Message from the AAMA Board

Annual AAMA Symposium Highlights

The AAMA’s in-person 2022 Annual Symposium drew attendees from across the United States to convene in Cincinnati, OH. Thank you to committee members, staff members, speakers, presenters, attendees and sponsors. Your contributions made the event a huge success! (For those of you who weren’t able to attend, it’s not too late to take advantage of the educational offerings. The session recordings will be available soon to watch on-demand.)

Among the important business and announcements (and fun!) that were part of the Symposium are the following:

Information & Idea Sharing

The current landscape of medical acupuncture and acupuncture research includes many contributing organizations. The AAMA is grateful to collaborate with and learn from each of the following:

  • Medical Acupuncture journal
  • Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation (MARF)
  • Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR)
  • International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques (ICMART)
  • American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA)
  • American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM)
  • Acupuncture Training Programs

Board of Directors

Following the recent AAMA elections, newly elected and re-elected to the Board of Directors are:

  • Barbara de la Torre, MD, FAAMA
  • Gavin Elliott, MD, FAAMA
  • Demetrios Papadopoulos, MD, FAAMA
  • Candace Warner, MD, FAAMA
  • Joseph Audette, MD
  • Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA
  • Montiel Rosenthal, MD, FAAMA

Newly elected officers for the Academy are:

  • President – Kendra Unger, MD, FAAMA
  • Vice President – Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA
  • Treasurer – Joseph Audette, MD
  • Secretary – Michael Freedman, MD, FAAMA
  • Immediate Past President – Freda Dreher, MD, FAAMA

Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation Session

Every year, the first session on Sunday morning at the Symposium showcases noteworthy member research. This year, the featured presentation was “The Neuroanatomic and Neurophysiologic Basis of Acupuncture Anatomy and Physiology” delivered by Peter Dorsher, MD.

New AAMA Fellows Elected!

Congratulations to the following members who were elected to be Fellows of the Academy during the Symposium:

  • Stephanie Cheng, MD, FAAMA
  • Kelly Hsu, MD, FAAMA
  • Jason Oreskovich, DO, FAAMA
  • Demetrios Papadopoulos, MD, FAAMA

If you are interested in becoming a Fellow, please review application details and the annual deadline on the AAMA website.

AAMA’s Annual Scientific Poster Presentation Winners

Congratulations to the following poster winners, whose outstanding work was presented during the Symposium:

1st place: $500; Yuan-Chi Lin, “Utilizing Acupuncture for Pediatric Patients Hospitalized with Intractable Headaches”

2nd place: $250; Semran Thamer, “Electro-acupuncture for Trigger Finger: A Case Report”

3rd place: $100; Stephanie Cheng, “Opioid-free Postoperative Analgesia After Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty in Patient Who Requested Intraoperative Acupuncture”

You can view brief promotional videos for all of these poster presentations in the Symposium event app.

One-day “Core Refresher” Course Launched

The day before the Annual Symposium began, 15 AAMA members attended the AAMA’s first Core Refresher course, designed as 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 thorough deep dive into each of the core areas, the Core Refresher provided a fast-paced, interactive broad strokes reminder and update utilizing clinical case presentations, as well as relevant point locations and their specific applications, to illustrate core principles. Let us know if you are interested in attending a Core Refresher course next year! Email the AAMA.

Submit Ideas for 2023 Annual Symposium

2023 Symposium – Save the Date!

Next year, the AAMA Annual Symposium will be held April 13-16, 2023, in the Dallas, TX area. Please add the dates to your calendar now and make plans to join your medical acupuncture peers from around the country.

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. Submit a proposal.

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities


2022 AAMA Annual Symposium – VIRTUAL PACKAGE
On-demand recorded sessions coming soon!!

2022 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health
Phoenix, AZ
May 23-26, 2022

Bologna, Italy
October 14-16, 2022

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 April 2022.

  • Roland Brusseau, MD, of Hull, MA
  • Tanya Scurry, MD, of Fontana, CA
  • Baohuong Tran, DO, of West Chester, PA
  • Shelby Rush, MD, of Nine Mile Falls, WA
  • Josephine Yi-Mei Shen, DO, LAc, of Lewisburg, WV

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

The Legislative Committee continues its work monitoring and responding to legislation relevant to our members and their practice of medical acupuncture. Currently, the committee is monitoring 57 bills regarding acupuncture, chronic pain, substance use disorder, and dry needling. Activity of note includes:

  • Continued work with the Colorado Acupuncture Association and the Colorado Medical Society on HB1263 so that MDs and DOs can advertise that they practice medical acupuncture. This bill has passed both chambers and is awaiting the governor’s signature.
  • Monitoring of NH SB290, which would permit unlicensed persons to perform auriculotherapy, was sent to interim study.
  • A letter was sent to NY’s State Committee on Higher Education opposing A07867 which would permit unlicensed persons to perform auriculotherapy.
  • Letters were sent to Massachusetts’ Joint Committees on Public Health and Health Care Financing in support of S1458 and H1179. These companion bills will require health insurance providers to cover acupuncture services for treatment of pain, PTS, SUD and nausea.

