Table of Contents – June 2020

Investing in Your Future and Your Patients’ Health

The AAMA is a small medical professional organization which, unlike large medical associations, receives very little in the way of commercial support. Our primary revenue sources are member dues and the Annual Symposium. The decision to cancel the 2020 Symposium was sad, but necessary. The loss of revenue from the symposium has done serious damage to our assets. Although our professional administrators have, over the years, invested Academy funds wisely for just such a “rainy day,” it will take time to restore the full financial health of the organization.

We contract with a professional firm for administrative functions, but everything else is done by member volunteers. There is no compensation for our executive committee and board, symposium chair and vice chair, or committee members. The time these individuals donate is crucial to the practice of medical acupuncture. In recent months our Legislative Committee has successfully fought statutes that would have hampered the practice of medical acupuncture. In one case, a pending Washington DC law which would have required board certification to practice acupuncture in the District was amended to allow licensing for board-eligible medical acupuncturists. If you can’t practice, you can’t accumulate the 500 cases needed for certification. Thanks to the committee, this Catch-22 was corrected. Our Communications Committee has established a robust members-only Facebook group and has conducted member surveys on practice styles and Medicare so services can be tailored to members’ needs. The Education Committee is planning a slate of CME webinars, the first of which drew a record-breaking 74 participants. Using funds in the Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation, the Research Committee has developed a grant competition for acupuncture research, evaluated and scored the applications, mentored applicants, and is selecting a winner who will be announced in the next few months. The Membership Committee is gearing up for the renewal season, which starts this month. 

Revenue is down for many of us. Like many private practitioners, I lost 2-3 months of revenue while my practice was shut down — but I continue to view membership as an investment in my future and the health of my patients. The cost of AAMA membership is a drop in the bucket compared with what I’ve lost. Please renew as soon as you receive your renewal documents. 

The membership year is July 1 to June 30 so your renewal is due now. Ideally, members will renew as soon as the first notices are received so additional resources don’t need to be expended to send out reminders. To help encourage an efficient renewal process and recognizing that these are challenging times for everyone, there is an Early Bird special – 10% off of your dues amount for this year IF you pay your dues before July 10, 2020. Please help the Academy by renewing early, saving some money yourself and saving the organization from dipping into reserve funds! 

Sue Sorensen, MD, FAAMA
Treasurer, AAMA Board of Directors

Welcome New AAMA Members

Please join us in welcoming the following new members who became part of the Academy in May 2020:

  • Jacklyn Lee, DO, of Altoona, PA 
  • Brian W. Blakley, MD, of Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Stephen T. Olex, MD, of Allentown, PA 
  • Katherine A. Wilson, DO, of Tucson, AZ 
  • James S Bromberg, MD, MPH of Tijeras, NM 

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. 

Legislative Advocacy – Committee Update 

Recently, Gavin Elliott, MD, DABMA, one of the Legislative Committee’s co-chairs, attended several virtual meetings with the Washington, DC, Board of Medicine to voice the AAMA’s concerns about wording in licensing statutes that would inhibit the practice of acupuncture by physicians in our nation’s capital. His advocacy was successful and the Board approved new wording for licensure requirements, proving once again that committed professionals can make a difference. Legislative tracking and advocacy are ongoing priorities of the AAMA Board of Directors. Please remember: If you become aware of legislative issues/bills being proposed in your state that would affect medical acupuncturists, we encourage you to let us know by email ( or phone (310-379-8261).  

Education & CME – Committee Update

The AAMA Education Committee is pleased to announce a new webinar has been scheduled for July 15, 2020. In this challenging time, the committee members wanted to provide their fellow AAMA members with much-needed peer interaction and tools to help with self-care. The webinar, “COVID-19 Rapid De-stress Protocol,” is affordable and timely! Please note: If you have questions or suggestions for the Education Committee, let us know by email ( or phone (310-379-8261). 

Thank You for Your Feedback on Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

In January 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Medicare would cover acupuncture treatments for low back pain. While this Medicare ruling is a big step toward acupuncture becoming part of mainstream medicine, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. Recently, the AAMA board of directors asked for your opinions about Medicare coverage for acupuncture. Your feedback will be used to provide input to the CMS. We sincerely appreciate the time you took to complete the survey, and as always, we will strive to represent your voice. Thank you! 

AAMA Research Paper – Watch the Video Presentation

Congratulations once again to our colleagues who authored the research papers selected as winners in the AAMA’s annual research competition. Because the AAMA’s Annual Symposium did not take place this year, the first-place paper could not be presented live. Instead, the authors have recorded the presentation for AAMA members and interested parties to view.

