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Message from the AAMA Board

Building on Our Progress: The Future of Medical Acupuncture

— Demetrios Papadopoulos, MD, FAAMA, Member, AAMA Board of Directors, Board Certified in Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Medical Acupuncture

I began my studies in integrative medicine and medical acupuncture late into my career at the age of 63.  I call it my “late life crisis.” After 30+ years of practicing family medicine, I learned that our health care system is lacking many necessary features. One feature particularly lacking is: How can a healer heal without prescribing medications? Embarking into the field of medical acupuncture answered this question for me and became one of the most effective and fulfilling healing activities of my career. Not only have I been able to offer patients an alternative healing experience, but I have also been able to pursue a lifelong activity of learning as I study the science and implement new acupuncture techniques.

But we need more physicians performing acupuncture. We need more preceptors teaching acupuncture. The financial model in the practice needs improvement so that younger physicians will be eager to pursue acupuncture knowledge and skills and to integrate these into their practices. Although there has been significant progress made, we need more acceptance in the traditional medical communities for our abilities and successes. At the present time, our best referral sources are our own patients.

Therefore, as we continue our work in medical acupuncture, I believe that we must contribute to our cause. Membership in the AAMA is a very important activity that allows us to make significant contributions. As I have served on the Membership Committee, and as the Symposium Chair last year, and as I now serve on the Board, I have gained more insight into the challenges we face in order to integrate medical acupuncture into mainstream medical practice.   Serving on AAMA committees (Membership, Legislative, Symposium Planning, Education, and CME) is a most important way to contribute. Attending the AAMA Symposia is critical for us to develop our knowledge and skills, notwithstanding the social contact with fellow healers. By setting an example in our communities, we can encourage younger physicians to pursue the practice of acupuncture. Informal communication amongst our fellow physician acupuncturists can help us to learn more. Formal communications with our physician colleagues and to the lay public through seminars and demonstrations can help educate people, help us to build our practices, and encourage our communities to accept us and seek us out.

Therefore, I encourage all of you to maintain your membership in the AAMA. Encourage our colleagues to do the same. Serve on a committee. Attend every Symposium and as many AAMA-sponsored CME events that you can. Set an example in your community. And encourage young physicians to pursue acupuncture training.

A lot of progress has been made, but we have a lot more work to do.

AAMA invites leadership volunteers

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities

WEBINAR: Auriculotherapy in Neurology
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
8pm ET / 7pm CT/ 5pm PT

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

ICMART 2023 – Amsterdam
September 29-Oct. 1, 2023
AAMA Members register as ICMART Members

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 February 2023.

  • Sheree D. Givre, MD, of Raleigh, NC
  • Jose Rodarte, MD, of Tucson, AZ
  • Marie Lupica, MD, of New York, NY
  • Sarah R. Housman, DO, of Pueblo, CO
  • Alexander J. Ghuneim, MD, of Auburn Hills, MI
  • Jennifer Chu, MD, of Walnut Creek, CA
  • Sandra M. Connolly, MD, of Marlboro, NJ
  • Karen Gelfand, MD, of Taos, NM

And a warm welcome back to our returning members!

  • Gordon Kerr, MD, DABMA, of Richmond, VA
  • Janet Jones, MD, of Burtonsville, 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 Earns ABMA Certification

Congratulations to the following physician who has completed the process (www.dabma.org/requirements.asp) set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be certified as a Diplomate for 10 years:

  • Tate M. Kauffman, MD, DABMA of Newville, PA

Physicians Complete 10-Year ABMA Recertification Process

Congratulations to the following physicians who have completed the process (http://www.dabma.org/recertification.asp) set by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture (ABMA) to be re-certified as a Diplomate for another 10 years:

  • Mitchell Elkiss, DO, FACN, FAAMA of West Bloomfield, MI
  • James W. Ochi, MD, DABMA of San Diego, CA

AAMA Legislative Committee Report

Legislative activity is ramping up across the country. The committee is now monitoring 76 bills concerning acupuncture, chronic pain, and dry needling. Of note this month:

MT HB152 – The committee submitted an amendment stating that physicians may perform solid needle therapy without being licensed as acupuncturists.

MD SB232 – This bill permitting athletic trainers to perform dry needling passed the state senate.

HI HB641, SB946, & SB845 – The committee met with members of the Hawaii Medical Association to discuss response to these bills. A meeting of the HMA, the Hawaii Medical Board, the Hawaii Board of Acupuncture, and relevant LAc organizations was proposed to develop an alternate pathway for physicians to practice acupuncture.

