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AAMA focusing on acupuncture research, as survey revealed high priority
By Richard F. Hobbs, III, MD, FAAFP, FAAMA
Is Qi the real deal or is it simply a metaphor for some, as yet, poorly understood physical phenomenon (or
phenomena)? Are acupuncture points and channels anatomically distinct entities which have definable
physiologic functions or are they merely trappings of an intellectual framework? From what I can tell, and
I have looked into these questions in some depth, the jury is still out. We just don’t know.
What we do know, however, is that acupuncture in its various forms helps a lot of people. Most of us, if not
all, can note many instances where patients have experienced dramatic improvement in symptoms or signs
of disease with acupuncture, often where conventional western medical therapies have failed. Our daily,
anecdotal experience keeps us going, not so much the plethora of clinical studies with their, frequently,
So where does that leave us as a medical specialty? How can we integrate with a system that, whether
justified or not, considers itself to be based upon science? It’s probably not fair to just say, “trust us, it
works!” We really do need to get to that point where east meets west, where we have at least a basic
understanding of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in terms of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and
therapeutics; I would also add to this list “biophysics.” Only then will we be able to explain what it is we
do in a way that our western medicine colleagues can accept and understand. Acupuncture Research
Worldwide, methodologies for clinical research in acupuncture are being refined and will eventually, I
believe, more accurately reflect the results we achieve in our offices. When we reach that point, once a
study has established beneficial effect, we should be looking at comparisons between various acupuncture
modalities, as well as between acupuncture and western modalities. Also, we should be exploring the
reasons for why some providers seem to have more success than others.
Basic science is the area where we are most deficient. I suspect there is a key reason for this. Any way you
stack it up, acupuncture is empirically derived. There are a number of different formulations which provide
frameworks for diagnosing and treating but, with the possible exception of neuroanatomic approaches,
none draw significantly from the same base upon which modern, western medicine is derived.
So, in a sense, in order to develop a perspective on the basic science of acupuncture, we need to
disassemble a free-standing system into its constituent parts (anatomy, physiology, etc), rather than
constructing a system, based on parts, as has been the case with western medicine. It is very hard in our
world to find researchers who (a) have the interest and (b) have the knowledge and skills to do this kind of
detective work. Even more difficult in our profit-oriented era is the funding issue. International Symposium Speaker
Currently, China leads the world in basic science acupuncture research. Unfortunately, most of this
research is not available in English translations (a good reason to learn Mandarin). Prof. Guanhong Ding
vice-president of Fudan University (one of China’s premier universities) and director of the Shanghai
Research Center for Acupuncture and Meridians, has an international reputation for his work on physical
properties of points and channels.
We are, indeed, fortunate that he will be joining us for our 24th Annual Symposium in Atlanta, GA. He is
going to give us an update on the basic science stuff, what is known of the underlying mechanisms of
acupuncture. For this reason and for the many other wonderful speakers who are scheduled to present,
please make every effort to join us at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta April 26-29, 2012. You will not regret it. AAMA Survey
Some final thoughts regarding the scientific basis for acupuncture: In our most recent survey, the
membership gave clear indication of their support for the AAMA promoting acupuncture research. The
Board hears this message loud and clear.
Recently, our Medical Acupuncture Research Foundation made a contribution of $1,000 to thein sponsorship of a meeting to discern best ways for differentiating the analysis of
studies done with electrostimulation from those without. We will be looking for other ways in which we
can support the research community. Perhaps you have some ideas. If so, please let me know.
Now if we can just figure out how to get a few basic science guys here in the US to take a look at some
very intriguing questions.
AAMA Webinar Series
Practical Toolkit for Setting Up Successful, Fulfilling Medical Acupuncture Practice
This September marks the beginning of a webinar series that will be offered to AAMA members at low or
no cost. The first webinar entitled, “Getting Started: Setting Up an Acupuncture Practice,” will be
presented live on Wednesday, Sept. 28th, starting at 8pm EST by Claudia Harsh, MD
. There will be no
To access the webinar, click on the link below or copy this link to your browser:
and enter the password: aama123. Be sure to have
security programs turned off and “allow” access, if the program asks.
Members will also need the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed on their computer and will be
guided to download it, if necessary. The webinar will be taped and available for download in the Member
Area of the AAMA website shortly after the session airs. This first webinar will be offered at no cost to
Subsequent webinars will include John Kohler, MD, FAAMA
, offering “Principles and Pearls of Treating
Workman’s Compensation and Accident Victims,” and Rey Ximenez, MD, FAAMA
, offering a webinar
on coding and reimbursement basics.