The first-place submission’s lead author was Shiu-Lin Tsai, MD. The paper is entitled, “Acupuncture for Pediatric Sickle Cell Pain Management: A Promising Non-Opioid Therapy.” In the video introduction of the presentation, Tsai thanks the AAMA for the award and the opportunity to share the team’s research and shares how the research team used the award money. “Our hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, is located in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United states,” says Tsai. “A record number of patients were treated in our Emergency Department. My co-authors and I have gifted the award money of $1,500 to the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center to support their heroic work as they continue to provide care to the New York City Community.” Please visit the AAMA website to view the 20-minute presentation and read more about the other selected papers. 

ICMART News & Announcements

The AAMA is a long-time member of ICMART (the International Council of Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques). Because the ICMART 2020 Annual Congress was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization is offering virtual experiences to connect with members and interested parties around the globe. Read the full ICMART newsletter. 

Take note of a special FREE half-day webinar offered by ICMART: 

Science and Medical Acupuncture
June 28, 2020
12:00 PM-4:30 PM GMT
A dozen brief sessions will cover topics including dry needling, acupuncture oncology, acupuncture and COVID-19, acupuncture for GI issues, and auricular anatomy and stimulation zones. 

7 Reasons to Renew Your AAMA Membership Right Now

Now more than ever, the AAMA has your back, with membership benefits that impact your practice and your patients. As we enter the Academy’s annual membership renewal period, we share this reminder of what the AAMA does for YOU. 

  1. Connection: AAMA creates opportunities for physician acupuncturists to collaborate and establish professional relationships with peers and mentors.
  2. Education: AAMA provides CME and non-CME educational opportunities for physician acupuncturists to improve and expand their practice of medical acupuncture. Live and on-demand activities are available to suit your schedule. 
  3. Research: AAMA showcases and supports important scientific research related to medical acupuncture. 
  4. Advocacy: AAMA protects physician rights and patient safety through legislative tracking and organized response to state and federal legislators. State-by-state initiatives are monitored for potential impact on physician acupuncturists. Of particular interest are issues relating to scope of practice, dry needling and insurance funding.
  5. Referral: AAMA connects thousands of prospective patients with members each year via the “Find an Acupuncturist” directory on the AAMA’s website. The popular directory allows patients to search for physician acupuncturists (AAMA members only) in their area.
  6. Outreach: AAMA works year-round to educate patients, health care providers and members of the media about the practice of medical acupuncture — and its benefits for patients.
  7. Early-bird Renewal Special: As an incentive for members who renew before July 10, 2020, the AAMA is offering 10% off annual dues as an early bird special! Renew today and save! Visit the AAMA website to renew online; members must be logged in to access the member renewal page and the member renewal option in the online store. 

Save Even More By Recruiting NEW Members to Join 

Do you know someone who could – and should – become an AAMA member? Earn $50 for yourself by recruiting a new member to join the Academy. Reach out to your colleagues, people you met in acupuncture trainings, people you know who need to be involved with the Academy. Nominate a new member today and earn $50 credit for each new member you bring in. Share the AAMA membership brochure with them, then connect with us when they submit their application. Learn more. 

New Webinar Announced: “COVID-19 Rapid De-Stress Protocol”

Save the date! A new AAMA live webinar — “COVID-19 Rapid De-Stress Protocol” — has been scheduled for July 15, 2020 – 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT. It will be presented by David Groopman, MD, FAAMA, Nick Kouchis, MD, DABMA, Mitch Elkiss, DO, FAAMA, and Ali Safayan, MD. NOTE: special pricing of $40 members/$70 non-members. Registration details.

The webinar will discuss the neurophysiology of extraordinary stress and the unique features of ‘Frontline Pandemic Stress’ in Healthcare Workers. We will outline a specific medical acupuncture therapy for stress mitigation which combines “calming and centering” (Koffman Cocktail) with the Auricular Trauma Protocol (ATP). We will discuss the specific points used and the possible application of this therapy in the current mental health crisis which confronts us. We have combined these two therapies to create the COVID-19 Rapid Destress Protocol (CRDP).

AAMA Fall Workshop Focuses on Common Musculoskeletal Conditions

Save the date! “Treating Common Musculoskeletal Conditions with Osteopathic Manipulation, Meridian Therapy, Dry Needling and Manual Muscle Testing” will be presented by Jay Sandwiess, DO, and Joseph Audette, MD, in Chicago on October 24-25, 2020. This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to learn applied kinesiology and osteopathic muscle testing strategies for common musculoskeletal conditions in order to identify neuro-muscular inhibition patterns. Participants will learn to integrate basic osteopathic manual methods with acupuncture techniques, such as dry needling and meridian therapies, to resolve the condition and restore muscle and joint function instantly. These methods are part of a series of acupuncture techniques that produce rapid effects. Drs. Audette and Sandweiss will present a highly effective approach for diagnosing and treating common problems such as: tennis and golfer elbow, rotator cuff syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain, ankle sprains and neck and back pain issues throughout the spinal regions. Upon completion of this workshop attendees will have new tools for quickly assessing and treating musculoskeletal conditions throughout the body. Registration details.  