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. If you learn of relevant legislative activity, please connect with the committee by email:

Renew Your AAMA Membership Now

For more than 30 years, the Academy has worked to promote the integration of all forms of acupuncture with western medicine to synthesize a more comprehensive approach to health care.  This mission is the backbone of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and now, more than ever, is in the front of our minds. It is time for you to renew your commitment to the Academy and the mission — and secure access to another year of valuable membership benefits, including:

  • Exclusive educational activities and CME
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Research support
  • Opportunities for networking & collaboration with peers
  • A free subscription to the journal Medical Acupuncture
  • And MUCH more!!

The current membership ends on 06/30/2022. It’s time to renew your membership dues! With the new member portal, it couldn’t be easier – use this link: to access the renewal in the member portal. You will need to login to your member account. You can also find link when logged in the Quick Links list – Renew Dues.

Contact if you have questions or trouble accessing your member account.

AAMA invites leadership volunteers

AAMA Annual Symposium Session Recordings Available Soon

Nearly all of the sessions during the three-day Symposium were recorded and will be made available for on-demand viewing by registered attendees. You will be able to access the event platform and watch the sessions you missed or watch sessions again. For sessions that you missed in-person, you will be able to obtain CME credit from the recorded session. An announcement will be made when the recordings are available for viewing.

ICMART 2022 – Early Registration Pricing Ends 5/31

AAMA members are invited to attend the 35th ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress in Bologna, Italy, October 14-16, 2022. The AAMA’s organizational membership in ICMART extends to all AAMA members, who can register for this event at the discounted member rate. This year’s theme is From Research to Clinical Practice: Towards Integrative Medicine. Registration Fee includes:

  • Access to All Sessions & Exhibition
  • Proceedings of the Congress
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Access to recordings of the three days for two months after the end of the Congress
  • Welcome Kit
  • Six Coffee Breaks and Three Lunches

Learn more and register.

Reasons Physicians Recommend or Don’t Recommend Common Complementary Health Approaches to Patients

A new analysis suggests that physicians use a combination of personal experience and scientific evidence when deciding whether to recommend complementary health approaches. The findings also suggest that physicians who recommend these approaches may have some degree of trust in the opinions of both their peers and patients regarding these approaches. Recently published in Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, the analysis was led by researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and National Center for Health Statistics and partly funded by NCCIH. Read more.

Educational Videos Discounted for AAMA Members thru 5/31!

For the month of May, Dr. Jay Sandweiss is providing AAMA members a special discount on select educational materials related to acupuncture and manual medicine. AAMA members are invited to enjoy 50% off any of his 10 instructional videos. Go to and select the video option. Enter the discount code AAMA to enjoy this deal, which is valid through May 31, 2022.

Discussion of Insurance Denial for Acupuncture Services

In the most recent issue of Acupuncture Today, an acupuncture provider asks about an insurance denial for acupuncture services. “I had notes requested and reviewed by United Healthcare. The review of my records stated the following: The information provided does not substantiate the services billed. This of course meant I was not paid.” A billing expert’s in-depth answer may be relevant to many AAMA members. Read the article.

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

BMJ: How to Design High-quality Acupuncture Trials

An international panel including patients, clinicians, researchers, acupuncture and surgery trialists, statisticians, and experts in clinical epidemiology and methodology have developed new guidance for randomized controlled trials in acupuncture. It addresses the most prevalent and critical concerns of current acupuncture trials and will help funding agencies, trial registers, and journal editors to evaluate the relevance, importance, and quality of submitted trial proposals and completed trials. Learn more.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Acupuncture therapy as an Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategy for Comprehensive Acute Pain Care: the Academic Consortium Pain Task Force White Paper Update 
[Pain Medicine]
The majority of reviews find acupuncture therapy to be an efficacious strategy for acute pain with potential to avoid and/or reduce opioid reliance. Future multi-center trials are needed to clarify the dosage and generalizability of acupuncture for acute pain in the ED. With an extremely low risk profile, acupuncture therapy is an important strategy in comprehensive acute pain care.


Understandings of acupuncture application and mechanisms
[American Journal of Translational Research]
Acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment in pain relief with minimal risk. For IVF and some diseases, such as insomnia, opiate addiction and stroke, more high-quality RCTs are needed to confirm the efficacy of acupuncture. Progress in modern biomedical technology will eventually help us to understand the mechanisms of acupuncture. 


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