Webinar dates will be Sept. 28th, Oct. 26th, Nov. 30th
(dark in December) and Jan. 25th
. They will be
held at 8pm on those dates (the last Wednesday of the month).
Watch for details on the webinars in thand the Academy’sand then
log on with your peers.
Medical acupuncturists earn DABMA certification
The following physicians recently met the stringent requirements of the American Board of Medical
Acupuncture (ABMA) and have achieved Board Certification in medical acupuncture. They have earned
the designation DABMA (Diplomate, American Board of Medical Acupuncture): James H. Barry, MD,
of Springboro, OH; Dawn Belvis, MD
, of Chicago, IL; Kristen Burkholder, MD,
of Tonalea, AZ; Elaine Chu, MD,
of La Canada Flintridge, CA; Kristine Gedroic, MD,
NJ; James R. Harrington, MD,
of Savannah, GA; Andrew M. Kim, MD,
of San Antonio, TX; Kyangsook C. Kim, MD,
of Voorhees, NJ; Karen Konkel, MD,
of Towson, MD; Gerald J. Leglue, MD
of Alexandria, LA; Sally A. Mravcak, MD,
of New Brunswick, NJ; Nuruddin J. Presswala, MD,
Lakewood, OH; Jeannie Seybold, MD
of Stanford, CA, and Douglas E. Sill, MD, Forest Lake, MN.
The Academy has postedof physicians who are Board Certified. Diplomates (DABMA) are
listed alphabetically by last name, along with their location, and dates of expiration.
for more on the Board Certification process.
Physicians complete process for 10-year ABMA
The following physicians haveset by the American Board of Medical Acupuncture
Board of Trustees to be recertified as a Diplomate for another 10 years: William P. Braun, III, MD
, of Mt. Bethel, PA; Penelope Brooks, MD
, of Milledgeville, GA; Daniel M.
of Gorman, TX; Alice Brunecky, MD
, of Arvada, CO; Kathleen Bynum, DO
, of Dallas,
TX; William N. Clearfield, DO
, of Forty Fort, PA; Gaston Dana, DO
, of Franklin, IN; Victor Elinoff,
, of Endwell, NY; Bryan L. Frank, MD
, of Edmond, OK; Leonid Gordin, MD
, of Cambridge, MA; Richard J. House, MD
, of Goldsboro, NC; Sudesh Sheela Jain, MD
, of Watchung, NJ; Thomas G.
, of St. Louis, MO; Juliana H. Kang, MD
, of Farmington, CT; David S. Kim, MD
, of Tustin,
CA; Luke Y. Kim, MD
, of Ypsilanti, MI; Jai Sung Lee, MD
, of Laurel, MD; Braham Levy, MD
Stratford, ND; Aurora P. de la Rosa, MD
, of Hamilton, NJ; Lynn M. Rusy, MD
, of Milwaukee, WI; Robert A. Schulman, MD
, of New York, NY; Daniel A. Smolen, DO
, of Boothwyn, PA; David
of Fort Worth, TX; Candace B. Warner, MD
, of Baton Rouge, LA; Rebecca Wilks,
, of Glendale, AZ; Rey Ximenes, MD
, of Austin, TX, and Norman G. Zavela, MD
After 10 years, each candidate for recertification was required to submit the following:
· Application for recertification.
· Copy of current active medical license.
· Documentation of 150 hours of continuing education credits in medical acupuncture since certification.
CME credit is preferred. Topics must be primarily acupuncture. Independently awarded CEU credits may
be acceptable, at the discretion of the Board.
· Submission of two written Case Reports on actual cases treated to demonstrate continued knowledge and
proficiency in the discipline. Specific Case Report Guidelines will be provided.
· Payment of a recertification fee of $250.
There is no written examination required for recertification.
Applications for recertification should be submitted at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the original
certification to assure sufficient time for Board review and approval. Each submission is submitted to the
Board for review to confirm the adequacy of the Case Reports and to confirm that the continuing education
requirements were met.
For those designees who are unable to complete the process by the expiration date, an automatic extension
of up to three years is available upon request.
Medical Acupuncture Research News
The following is a review of reported research results and related news recently announced or released
through Internet outlets:
•The abstract,was published in PubMed (June 31, 2011 (6): 784-8). The objective was to study the
effect of electroacupuncture on nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in rats with cerebral ischemia-reperfusion
injury. After 24-h ischemia-reperfusion, the NO levels of the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex
increased abnormally, and the expressions of nNOS and iNOS increased, showing significant difference
when compared with those of the normal group (P<0.05). Researchers concluded that acupuncture fought
against cerebral ischemia and reperfusion in the loss of neurons, while at the same time, the abnormal
regulation of NOS had reverse effect partly through TrkA/PI3K mediated signal transduction pathway.
