Message from the AAMA Board

Important Advocacy Update

The Legislative Committee has been busy monitoring legislation pertaining to acupuncture, dry needling, and alternatives to opioids. Fifty bills were introduced at the state level. Since most state sessions have ended, the majority of these bills are hung up in committees or have failed outright. Here is a report on the bills that have passed.

MT SB121: This bill simply updates the definitions for acupuncture to reflect modern techniques and modalities.

IL SB1078: This bill sets criteria for athletic trainers, occupational therapists (OT), and OT assistants to do dry needling. The bill passed both houses at the end of May but has not been signed by the governor yet. Physical therapists (PTs) in Illinois are already permitted to do dry needling.

ME LD 1646: This bill, passed by both houses, adds dry needling to the list of physical modalities available to OTs. It does not specify training and certification requirements. PTs in Maine are already permitted to do dry needling.

TN HB1275 and SB1072: The governor signed this legislation which allows OTs to practice dry needling of the upper limb with “proper training and certification.”

NY S04640 and NY A00273: The state senate passed this bill which requires a practitioner to consider and prescribe non-opioid treatment alternatives, including acupuncture, for treatment of neuromusculoskeletal condition. It was turned over to the assembly on June 3rdand has stalled in the Health Committee.

CO HB1276: This bill promotes alternatives to opioids for treating chronic pain. It recommends safer drugs, OT, PT, and chiropractic and acupuncture services. It would require health benefit plans to cover six acupuncture treatments. The Legislative Committee wrote to the authors asking that physician acupuncturists be named as providers in addition to licensed acupuncturists. However the bill has not been amended as such and has passed both the senate and 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.

Together we can advance medical acupuncture for our patients who depend on us!


Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors Vice President
Co-Chair, AAMA Legislative Committee

Call for Proposals/Presentations for 2022 Annual Symposium

2022 Symposium – Save the Date! Cincinnati, OH May 5-8, 2022

Do you have ideas for lectures, presentations or workshops for the next Annual Symposium? Reach out and let us know now so the Symposium Committee can consider your topic proposals.

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities


AAMA 2021 Annual Symposium – VIRTUAL
To meet member needs, we’ve extended the window to register for access to the Symposium lectures. Register now and view sessions on demand!

ABMA Examination Session
June 27, 2021
Sheraton Suites, 6501 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL (near Chicago O’Hare Airport)
Board Certification Process and Application

ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress
July 2-4, 2021
Athens, Greece

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 May 2021.

  • Zaiga R. Sears, DO, of Las Vegas, NV
  • Cynthia Jo Dechenes, MD, of Brunswick, ME
  • James Ferguson, MD, of Hattiesburg, MS
  • Arissa M. Torrie, MD, of Monkton, MD
  • Jian Chen, MD, PhD, of Jonesboro, AR
  • Taisei Suzuki, DO, of Silver Spring, MD

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.

Physician Completes 10-Year ABMA Recertification Process

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

  • William P. Braun, III, MD, FAAMA of Mt. Bethel, PA

Renew Your AAMA Membership by June 30

The AAMA is planning big things for 2021-2022! Renew your AAMA membership by June 30 to make sure you don’t miss anything.

The most important part of the Academy is YOU! Through your membership and participation, the Academy will continue to advance in stature and quality. Your membership supports your success as a medical acupuncturist. We thank you for your current AAMA membership and for your dedication to medical acupuncture. We ARE in this together — and together we will thrive! Please take a few minutes and renew your membership today! 

Your AAMA Membership comes with valuable benefits, including:

Choose from online, journal and other educational activities to earn free and affordable CME related to your practice of medical acupuncture.

Academy members receive the journal every other month and have access to an online version through the Academy’s website — included in your membership fee!

The AAMA Annual Symposium typically includes four days of scientific and clinical presentations and clinical workshops presented by some of the best teachers in the field.

