Message from the President: New Website, Dry Needling, and Strategic Partnerships
Happy summer, everyone!
Your volunteer board is working hard on your behalf throughout these warm days, and continues to meet regularly. If you would like to join us, please check our Facebook page for meeting event announcements.
Our new website is under construction and the website committee is dedicated to providing you with a helpful site as well as one that will be informative for the public, including a user-friendly searchable list of member acupuncturists.
Please look out for an email this weekend asking you to reset your password for the website. The email will be coming from AAOC@wildapricot.org, but the reply-to email will be firstname.lastname@example.org. Your username will be your email address. The front end of the site will not look different until the back end is complete, so don’t be alarmed that it looks the same. We will send you another email when the new site is live. In the meantime please sign in and update your information when you receive the email this weekend.
I would like to thank everyone who donated and made pledges to our legal fund at our annual conference. Our attorney is continuing to research the best options to address dry needling in Colorado. We appreciate your support in helping us with the attorney fees, which are adding up in spite of his generously providing us with a substantial discount. If you would like to donate, every dollar helps.
On the national level, The American Medical Association adopted a policy regarding dry needling at their recent annual meeting. “Lax regulation and nonexistent standards surround this invasive practice. For patients’ safety, practitioners should meet standards required for licensed acupuncturists and physicians,” AMA Board Member Russell W. H. Kridel, M.D. said in a press release.
The official policy reads: RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association recognize dry needling as an invasive procedure and maintain that dry needling should only be performed by practitioners with standard training and familiarity with routine use of needles in their practice, such as licensed medical physicians and licensed acupuncturists.
Additionally, the American Society of Acupuncture (of which you are a member by virtue of your AAC membership) is working on a statement regarding dry needling that is expected to be released soon. Please watch our Facebook page.
Last month past AAC President and current Director-at-Large Scott Richardson and I met with the Colorado Medical Society to continue finding ways our organizations can support each other. This advantageous relationship began during our efforts to pass our injectables bill and update pharmacy policies so that we could regain the ability to procure injectable substances. (If you missed the announcement—the DORA Director has signed the policy and trained individuals may once again obtain injectable substances from Colorado pharmacies.)
Scott, along with Vice President Mark VanOtterloo, Legislative Chair George Graf and Public Relations Chair Kristin Grayce McGary also met with Charlie Sheffield, executive director of the Colorado Association of Health Plans, to build relationships and work toward greater reimbursement of acupuncture in Colorado. Mr. Sheffield will facilitate further meetings with insurance carriers so we can educate them about how licensed acupuncturists can help with various health concerns.
In both of the aforementioned meetings we also addressed the very current topic of opioid overuse and abuse, and how acupuncture can help with this crisis by treating chronic pain and addiction, which is both concerning to physicians and costly to insurers.
The Acupuncture Society of America in cooperation with NCCAOM and the Acupuncture Now Foundation has issued an information sheet on the benefits of using acupuncture to address America’s painkiller epidemic. You can see the info sheet here:
Lastly, 2016 is an election year, so please see the article below about volunteering for candidates who support acupuncture. Our combined efforts are necessary to successfully represent and further our profession. Thank you for contributing your time and your precious Qi!
Kimberley Benjamin, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
President, AAC Board of Directors
Colorado State Elections: 2016 Voter and Volunteer Guide
The fall 2016 general election is imminent, now is the time to connect and volunteer for state senators and state house representatives.
There are many tight legislative races in Colorado this general election and the AAC is doing all we can for state legislative candidates who advocate for acupuncturists. We are asking you, AAC members, to contact campaigns in your districts and give your time by phone banking, giving a personal money contribution or canvassing neighborhoods. (Please see the table later in this article.) This would be great exposure for us professionally and can really make a difference for these legislative campaigns that operate on shoestring budgets. Representative Pete Lee in House District 18 shared with me that the best contribution a volunteer can make is walking the district and knocking on doors.
An election is not the best time to bend our candidates’ ears about the issues we are facing. Our best approach is to introduce ourselves as acupuncturists who are supporting them, expressing an interest in learning more about their platform. They will remember us and our efforts when they are in office, and be more open to hearing from us when they are in a position to help.
Though we have had bipartisan support for certain legislative bills, the AAC generally supports the Democratic candidates as historically they have overwhelmingly been the proponents of issues surrounding the acupuncture profession.
Below are the candidates in key races that you can contact. To determine what is your senate and house district go towww.ballotpedia.org.