•The abstract, was published in the
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (July 6, 2011). The objective was to examine the effects of
acupuncture and acupressure for pain management in labor. They included 13 trials with data reporting on
1,986 women. Nine trials reported on acupuncture and four on acupressure. Less pain was found from
acupuncture vs. no intervention. Researchers found that acupuncture and acupressure may reduce pain,
increase satisfaction with pain management and reduce usage of pharmacological management.
shows that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently sent $90 million of US
taxpayers’ money overseas to China for public health research projects. The NIH gave more than $150,000
to a Chinese researcher between 2005 and 2009 to learn more about acupuncture. In both 2005 and 2007,
more than $60,000 to study the craft at Massachusetts General Hospital. In both
2008 and 2009, records show NIH continued funding the research, which was, at that point,
taking place in China.
•The abstract,was published in Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture
Society. The object was to investigate whether acupuncture reduces the duration and intensity of crying in
90 infants with colic. There was a difference (p=0.034) favoring the acupuncture group in the time which
passed from inclusion until the infant no longer met the criteria for colic. Researchers found that minimal
acupuncture shortened the duration and reduced the intensity of crying in infants with colic.
published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics (April 1, 2011). It showed
that acupuncture is effective at relieving hot flashes in men after prostate surgery. There was a 68.4%
improvement after only two weeks. At six weeks, there was an 89.2% improvement. Researchers followed
up eight months after the treatment concluded, which revealed the men maintained an 80.3% improvement
in hot flashes. The men maintained improvement for many months after acupuncture.
•As Australia launched its first National Pain Week (July 24-30), RMIT University researchers began
recruiting volunteers foand counseling as a treatment for tension
headaches. About 7 million Australians regularly suffer from tension-type headache. Research clinics in
Melbourne are seeking volunteers ages 18-65 who have suffered from tension-type headaches more than
one day a month in the last 12 months. They will be offered acupuncture, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
(CBT) or a combined treatment for 12-16 sessions over 12 weeks. Each session lasts 30-50 minutes. The
collaborative research involves acupuncture and pain researchers, psychologists, pain specialists and
neurologists from RMIT, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne and Griffith University.
•The abstractwas published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(Vol. 2011). The NIH-funded study applied electroacupuncture to acupuncture points in rats with
osteoarthritis. Results showed that electroacupuncture “inhibits osteoarthritis-induced pain by enhancing 5-
HT2A/2C (serotonin] receptor activity).” Researchers said electroacupuncture attenuates osteoarthritis pain
by activating serotonin receptors that “play an important role in pain modulation at the spinal level.” They
also discovered electroacupuncture activates serotonergic neurons that project into the spinal cord.
•The abstract,was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (July 14, 2011). The NCCAM-funded study randomly assigned 46 patients with asthma to active treatment with an albuterol inhaler, a placebo inhaler, sham acupuncture or no intervention. Albuterol resulted in a 20% increase in FEV1, as compared with about 7% with each of the other three interventions (P<0.001). Although albuterol, but not the two placebo interventions, improved FEV1 in patients with asthma, albuterol provided no incremental benefit. Placebo effects such as sham acupuncture can be clinically meaningful and rival the effects. Please send information you find on research involving the efficacy of medical acupuncture to
AAMA Member News
AAMA’s 24TH Annual Symposium
will be April 26-29, 2012will be on April 24-25,
2012, the Pre-Symposium Workshops on April 26, 2012 and theon April 29,
2012. The location will be at Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. For the AAMA discounted room rate of
$159/night (sgl/dbl) pending availability, call the hotel by April 1, 2012
at 404/237-1234 and be sure to
mention the AAMA Symposium. Dr. Peter Hanfileti
’s wife, Lisa, who is a licensed acupuncturist in practice with him, will present,
from 9am to 5pm on Sept. 9 and 10, 2011 in Suite 185 at
George Fox University, 12753 SW 68th Ave. in Portland, OR. Lisa Hanfileti has spent the past five years
putting together and testing a marketing system developed just for acupuncturists. She will present business
administration and marketing techniques to develop a sustainable, thriving practice. The course is approved
by the NCCAOM for 12 Professional Development Activity (PDA) Continuing Education Units.
Check out Global Mission Partner opportunities in 2011: Join Bryan L Frank, MD, FAAMA
president of AAMA (1999-2001) for some travel with a purpose. Projects in 2011 include Mexico in
September and India in November. Plan in advance;for an applicationfor photos
from 2010. GMP encourages physicians, dentists, therapists, nurses and non-medical general volunteers to
help those with little or no access to health care. Dr. Frank says this may be the most fun you’ve had in
medicine in years.
