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The Colorado Acupuncturist – July 2017

14 Jul 2017 11:27 AM | Victoria Howlett (Administrator)

Dry Needling Update & Other AAC News

Message from the President: Dry Needling,
PT Board Review, Injection Therapy

Dear members, friends and supporters:

On behalf of your board of directors, we are thankful for your support as we continue to advocate as your voice to protect our right to practice Chinese Medicine in the state of Colorado. We continue to inform the public and policy makers on an accurate and unified voice for the practice of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as complementary medicines grow. We are very thankful for your membership as we are aware that our profession in Colorado can only be as strong as our members. Please spread the word to your fellow acupuncturists and supporters to join. Your Acupuncture Association of Colorado is only as strong as our numbers of members and the donations that we receive from you.


Dry Needling
I have good news for you all– the judge denied CCAPTA's motion to intervene in our legal challenge to the Physical Therapy Board’s regulation allowing dry needling! This was the second positive ruling in our favor so far, following our first win that came when the judge denied the State Physical Therapy Board’s motion to dismiss our case. The case is proceeding and we appreciate those of you who have helped support the case through your donations. (Please see the special thank you further down in this newsletter.) We appreciate your continued support as this case progresses and further legal expenses are incurred.


Physical Therapy Sunset Review
As you may be aware, DORA has begun a sunset review of physical therapy. (For those who are not aware, a sunset review is an evaluation of a program or agency by its regulating body. It allows the regulating body to assess the effectiveness and performance of the program or agency and determine the need for its continued existence.) We are working to provide information as a part of this review relating to injuries that have occurred as a result of dry needling since we believe it is important that DORA has an accurate view of patient injury reports. If you are aware of injuries related to dry needling please let us know. Also, if you were not aware, DORA has an online form (below) for reporting any practitioner complaints.

DORA Report a Complaint

Procuring Substances for Injection Therapy
We continue to work on obtaining the right to procure injectables following the passage of our injectables bill last year. The process has been long and intricate, involving several stakeholders and many meetings. This June we participated in a preliminary meeting with the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) Scope of Practice Subcommittee in order to further solidify our ability to procure injectable substances. We will continue to work with the CMS subcommittee to discuss with them the language that will provide more access for Colorado acupuncturists from FDA regulated outlets. We will continue to keep you apprised of our progress on this subject. Please “Like” the Acupuncture Association of Colorado’s Facebook page, click on “Follow” and turn on notifications by hovering over the “Following” button until a drop down menu appears and select Notifications “All On”.

As always, thank you for your membership and continued support.

Mark VanOtterloo, DAOM, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
President, AAC Board of Directors
(970) 214-6683

Conference Report: Important Changes for 2018!

This year’s 34thAnnual AAC conference with Kiiko Matsumoto was a big success with 137 attendees and 18 exhibitors. Post conference evaluations showed attendees were overall happy with the venue and food again this year. Some people had a hard time understanding Kiiko’s accent. We also experienced problems with the skills of the hotel’s camera crew who were projecting Kiiko’s demonstrations onto large screens. We are always doing our best to provide a quality experience for our attendees and continue to learn how to improve from year to year.

The plan for 2018 has changed, and we ask you all make note of this in your calendars. Due to scheduling conflicts at the Marriott, our conference will be held there on April 21st-22nd, 2018, not the following weekend as previously planned. Lonny Jarrett is not able to join us for the new 2018 dates as they fall on his 60th birthday. The good news for Lonny Jarrett fans is that we have booked Lonny for 2019. The conference will remain at the Marriott Westminster and be held April 13th-14th, 2019.

We are excited to announce that our presenter for 2018 will be Jeff Nagel, MA, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. Jeff is trained in the 8 Branches of Chinese Daoist Healing Arts, Medicine, Internal Martial Arts and Life Sciences. He is an experienced long-time practitioner, well-seasoned generous teacher-researcher of Acupuncture-Oriental Medicine and a Qigong cultivator and healer. Jeff has studied extensively with several well-known masters and doctors including Daoist Grand Master Share K. Lew, the 23rd generation of the Yellow Dragon Monastery, China. He is designated as a practitioner and teacher by the AAAOM Pioneers & Leaders in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine acknowledging his contributions to the field.

He has taught at a number of state, national and international conferences. Jeff lives in San Diego, California, where he has a private practice and is the director of and a teacher with the Golden Dragon Health Association offering classes in Classical Chinese Medicine Daoist Style and Qigong around the U.S. and abroad. We expect that his seminar will be outstanding on every level, and look forward to having you join us.

In closing, I have greatly enjoyed my time volunteering for you as Conference Chair for the past four years. It has been my goal to add as much organization as possible to our conference planning so as to offer the best possible venue, education, socializing and networking experiences for you and to help move our medicine forward in Colorado. This year I have taken the position of Treasurer and am passing the baton to Erika Schultz. Please join me in welcoming her.

