Message from the AAMA Board

Reflection and Gratitude

In my part of the country, the leaves on bushes and trees are starting to change color, and the black walnut trees have already shed their blackened curled leaves and dropped their load of tannin-stained fruits. Most of these walnuts have been stored away by the gray squirrels that scurry in the tree canopy around the house. The red oaks will hang on to their leaves until winter gale force winds finally rip them loose.  Monarchs are making their last passes through the flower beds before heading to the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico.

Most of the tomato plants in the garden have backed off their production as days are cooler. We are harvesting the beans, chard, beets, cucumbers, cabbage, thyme, sage, summer savory, and oregano from our own raised beds. Elsewhere folks are bringing in Hubbard, turban, delicata, and pumpkin squashes. Our neighbor has giant “killer” zucchini, after he over watered and over fertilized his garden.  He gifted us with the smallest one he had, weighing in at five pounds. The last of the greens are being cut before the frost comes. Our gardens will be “finished” till Spring.

My friend’s father is a wheat farmer in Montana. This time of year, he wanders out on a Sunday morning to look at the wheat waving golden brown in the morning light, before it is cut. It is as close to serious meditation and prayer as he gets. His “church” is the land before him, and he breathes in with immense gratitude for the bounty of the upcoming harvest and breathes out in the pride he takes in being able to provide for his family.

This is a time of gathering in blessings, of bringing the bounty of summer to a fitting end, of dying and transition. The passing of seasons reminds all, too, of seasons of our lives.

Earlier this month I sat in vigil at the bedside of Rose, who was transitioning … slowly breathing seven breaths a minute, then four a minute, then a sigh … and cycling back again. She was on Hospice at 98 years of age. Two weeks earlier, she had decided that to live to 100 was just too long. She was born at the end of imperial China, known then as Cheng Man. She spent part of her early life as a Buddhist nun. After the Japanese occupation in World War II, after Chinese warlords rampaged through the countryside, and with the “promise” of a new life under Mao Tse Tung, she fled to the West. She worked with diaspora Chinese families in Peru and Viet Nam. Although quiet and often staying in the background, she knew her mind and was determined to chart her own path. She was drawn back to China and came 30 years later to Hong Kong where she studied acupuncture, and then worked in Macao, addressing the ailments of elderly in her neighborhood. She was ever a gentle compassionate soul, modeling a selflessness and desire to be of service in relieving the suffering of others.

Back in the United States and “retired,” she continued to care for others. My own personal experience of acupuncture was at her hands. I was more than curious how this approach to medicine worked. I wanted to be able to bring this to my own patients. She cheerfully pulled out her acupuncture books and body maps with points and text all written in Mandarin Chinese. I had no idea where to begin. She chuckled softly and assured me that if I went to Hong Kong to study a few years to learn Chinese, I could easily then study acupuncture, as well. While I did not take up that bit of advice, we would chat from time to time, her explaining basics of Chinese Medicine, the best approach to treating patients, how to put them at ease. After I completed my own training through the Helms Medical Institute, we would again compare notes, share stories of approaches to patients. She was always encouraging, and nodding approval when I assured her I was still using acupuncture to help others, and interested in new techniques I had learned from other physician acupuncturists. There are many other fine physicians who have helped me along the way. They have all been blessings along my journey as a physician doing medical acupuncture. I have been richly blessed.

These parallel tales of gratitude I hope inspire you to reflect on blessings you have experienced in this last year. I hope you take the time to offer thanks, in gratitude for your material needs being met, the health you enjoy, but more importantly for the intangible gifts of those who have mentored you along the way. Who inspired you to seek out the skill to become a medical acupuncturist?  Who challenged you to embrace life-long curiosity about your world? Who was present to you with a kind word of encouragement, a thoughtful tip, a provocative question, a listening ear? Do take the time to thank them if not in deed, then in thought, and pass on the good you have been given too.


Montiel Rosenthal, MD, FAAMA
AAMA Board of Directors

Upcoming Professional Development & Educational Opportunities


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 September 2021.

  • Stephanie M. Smith, MD, of Fort Meade, MD
  • Lance R. Bruck, MD, of Waccabuc, NY
  • Xiaoche Feng, MD, of Beijing, China
  • Steven Ira Goldstein, DO, of West Des Moines, IA
  • Katherine M Milam, DO, of Chula Vista, CA
  • Anastasia D. Cleary, MD, of Warsaw, VA
  • Folashade Wolfe-Modupe, MD, of San Francisco, CA
  • Cathy M. Heffner, MD, of Holly Springs, NC
  • Jessica Quezada, MD, of El Paso, TX

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.