The International Scientific Acupuncture and Meridian Symposium will be held Oct. 7- 9, 2011 at The
Beckman Center in Irvine, with 29 international speakers. Sponsor University of California, Irvine has
approved this activity for up to 22 AMA Category 1 credits. Call 949/824-5763 or visit
Five Element Acupuncture for Physicians will be taught Oct. 20-23, 2011 in San Diego, CA by Drs.
Charles A. Moss
and Ron Puhky
. Sponsored by Five Element Acupuncture Physician Training Program,
this course has been approved for 30 Category 1 CME hours by Palomar Medical Center. Visit
The Medical Acupuncture Review Course is available on DVD. Visit thto purchase this
valuable learning tool.
Members participating in AAMA's referral program will be happy to hear that there were 1,191 unique
visits to thein May
, 2,235 in June
and 2,247 in July
from patients seeking medical
acupuncturists in their area. Members interested in participating in the Patient Referral Program should visit
the physician listings online to verify that they are listed. Only Practice level members are eligible to
participate, and the Academy staff needs explicit notice to include a member in the program.
Recent surveys show in most countries, including the UK, midwives employ alternative medicine liberally
and usually without the supervision or knowledge of obstetricians.from 18
instructors at 17 institutions training midwives in acupuncture in Sweden (where midwives are only
allowed to practice acupuncture after attending such courses).
AAMA reminds members who meet special qualifications in Medical Acupuncture about the certification
mark to convey their accomplishments. The certification mark is available only to Full Members and
Fellows of the AAMA who are currently Board Certified by the ABMA. See the image of logo An application has been submitted to the US Patent Office to register this Certification Mark so that
it is available for the exclusive use of those who meet the specified credentials. See the Certification Mark
Guidelinfor standards on how the mark should be used in printed materials including
acceptable type face, size, color, etc. For an electronic copy of a reproducible jpeg copy of the logo to
provide your printer, Full Members and Fellows who are currently Board Certified through the ABMA may
send a request to Upon verification of your status, a jpg file will be
sent to you.
from the National Institutes of Health reports “that many well-designed studies have found
that acupuncture can help with certain conditions, such as back pain, knee pain, headaches and
osteoarthritis.” Research includes various scientific approaches to validating and measuring the effects of
acupuncture including MRI studies, biochemical and bioelectric analysis and clinical trials. “Studies have found it to be very safe, with few side effects.” Jay Sandweiss, DO, FAAMA
, will lead, Integrative Manual Approach to Cervical Spine Pain and
Dysfunction, Oct. 8-9 at Covenant HealthCare Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in Saginaw, MI. An
algorithm of treatment will be presented, which includes manual muscle testing, tender point analysis,
trigger point analysis, motion testing, anatomical positional analysis and more. Call 734/995-1880 or visit
Symposium 2011ancan be ordered online.
The fall schedule foris now available on the
seminars series address some of the most sophisticated techniques that could prove to be an asset to
alternative medicine practices. Seminars address basic and advanced auricular therapy, auricular medicine
techniques, the three- phase hand acupuncture, and workshops training in both auricular medicine and the
autonomic vascular signal. Academy members are offered special discounts for seminars, books and
Editor-in-Chief Dr. Richard Niemtzow of the journal, Medical Acupuncture,
is seeking volunteer reviewers
to review manuscripts. Reviewers will access manuscripts Reviews must be completed and returned
within one business week. Reviewers successfully completing a series of timely, high-quality reviews may
be invited to join the Editorial Board (at the discretion of the editor in chief). Please send brief
qualifications and contact information
The HMI Chinese Scalp Acupuncture course
will be held Sept. 24 - 25, 2011 in Potomac, MD.
Instructors will be Joseph Helms MD, et al of Helms Medical Institute, which has approved this activity for
up to 20 CME. Call 510/649.8488 or visitfor details.
As part of AAMA membership, practice members are being offered access to more than 400 journal
articles categorized by disease/health application which promote the efficacy of Acupuncture. Contact
Karyn Scurti ato obtain your unique password to access this information
anytime. Then goand click on "LINKS." MD Clinical Acupuncture Clinical Training course
will be offered Tuesday nights from Sept. 20
through Dec. 20, 2011 at Boston Medical Center, Dept. Family Medicine Clinic, Boston, MA. Sponsor
Boston University School of Medicine has approved this activity for up to 55 AMA Category 1 credits,
depending on level of participation. Call 508/439-2781 or visfor
Please send news items and photos t
AAMA Chapter News
Arizona Chapter meetings are held at 9 am the second Saturday of the month at Dr. Martha Grout’s office,
Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, 9328 E. Raintree Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. For details, call
480/240-2600 or e-mail There are monthly speakers on topics
related to medical acupuncture, as well as Chinese and Functional/Integrative medicine. E-mail Dr. Grout
to get on the e-mail list for meeting announcements. California
Chapter officers are working hard to come up with innovative ideas for CME credits. They are continuing
their membership drive to make the Chapter stronger. Academy members interested in joining the
California Chapter are encouraged to contact President Haleh Sheikholeslami, MD, at Georgia
The Georgia Association of Medical Acupuncturists’ next annual CME event will be held this fall.
