Message from the AAMA Board

Fostering Resilience in Our Patients and Ourselves

By Montiel Rosenthal, MD, FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors

Resilience is not something we normally write in a prescription for our patients. I have not seen it on any advertising or on the web page of a medical acupuncture office. It is not usually expressed as such in resolutions for personal change. It does not come from a pill. You will not find randomized controlled trials affirming it and acupuncture. We do not administer it, but we can foster it among our patients, for ourselves, our families, and the communities where we live. It does not come at the tip of a needle. Or does it? At least metaphorically or spiritually?

As I am writing this, my first patient of the morning arrives. She is in her late thirties, a wife and mother of teens, a home health nurse, and as someone living with the vagaries of Neurofibromatosis 2. Her craniotomy for a meningioma and cervical spine surgery for a schwannoma have left her with scarring and myofascial pain. Allopathic remedies, including physical therapy, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants, and Botox injections, have provided only limited relief.

She has learned the hard-won lessons of chronic disease — to choose her response to adversity, to live in the present with hope for a life filled with meaning and blessings, to cultivate healthy relationships with family and friends who are her champions, to control what is in her power, to be self-aware, and to engage in self-care. Certainly, she brings her own strength of character. I am challenged to bring intent, caring, compassion, and competency.

Her eyes and voice are animated today, as she shares her “discovery“ that acupuncture really makes a difference for her in terms of pain control and also her outlook on her future and her family. Success builds on success in terms of pain relief, freedom of movement, and fewer aggressive interventions. I am delighted with her growth, and I and am gratified by being a catalyst for these changes for her.

How do we foster these and other aspects that lead to resilience among our patients? To what extent do our efforts inspire commitment, a positive outlook, consistency, coping, equanimity, confidence, healthy challenge for inner growth, courage, compassion, and integration of body, mind, psyche, and spirit? How do we help our patients identify their sense of purpose? How do we affirm their growing physical, emotional, social, and mental flexibility? How do we endorse that who they are is enough and what they bring is sufficient? And as healers and physicians, how do we do these things for ourselves as well?

I wish you success with your patients and delight on your own journey.

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities

AAMA Webinar: Handling Hand, Wrist and Elbow Problems
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT
Presenter: Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA

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

NCCIH: New Insights Into Prevention and Management of Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents
June 15, 2023, 12:00 p.m. ET to 1:15 p.m. ET

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

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

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

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 April 2023.

  • Danielle K. Bersabe, MD, of Diberville, MS
  • Kimberly M. Duarte, MD, MBA ,of APO, AE
  • Christina L. Koshak, MD, MPH, of Pueblo, CO
  • Gerald S. Maxwell, DO, of Poland, OH
  • Tremikae R. Owens, MD, of Washington, DC

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.

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.

We’re pleased to welcome two new student members joined the AAMA in April!

  • Melissa Stockton-Brown of Haddon Heights, NJ
  • Catherine Y. Lin of Bethesda, MD

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.

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:

  • Gordon H. Kerr, MD, DABMA, of Richmond, VA
  • Todd McCluskey, DO, DABMA, of California, MO
  • Yvette C. Ross Hebron, MD, FAAMA, of Silver Spring, MD
  • Mehrdad Tavallaee, MD, DABMA, of Ashland, OH

AAMA Legislative Committee Report

The committee is monitoring 70 bills concerning acupuncture, chronic pain, and dry needling. Of note this month:

  • MD SB232 and HB172 – These bills permit athletic trainers to perform dry needling. They have passed the state house and senate. A dry needling bill for PTs passed in WA. There are similar dry needling bills pending in GA, MA, and NJ.
  • HI HB641, SB946, & SB845 – These bills are currently stalled. There is a tentative plan for a meeting of the HMA, the Hawaii Medical Board, the Hawaii Board of Acupuncture, and relevant LAc organizations this summer to develop an alternate pathway for physicians to practice acupuncture.
  • Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act – Committee members have been in contact with Rep. Chu’s aide to follow up on the wording changes AAMA requested.
  • AMA RUC – Committee members participated in the AMA’s RUC meeting at which RVUs for acupuncture codes reevaluated. The recommendations will be presented to a committee which will print preliminary results in July 2023.

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:

Renew Your AAMA Membership Today

If you haven’t done so already, please renew today with our easy online renewal process. Your membership comes with valuable benefits that can strengthen your practice of medical acupuncture.

  • Live and Virtual Educational Events
  • State and National Advocacy Initiatives
  • Patient Referrals
  • Research Support & Updates

Your membership also supports the practice of medical acupuncture on a national and international scale — building the evidence base for its use in clinical settings. Your membership matters!

RENEW TODAY. (Log-in required.)

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.

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 – Handling Hand, Wrist and Elbow Problems

Wednesday, May 31, 2023
8:00 pm EDT, 7:00 pm CDT, 5:00 pm PDT
Presented by Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA

Attendees will be introduced to a fast and efficient evaluation and treatment approach to issues that arise in the elbow to fingers region. This is a special webinar from the AAMA and will differ from the usual AAMA webinar format! Join us for 90-minutes of education.  A one-hour pre-recorded video will be made accessible for viewing that includes demonstrations. Then return to engage in 30-minutes of live presentation with Q & A. Learn more and register. 

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.

Submit Ideas for 2024 Annual Symposium

Dates & Location Coming Soon!

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.

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

New Leadership Elected at Annual Symposium in April

Board of Directors – newly elected & re-elected

  • Jennifer Dilts, DO, FAAMA
  • Mitch Elkiss, DO, FAAMA
  • Michel Freedman, MD, FAAMA
  • Tate Kauffman, MD, DABMA
  • Gary Stanton, MD, FAAMA

Newly Elected Officers

  • PRESIDENT – Donna Pittman, MD, FAAMA
  • VICE PRESIDENT – Joseph Audette, MD
  • TREASURER – Barbara de la Torre, MD, FAAMA
  • SECRETARY – Michael Freedman, MD, FAAMA

If you’re not already involved and you’re interested in exploring the leadership opportunities available with the AAMA, please view the Governance section of our website.

ICMART 2023 Conference in Amsterdam

ICMART congresses 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.

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

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 

Bleeding risk after acupuncture in patients taking anticoagulant drugs: A case control study based on real-world data
[Complementary Therapies in Medicine]
Anticoagulant drugs and various chronic diseases may increase the risk of bleeding after acupuncture. We encourage physicians to ask patients in detail about their medical history and drug use prior to acupuncture treatment.

Estimated Rates of Incident and Persistent Chronic Pain Among US Adults, 2019-2020
[JAMA Netw Open]
In this cohort study, the incidence of chronic pain (52.4 cases per 1000 PY) was high compared with other chronic diseases and conditions for which the incidence in the US adult population is known, including diabetes, depression, and hypertension. This comparison emphasizes the high disease burden of chronic pain in the US adult population and the need for both prevention and early management of pain before it can become chronic, especially for groups at higher risk.

Acupuncture for chemotherapy-associated insomnia in breast cancer patients: an assessor-participant blinded, randomized, sham-controlled trial
[BMC: Breast Cancer Research]
The active acupuncture regimen could be considered as an effective option for the management of chemotherapy-associated insomnia. It also could serve as a tapering approach to reduce and even replace the use of sleeping medications in breast cancer patients.

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