CA 2023 – The committee contacted concerned parties and is working on an amendment to guarantee that physicians are considered “qualified acupuncturists.”

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: info@medicalacupuncture.org.

2023 Symposium Ad

2023 Annual Symposium – 4 Weeks Away!

The 2023 AAMA Symposium will be held April 13-16, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. It’s not too late to make plans to re-connect with friends and colleagues at this four-day educational event! Register now.

Hotel Details: Book Today! 

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.

Last Chance to Register for AAMA’s Pre-Symposium Workshops! 

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

ACT NOW! Register for the AAMA’s 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.

REMINDER: Introduce Your Colleagues to Medical Acupuncture — Download Presentation Today

The AAMA has created a presentation that AAMA members can use to present as an introduction to medical acupuncture for health care professionals. It provides information about mechanisms of action, treatable conditions, adverse effects, and reasons to consider acupuncture treatments for patients. This new AAMA member resource includes the presentation slides for your use, the narrative that goes along with the presentation slides, and a file of references for the presentation. Recently a recording was made of the actual presentation that members can view and see how the presentation might be delivered. Learn more.

Save the Date: ICMART 2023 Conference in Amsterdam

ICMART congresses are well known for their high scientific standards and great social events. They are an excellent opportunity to get the newest developments on scientific acupuncture, related techniques, research and clinical practice. The AAMA is an organizational member of ICMART, so all AAMA members are invited to enjoy member discounts on ICMART registration. Early-bird pricing ends June 30. Learn more.

Save the Date: NCCIH Joint Pain Event

Understanding and Restoring Whole Joint Health in Pain Management: An NIH HEAL Initiative Workshop
July 25, 2023
Virtual Event

The purpose of this Helping to End Addiction Long-term®Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, workshop is to examine the current literature on joint pain research and identify critical knowledge gaps to gain a comprehensive understanding of the whole joint, including the contributions of various articular and periarticular tissue pathologies that lead to pain in different types of joints. In addition, the workshop will explore manipulations and interventions that may help to restore whole joint health.

Watch: 2022 Hugh MacPherson Memorial Lecture

Presented by Claudia Citkovitz, PhD, MS, LAc, and Lisa Conboy, MA, MS, the lecture is titled “Complexity Science: A New (Ancient) Trajectory for Acupuncture Research and Practice.” Dr. Citcovitz will also be speaking at the AAMA’s upcoming Annual Symposium in Dallas, TX, in April, where she will present:

  • Evidence-informed Acupuncture During Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation: Development of a Phased Approach
  • Manualized Acupuncture During Stoke Recovery and Rehabilitation: Key Techniques of Scalp, Auricular and Body acupuncture

View 2022 Hugh MacPherson Memorial Lecture (scroll down the page).

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.

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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aamagroup

In Case You Missed It Last Month

AAMA Member & Colleague Podcasts – Quick Survey

The AAMA board of directors is researching the feasibility of producing and/or contributing to health care podcasts; content relating to medical acupuncture, they argue, would be a useful and welcome addition to the podcast arena.

Members are encouraged to share their experiences with podcasting:

  • Do you have a podcast of your own?
  • Do you know of a podcast that may invite an AAMA member to speak about medical acupuncture?
  • Are you interested in speaking as an AAMA representative on a podcast?

Please email your answers today: info@medicalacupuncture.org.

AAMA Members Invited: SAR 2023 International Research Conference

MAY 18-21, 2023
New York City, New York, USA     

From Mechanism to Patient-Centered Care: Research in Acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine

Co-sponsored by: The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and the Harvard Medical School Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

A limited number of travel award stipend and registration scholarships are available for students and junior researchers to attend the conference (application deadline is March 24, 2023).

Learn more about the conference program.

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 info@medicalacupuncture.org.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Effect of Acupressure on Fatigue in Hemodialysis Patients: A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial
[Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine]
Conclusions: Acupressure significantly and independently improved fatigue, depression/anxiety, and sleep quality in ESRD patients receiving HD.

Electro-acupuncture reduced steatosis on MRI-PDFF in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: a randomized controlled pilot clinical trial
[BMC: Chinese Medicine]
Conclusions: Twelve weeks of EA effectively and safely reduces relative liver fat content in NASH patients. Further multi-center randomized controlled studies are needed.

Practitioners’ perspectives on acupuncture treatment for postpartum depression: A qualitative study
Conclusion: Practitioners’ optimistic outlooks demonstrated that acupuncture is a promising treatment option for PPD. However, the time cost was the most significant barrier to compliance. Future development will focus mostly on improving acupuncture equipment and the style of service.


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