Senate District 19 features a candidate rematch in a closely divided district. Incumbent state Sen. Laura Woods (R) is running for re-election. She faces former state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger (D) in November. Rachel Zenzinger is a proponent of acupuncture. The AAC supports Rachel Zenzinger. You can contact Rachel at 7725 Marshall St., Arvada, CO 80003, (303) 748-0770, RachelforColorado@Gmail.com, http://www.rachelforcolorado.com/
Senate District 25 features an open seat in a swing district. Incumbent state Sen. Mary Hodge (D) is not running for re-election due to term limits. Former state Rep. Kevin Priola (R) faces former state Rep. Jenise May (D) in November. Denise has served on the Finance Committee and Public Health Care and Human Services. The AAC supports Jenise May and she can be contacted going to http://jenisemay.com
State House District 30 the Republican incumbent is running for re-election in a swing district. Incumbent state Rep. JoAnn Windholz (R) is running for re-election. She faces Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D) in November. In 2014, Windholz narrowly defeated Jenise May (D), the former incumbent, by a margin of 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent.
According to the Colorado Independent, the district is one of two races that could determine which party controls the state House (District 31 is the other notable race)
The AAC supports Dafna Michaelson Jenet. Dafna can be contacted going to http://dafnaforcolorado.com
State House District 31 The Democratic incumbent is running for re-election in a swing district.
Incumbent state Rep. Joe Salazar (D) is running for re-election. He faces Jessica Sandgren (R) in November In 2014, Salazar narrowly defeated his Republican opponent by a margin of 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.
The AAC supports Joe Salazar and Joe can be contacted going to http://www.salazarforhd31.com/
Other races are not as tight but they still need our help, below is the list of retiring incumbents with seats up for grabs:
Senate Partisan Breakdown: Democratic Party (17) Republican Party (18)
Incumbent state senators that are NOT running for re-election in 2016. Those incumbents are:
|Incumbent not running
||AAC General Election Candidate
||Senate District 4
||Senate District 18
||Senate District 21
||Senate District 26
||Senate District 29
||Senate District 31
||Senate District 33
Colorado House of Representatives elections, 2016
House Partisan Breakdown: Democratic Party (34) Republican Party (31)
Incumbent representatives that are NOT running for re-election in 2016. Those incumbents are:
|Incumbent not running
||AAC General Election Candidate
||House District 3
||House District 8
||House District 23
||Christopher Louis Kennedy
||House District 32
||House District 33
||House District 36
||House District 38
||House District 42
||House District 51
||House District 56
||House District 62
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your time and efforts.
George Graf, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Legislative Committee Chair
Kiiko Matsumoto at the 34th Annual AAC Conference
We are so excited that Kiiko Matsumoto will be joining us for our
34th annual conference, which will be held April 22-23, 2017, once again at the beautiful Marriott Westminster.
Kiiko Matsumoto is the founder of Kiiko Style of Acupuncture and is considered to be a “living Master of Acupuncture”. She is well known for her ability to integrate the work of some of the most famous Japanese masters into
her practice for the last three decades. Her style of acupuncture focuses on treating the root cause with emphasis on the entire body rather than a single symptom. As a result, patients find Kiiko’s treatments to be effective and long lasting.
Her dedication to researching and understanding the Chinese medical classics makes her one of the foremost authorities on the subject of acupuncture. Kiiko’s passion for sharing her research makes her a popular and sought after teacher. Her students find her seminars to be practical, fun and dynamic.
Conference attendees were so pleased with this year’s presenter, Lonny Jarrett, that we are bringing him back April 28-29, 2018. Mark your calendars!
Stephanie Shober, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Conference Committee Chair
Your Free Summer Issue of the Meridians Journal is Ready for Download!
The summer issue, v. 3 no. 3, of Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is now online! This and all issues of the peer-reviewed, Medline compliant journal are available free to you as a valuable benefit of being an AAC member. To access your download just click on “Register” to create a new account at their website and self-certify that you are a member of a State Association. You will be able to place an “order” for the zero-cost PDF downloads. You do not have to do this for each issue, just the first time. After initially registering, all you have to do is log in when a new issue is uploaded.
If you have any questions about access to the online issues, please feel free to contact the webmaster, Brian Smither, email@example.com. He will be happy to assist you so you can read this issue and all issues of Meridians JAOM.
Clinical Pearls Call for Submissions
Topic for our Fall 2016 Issue: How Do You Treat Cuts, Abrasions and Local Infections in Your Clinic?
Practitioner, please submit your short (approx. 500 words) Clinical Pearl on this topic by or before August 1, 2016.
View the Submission Details at the MJAOM website and submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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