Physicians Complete 10-Year ABMA Re-Certification

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:

  • Bryan L. Frank, MD, DABMA of Yukon, OK
  • Alok Gopal, MD, DABMA of Winchester, PA
  • Jennifer Luan, MD, DABMA of Plainsboro, NJ
  • Rey Ximenes, MD, FAAMA of Austin, TX

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 35 bills regarding acupuncture and dry needling. Of note this month:

  • Committee Chair, Donna Pittman, attended the American Society of Acupuncturists Town Hall Meeting on the progress of HR 4803, “Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act of 2021.” This bill, sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), would change the status of LAcs to primary providers under Medicare. This would obviate the requirement for physician supervision and allow LAcs to bill Medicare directly for acupuncture services. The representative from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine stated that the bill does not affect the ability of current providers (physicians and chiropractors) from performing and billing for acupuncture treatments.The ASA and NCCAOM are working jointly to promote passage of this bill..
  • The Legislative Committee has put together a fact sheet regarding dry needling by allied health providers (PTs, PTAs, OTs, and ATs). This information will be used to update the AAMA’s position paper on dry needling. At this time, 37 states and DC permit physical therapists to perform dry needling, six states do not allow it, and seven states remain “undefined.” PT assistants may do dry needling in four states, OTs in 10 states, and athletic trainers in a handful of states.

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:

Call for Papers/Clinical Pearls

Medical Acupuncture, the official journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, publishes an interactive Clinical Pearls section in each issue. For an upcoming issue, the journal is seeking your opinion on how you treat Chronic Anxiety with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs in your practice for possible publication in the next issue of the Journal. Please include a sample treatment protocol including such details as points/herbs used, needles used, treatment duration, frequency, etc. (500-750 word max) Deadline: November 1, 2021. More. 

Cleveland Clinic: Can Acupuncture Help with Recovery?

Addiction and trauma are two very heavy and complex things to grapple with. Fortunately, no one has to battle either — or both — alone. Along with treatment solutions that take a person’s individual needs into account, there are supplemental therapies that can help promote healing and recovery. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) acupuncture protocol is one of those therapies. Read the full article.

Get Social with AAMA!

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

Share Your Thoughts on the 2022 Symposium

The Symposium Committee is developing and planning a great program for the 2022 Annual Symposium. It is currently scheduled for May 5-8, 2022 in Cincinnati, OH. If you have ideas about speakers or topics, please email to share your thoughts with the Committee. The world environment is constantly changing – your feedback will assist with the decision-making process. Email today. 

Boost Your DABMA Branding with AAMA Certification Mark

The AAMA’s medical acupuncture certification mark represents the AAMA’s commitment to promoting the highest standards of education and training in medical acupuncture. If you are a full member or Fellow of the AAMA with DABMA certification, you may request an electronic file of the certification mark and guidelines for its usage. Upon verification of your status, a jpg file will be sent to you. Email the AAMA.

New Scientific Research Related to Acupuncture 


Pain Changes Induced by Acupuncture in Single Body Areas in Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Results from an Open-Label Pragmatic Study

[Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine]

Conclusions: Acupuncture has a beneficial effect on pain in all body areas in FM patients with high disease severity, with the greatest effects in the abdominal region and in the forearms, allowing a personalization of the treatment.


Effect of Acupuncture on Simple Obesity and Serum Levels of Prostaglandin E and Leptin in Sprague-Dawley Rats

[Computational and Mathimatical Methods in Medicine]

Acupuncture significantly downregulated the serum levels of CRP, TG, CHO, LDL, leptin, and prostaglandin E and upregulated the serum levels of HDL in rats with simple obesity.  On basis of these results, it was found that acupuncture could boost fat metabolism and weight loss by inhibiting the production of leptin and prostaglandin E.


Acupuncture: A Promising Approach for Comorbid Depression and Insomnia in Perimenopause

[Nature of Science and Sleep]

In conclusion, acupuncture is a promising therapeutic strategy for comorbid depression and insomnia during perimenopause. Neuroendocrine modulation is likely to play a major role in mediating those effects. High-quality trials are required to further validate acupuncture’s effectiveness.


Current state of research about Acupuncture for the treatment of COVID-19

[Integrative Medicine Research]

Acupuncture has a good effect in the treatment of COVID-19, but still lacks high-quality evidence support. Coupled with the difficulties that acupuncturists faced in the process of treatment, the promotion of acupuncture treatment of COVID-19 still faces many obstacles.


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