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Acupuncture Today – June, 2016, Vol. 17, Issue 06

Time for World-Wide Growth

By Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large

Acupuncture is the organically growing around the world.  The legislative body in Quatar has said acupuncture is "okay." The United States has five states to go to have every state recognized and regulated. If multiple groups were working on these states, it would create more power and strength.

Medical Acupuncture

A very special event was recently held in Anaheim, Calif., as members of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) held their 28th Annual Symposium over April 7th through 10th. Among the many highlights was The Founder's Lecture video by Joseph M. Helms, MD, explaining the activities of the Nellis Project. David Miller MD, LAc spoke on the "Integrative Theory of the Five Phases." Great Britain was represented by David Carr, MBBS, DipMedAc, who accepted a research paper award on behalf of the Independent Acupuncture Practitioners of the U.K.

Sam Collins of HJ Ross Insurance Seminars brought a group of rapt attendees up to date on which Insurance companies, and the Affordable Health Care Act, were the most likely to pay for acupuncture treatments. His workshop focused on how to understand the complex coding systems of each entity when submitting insurance reimbursement forms. It was evident that medical acupuncturists actively seek information in this field.

Other experts in their fields led discussions about advancing the cohesion of traditional Western medicine with acupuncture, including laser treatments. President of AAMA, Thomas Burgoon, MD, DABMA, noted that all the presenters brought new and valuable information to the Symposium. For those attending, as well as any others who are interested, both audio mp3 and video mp4 files are available online at the organization website.

Each year, members of the AAMA submit posters illuminating their research. This year, a total of nine unique abstracts had been accepted for display by the committee. Having been previously judged by a review committee, three winners were announced and celebrated during the reception. Four winners shared the First Place cash prize of $500 for their research on "Battlefield Acupuncture and Traditional Acupuncture: Treatment Options for Pain in the Pediatric Emergency Department." The title perhaps a nod to Dr. Joseph Helms military mission, as explained in "The Nellis Project." Second Place was awarded for "Acupuncture Case Study: Recovery from Vegetative State and Stroke." Third place winner was for a subject of intense public interest: "Acupuncture for Recovery from Pediatric Sports-Related Injuries."

These special winners, and many other specialists like them, work in hospitals and they were congratulated for their research efforts on behalf of all practitioners. The takeaway for symposium attendees was the health care scene has changed, and changed dramatically. Even now, many patients have come to expect an acupuncturist to be an integral part of their health care and prevention team, in or out of hospital. In private practice, insurance companies are reimbursing claims whenever acupuncture treatment is well documented and properly coded.

The AAMA 28th Annual Symposium was impressive in the credentials and expertise of the presenters, the enthusiasm for reviewing new clinical concepts, and especially the efforts of the AAMA to offer its members the leadership necessary to expand their place in the new health care reality. The 2017 AAMA Symposium will be in Pittsburgh from April 6-9. For more information, visit

Developing a Relationship

Why should the licensed acupuncturists want to talk and share with the AAMA and develop a professional relationship? Here are just a few reasons:

  1. They have a smooth running association with a paid, well qualified and organized Executive Director.
  2. The organization and its members have knowledge to share.
  3. Their members produce research and share it with others from around the world.
  4. They have valuable political contacts.
  5. The membership has the knowledge, vocabulary and examples useful to share.
  6. They are already most familiar with the hospital systems around the world.

A must watch for acupuncturists is the YouTube video by Dr. Leslie Smith. She has taken the subject of acupuncture and has created some outstanding explanations for and about acupuncture. She explains and uses examples for clarification for other medical providers. You can listen by going to her website,

Dr. David Miller is currently serving as the president of the American Society of Acupuncturists. He has been working approximately half of his time on helping the president's of the state acupuncture associations to collaborate and work together for the advancement of the profession. Both of these doctors, along with other doctors around the world, are open and interested in collaborating with licensed acupuncturists to share this medicine around the world.

Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.

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