As the scientific evidence mounts in support of medical acupuncture, the AAMA will continue its efforts to promote new discovery and encourage clinical research. New research is supported through dissemination and funding opportunities.

The AAMA’s hard-working Legislative Committee reviews and responds to legislation related to medical acupuncture, actively fighting against possible erosion of your rights to perform and be reimbursed for providing acupuncture. They work year-round on your behalf, protecting your work and your patients.

The “find an acupuncturist” directory on the AAMA website is always the most-visited page on the site, allowing thousands of patients each year to search for a provider in their area. Inclusion in the directory is FREE to all eligible members.

The AAMA’s proactive outreach to various sectors — legislators and policymakers, fellow medical professionals, fellow acupuncture providers, insurance companies, media outlets, and more — increases awareness and acceptance of the evidence-based practice of medical acupuncture.

Call for Papers/Expert Sources

Do you have experience treating COVID long-haulers with acupuncture? The journal Medical Acupuncture wants to hear from you in advance of a special issue. Please reach out! Submit a paper/abstract or send an email to the editors. More.

Need CME? Take Advantage of Online Lectures from the Annual Symposium!

Even if you didn’t register for the real-time Symposium – you can still register to access the online lectures! It’s not too late. Register now and you can access the on-demand lectures and earn CME, too.

Nearly all of the virtual Symposium sessions were recorded and are now available for on-demand viewing. On-demand recordings of each session will be available to registrants on the AAMA site until August 1, 2021.

Already registered? Access the event portal to see on-demand content. 

AAMA Is on Instagram!

We’ve added Instagram to the ways you can follow the AAMA and share your own work and feedback. Look us up and tag us! @aamacupuncture

Don’t forget AAMA is also on:

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

Join the conversations online with fellow physician acupuncturists from around the country!

In Case You Missed It Last Month

New Benchmarks from WHO for the Practice of Acupuncture

From the World Health Organization: “With the increasing use of acupuncture in clinical settings worldwide, there is a need to develop benchmarks for the practice of acupuncture, against which actual acupuncture treatment can be compared and evaluated. This document presents a stepwise guidance for the administration of acupuncture treatment, provides the minimum infrastructure requirements for delivering an acupuncture service and emphasizes the key elements for the safe practice of acupuncture.” Download document now. 

Practice Acupuncture for Veterans

Working directly with Optum on behalf of AAMA members, the AAMA Legislative Committee recently assisted three members in successfully getting contracts to provide acupuncture services to veterans through the Community Care Network. Are you interested in additional information about how to practice acupuncture for veterans? Learn more.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Acupuncture Intervention Protocol: Consensus Process for a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Management of Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adults: An NIH HEAL Initiative Funded Project

[Global Advances in Health and Medicine]

We identified subject matter experts with input from each trial site’s investigators. Suggested experts were contacted by email or telephone. The resulting Acupuncture Advisory Panel (AAP) included nine expert members: two physicians and six licensed acupuncturists representing diverse practice backgrounds and experience including work with underserved populations at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), practice in university clinics, in integrative health systems and in leadership roles. One member is medical director of a holistic medicine network, another is dean at an acupuncture college, and another is an acupuncture researcher with multiple acupuncture trials and publications on acupuncture treatment for cLBP. We used a modified Delphi process to develop the acupuncture intervention protocol to be used in the IRB-approved study design.


Acupuncture for Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Patient-Reported Outcomes

[Frontiers in Oncology]

Current evidence suggests that acupuncture might improve BC treatment-related symptoms measured with PROs including QoL, pain, fatigue, hot flashes, sleep disturbance and anxiety. However, a number of included studies report limited amounts of certain subgroup settings, thus more rigorous, well-designed and larger RCTs are needed to confirm our results.


The Effectiveness of Laser Acupuncture for Treatment of Musculoskeletal Pain: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Studies

[Journal of Pain Research]

Our findings supported that LA significantly reduced pain, disability, and functional impairment in patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Further researches are required to determine the optimal therapeutic parameters and the suitable patients for receiving LA.


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