, allows visitors to get to know the NIH. Brief videos highlight NIH priorities and include a short overview of the organization’s mission, research, labs and facilities. Insights about NIH are shared by administrators, scientists, patients and others. You’ll also find detailed  explanations about current research. The information is searchable and sharable, with options to connect with employees and researchers.

Be sure to visit the tour stop for the NCCIH Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain, where you can see how Dr. Lauren Atlas and her colleagues are using state-of-the-art techniques to investigate the effects of expectations and learning on pain and emotion.

See Virtual Tour.

AAMA invites leadership volunteers

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

NCCIH: Gathering Data Points for Acupuncture Research

From Helene M. Langevin, M.D., NCCIH Director: 

I’m proud that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has put into motion … a new initiative that will result in the development of an open-access repository and database for the anatomical and physiological correlates of acupoints. This data initiative has long been needed to advance the work of researchers in the field. More.

Member Portal — Resources & More!

From the AAMA member portal, YOU have control over your member account, address, contact information, etc. The portal offers access to the webinar recordings you have purchased or wish to access along with other member only resources. For renewals, you can log in to the member portal and renew your membership through secure payment portal. If you haven’t already, please check out the member resources.

New! Student Member Sponsorship Opportunity

Young physicians represent the future of medical acupuncture. To encourage their involvement in our organization, the AAMA recently launched an initiative to invite current members to sponsor a medical student member for $75/year. Would you like to sponsor a medical student member? Or would you like more information about the option? Please email AAMA today and let us know.

Invitation: Exclusive Member Facebook Group

Did you know the AAMA has a members-only closed Facebook group dedicated to connection and idea-sharing between physicians who practice medical acupuncture? Be part of the conversation. Join today so you can ask questions, offer your opinions, and share your experiences. Visit the AAMA Members – Information & Interaction group and ask for permission to join. You’ll be accepted once your membership is verified.

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 email the AAMA at

Check Out Photos from 2023 Symposium!

If you want to relive some of the exciting moments from the event or see if you made a photo debut, CLICK HERE to view all the photos from the meeting.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Invasive acupuncture for gastroparesis after thoracic or abdominal surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis
[BMJ Open]
Conclusion: Based on subgroup analysis, compared with the drug treatment, acupuncture combined drug has significant advantages in the treatment of PGS associated with abdominal surgery, but not with thoracic surgery.

The effects of acupuncture combined with western medicine in the treatment of neck, shoulder, lumbar and leg pain
[American Journal of Translational Research]
Conclusion: TCM acupuncture combined with western medicine has a good therapeutic effect on neck, shoulder, lumbar and leg pains, which can effectively relieve the pain, improve motor function and reduce the inflammatory reactions in patients. The combined treatment has clinical application values and is worth promoting.

Effects of acupuncture and acupressure of the acupoint compared to the tendon on the blood circulation of human tendon in vivo
[European Journal of Applied Physiology]
Conclusion: These results suggested that acupuncture of the tendon and acupoint acted centrally to enhance blood circulation of both the treated and non-treated tendons during the recovery period, whereas acupressure of the tendon locally increased blood circulation of the treated tendon only, but not the non-treated tendon and both the treated and non-treated tendons after acupressure of acupoint.

Acupuncture for acute migraine attacks in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis
[BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine]
Conclusion: The body of evidence suggests that acupuncture may be more effective than sham acupuncture in the treatment of migraine. Acupuncture may also be as effective as pharmacological therapy. However, the certainty evidence across outcomes was low to very low and new high-quality studies can provide more clarity.

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