Calls for Papers/Submissions

Clinical Pearls: Boosting Resilience During COVID-19 with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs

Medical Acupuncture, the official journal of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, publishes an interactive section in each issue, called Clinical Pearls. We pose a question on a particular topic and invite short submissions from experts in the field. We are seeking your opinion on how you boost resilience during the current COVID-19 pandemic with Acupuncture and/or Chinese Herbs in your practice for possible publication in the next issue of the journal. Please send your 500-750 word contribution in a Word document that contains your complete name, degrees, affiliation, mailing address, and full contact information, including telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address to Managing Editor Yael BenPorat by July 1, 2020. 

Acupuncture, Internal Medicine, and COVID-19
Call for papers: Medical Acupuncture is planning a Special Issue focusing on how acupuncture and auricular medicine can be used as an effective adjunct to treat a variety of internal medicine related conditions. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are also seeking articles highlighting the use of acupuncture and/or traditional Chinese medicine in caring for patients affected with COVID-19. Deadline for Manuscript Submission: August 31, 2020.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It Last Month

Acupuncturists without Borders Offers Ear Seed Kits
AWB is distributing an instructional how-to video, along with ear-seed kits, to frontline workers in CoVid-19 hotspots across the United States. Kits are free of charge for front line workers and $15 (including postage) for private practice practitioners. 

Clinical Registry: COVID-19 and Integrative Health
Call for participation: a clinical registry aiming to capture key case, treatment/supportive care, and outcome variables related to the use of traditional, complementary, and integrative health and medicine products and practices in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Publisher of Medical Acupuncture Offers COVID-19 Resources
From Mary Ann Liebert Publishers: We have taken the opportunity to host a coronavirus research portal and allow for free access to all papers within our portfolio related to relevant coronavirus research in hopes that it can be a useful resource as a successful vaccine is developed and implemented.” 

Professional Development Opportunities

ICMART Webinar: Science & Medical Acupuncture
June 28, 2020
12:00 PM-4:30 PM GMT

*POSTPONED: ICMART World Medical Acupuncture Congress
Now July 2-4, 2021
Athens, Greece

AAMA Webinar: COVID-19 Rapid De-Stress Protocol
July 15, 2020 – 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT
Presented by David Groopman, MD, FAAMA, Nick Kouchis, MD, DABMA, Mitch Elkiss, DO, FAAMA, and Ali Safayan, MD
NOTE: special pricing of $40 members/$70 non-members

NOW ONLINE: IOM-SAR 2020 International Research Conference
September 11-13, 2020

AAMA  Workshop: Treating Common Musculoskeletal Conditions 
October 24-25, 2020
Chicago, IL
“Treating Common Musculoskeletal Conditions with Osteopathic Manipulation, Meridian Therapy, Dry Needling and Manual Muscle Testing” Presented by Jay Sandwiess, DO, and Joseph Audette, MD

2021 Medical Acupuncture Review Course
April 27-28, 2021 – Cincinnati, OH
Save the date! 
Details coming soon. 

AAMA 2021 Annual Symposium
April 29-May 2, 2021 – Cincinnati, OH
Save the date! 
Details coming soon. 

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. 

Medical Acupuncture journal Updates

Fast-Track Articles, Ahead of Print:

Most Recent Issue: June 2020 

Most-recent CME Article: Electroacupuncture to Increase Neuronal Stem Cell Growth

New Scientific Research

Effect of Acupuncture in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial
[Mayo Clinic Proceedings]
“Conclusion: Acupuncture may be more effective than PEG 4000 or pinaverium bromide for the treatment of IBS, with effects lasting up to 12 weeks.” 

Randomized controlled three-arm study of NADA acupuncture for alcohol addiction
[Addictive Behaviors]
“Alcohol addiction compromises cardiovascular health, possibly due to impaired control of the heart and vasculature by the autonomic nervous system. We aimed to assess the effects of National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) acupuncture on cardiovascular autonomic functions, psychiatric comorbidities and abstinence in patients addicted to alcohol.” 

The effect of two types of minimal acupuncture on stooling, sleeping and feeding in infants with colic: secondary analysis of a multicentre RCT in Sweden (ACU-COL)
[Acupuncture in Medicine]
“There were no differences between groups for stooling, feeding, or sleeping at any time point according to data from the diaries. At the follow-up phone call, more parents in groups A and B (compared to group C, the control group) perceived that feeding and sleep had changed and that the symptoms of colic had improved.” 

Effect of Acupuncture on Pregnancy-Related Insomnia and Melatonin: A Single-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial
[Nature and Science of Sleep]
“Conclusion: Acupuncture was shown to significantly improve the sleep quality in pregnant women, possibly through increasing melatonin secretion, and could be recommended as a low-cost and low-risk alternative treatment to pharmacological therapies.”

Leave a reply