GAMA invites everyone to visitto learn more about their organization’s philosophy, mission,
events and much more. Their site includes a “Member” page, which includes contact information for each
GAMA member. For information regarding membership and seminars, contact GAMA President Carlos
Parrado, MD, at Illinois
The goal of President Lorene Wu, MD, DiplAc, and Secretary/Treasurer Anthony DeLorenzo, DO is to
provide education and support to members. They plan to interface more with the wider acupuncture
community by serving on the Illinois Acupuncture Board and by attending meetings of the local
Meetings are held every other month at Memorial Hospital in LaGrange, IL. Maryland
The Maryland Society of Medical Acupuncturists (MSMA) has had a number of dynamic speakers. They
hosted Dr. Darren Starwynn, OMD, on the as well as Drs. Frank Yurasek, PhD, LAc, of China
and Paul McGee, of the Neuro Rearch Group, on the(Interactive Neurostimulation).
Members were excited to hear who is chair, AOM, assistant professor, Tui Na, Medical Qi
Gong, and acting chief clinician, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Clinic, National University of Health
Sciences, Lombard, IL. He has published in the Oriental Medicine Journal and has been a practicing
acupuncturist, herbalist, instructor and clinical supervisor for more than 25 years. His specialty is Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he runs the AT EASE! clinic treating that with acupuncture and other
modalities at the National University of Health Sciences, Lombard, IL.
Members are looking forward to an equally active fall lineup and are planning a weekend workshop with
He is the inventor of th(Microlight: The Science and Business of Energy
Medicine). This device is used to improve mood, health and PTSD.
Joan Ordman, MD, FAAMA, is president of the MSMA. She has set up an inpatient acupuncture service at
the National Naval Medical Center for wounded warriors returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The MSMA offers educational programs and wants to increase participation. Treat yourself to a nice
evening. It is free, and members whose dues are paid receive a nice free meal. The lecture is on the
Chapter. Contact Dr. Ordman atto join MSMA.
An educational event is in the early planning stages. Dr. Yun-Tao Ma is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2011 at the
Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio. More details will follow.
Ohio Chapter members would love to see more active participation of the current membership. Please join
them and invite medical acupuncture colleagues. For more information or questions, contact Liz Woolford,
MD, a New Jersey & Pennsylvania
John Kohler, MD, FAAMA, is the president of the Pennsylvania Chapter. Visit
for details on this chapter. Washington State
“We are encouraging you to instill a little new blood and energy into our Washington State Chapter,” said
J. Kimber Rotchford, MD FAAMA. “Is anyone out there willing to be an officer and take over the reins?
There is a little bit of money in our bank account, and we do need to figure out how best to spend it? You
can best contact me at for an up-to-date listing of AAMA Regional Chapter officers, their contact information, Websites
and members. Think about joining a Chapter to learn more about medical acupuncture specific to your
area. And if there’s not a Chapter in your region, please consider forming one by contacting Jim Dowden,
AAMA executive administrator, hapters provide fellowship,
professional camaraderie, education and curbside consults.
Chapter representatives, please send your news and photos for the AAMA Newsletter via e-mail to
in Jacksonville, NC. The physician will serve as a contract employee
working forto provide healthcare support services to the Navy’s
Psychological Health Care Access Initiative (PHAI) to prevent and reduce the incidence of Combat
Operational Stress Reactions (COSRs). The overall goal is to assist the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
(BUMED) in psychological health and resilience focusing on effective strategies and interventions that
reduce the impact of combat-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury
(mTBI). Compensation/benefits: TMG offers competitive pay and benefits packages, including health
insurance, paid holidays, vacation, and PTO; EAP; 401(k) and College Savings Plan.
Updated guidelines for the conduction of autopsies in cases of suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob-Disease Autopsies of patients suffering from prion diseases are intrinsically hazardous and mandate special precautions to minimize the risk of infection. While prions may be less contagious than many other human pathogens, prion infections are inexorably lethal, and neither effective treatment
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