Kind regards,

Stephanie Shober, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Outgoing Conference Chair / Treasurer
AAC Board of Directors

(303) 471-9355


Meet the New Additions to the
AAC Board of Directors

Your AAC Board of Directors does the important work of keeping the organization running and working for all acupuncturists across the state. Board members are volunteers who must be current AAC members, are elected by the membership at our annual conference and serve for a term of three years. The board meets twice per quarter and alternates meetings between Denver and Boulder. A complete listing of our current board is listed on the Board of Directors page of the AAC website.

We are pleased to Introduce the new board members elected in April:

New Vice President, Liz Spetnagel, DAOM, LAc., is the lead acupuncturist for Centura Health Integrative Medicine. In addition to treating patients, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Family Medicine Clinic/Residency program at St. Anthony North Health Campus. Liz also practices at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood as part of the CHPG Breast Center. Liz is focused on expanding acupuncture accessibility for Centura patients, both inpatient and outpatient. Personal goals include creating opportunities for fellow East Asian Medicine practitioners as well as bringing options to mainstream medicine to address the crisis around pain management and opioid addiction. Liz hopes to utilize her skills and position in helping the AAC work towards legislation that would make acupuncture a covered benefit under Medicaid and Medicare.

New Secretary and Membership Chair Linda Machol, MSTOM, L.Ac., had a yoga and meditation background before becoming certified in Integrative Sports Medicine and pain management from Five Branches University. She also trained in China. Her other specialties include Skin Care and treating Infertility. She has two offices, one in Cherry Creek and one in DTC. Linda is an advocate for educating patients and western doctors to help them understand the very important role Asian Medicine and acupuncture can play in our healthcare model today. She believes this education must include that Asian Medicine addresses the whole body concurrently, treating both root and branch and including nutritional/dietary changes along with a blend western modalities for lasting results. Linda is very excited to be a part of realizing the AAC’s vision for Colorado.

New Conference Chair is Erika Schultz, LAc, ACN is passionate about helping people become empowered in their health through nutritional and acupuncture healing. She owns and operates two practices: Paramount Wellness in Denver, CO, and Lakeland Acupuncturist in Pinckney, MI. In Denver as the only advanced trained practitioner in a customized nutritional therapy called Nutrition Response Testing she specializes in identifying and addressing root causes of un-resolving chronic health conditions. In Pinckney, MI, her objective alongside two other associate acupuncturists is to make an impact on the increasing reliance on opioid medications by providing private and community style acupuncture treatments to the community. As Conference Chair, Erika hopes to increase knowledge, advocacy and comradery amongst acupuncturists in the state of Colorado.

New Public Relations Chair Erika Fayina Marie, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist in Colorado and Oregon, an Integrative Medicine Consultant, and a Traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master. At her Chiyu Center in Longmont she specializes in reversing auto-immunity and complex disease and restoring health of both adults and children. In patient care, Erika draws upon her training in Classical Chinese Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tan-style Acupuncture, Kiiko Matsumoto Acupuncture, Five-Element Acupuncture, Naturopathic Iris Evaluation, Shonishin and more. She also holds certification in Constitutional Facial Acupuncture. Prior to her medical career, Erika graduated the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Engineering Psychology in 2002. During this time, she designed, analyzed, and conducted multiple randomized-controlled trials. Erika is excited to spearhead important integrative medicine initiatives and promote the safety and proper regulation of acupuncture as a time-honored and effective medicine. 

New Board Member Sandi Lyman, Dipl. Ac., L.Ac. is the owner of MAI Acupuncture Clinic in Buena Vista, Colorado. Working in a rural area brings everything through the door: from 4th generation ranchers to couples looking to start a family. Specializing in digestive troubles, hormone balance, and pain management, Sandi loves helping the people of the High Rocky Mountain Region feel their best. Before studying acupuncture, Sandi worked for over 10 years in healthcare policy as a consumer advocate and communications specialist. She looks forward to using these skills to help the AAC to increase public interest and insurance coverage for acupuncture.

New Student Representative Cherron Dow-Chacon is a student in her last year at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver. She eagerly awaits her graduation in the spring when she hopes to begin her work bringing this amazing medicine to women of all social and economic classes. Cherron received her BS in Physiology from the University of Arizona and has a unique background in western science and patient care. She joined the board as the second student member this year to assist the other wonderful student member, Brittany Chowning, and because she believes in the work the AAC is doing and thinks more students should get involved!


A Special Thank you to Our Donors

The AAC is grateful to every single person who has donated time, effort and money to support our Legal Fund. Our endeavors to protect and further the safe and legal practice of acupuncture in Colorado would not be possible without all of us coming together and contributing however we can. We would like to recognize here a special group of donors who have generously supported us this year with Gold and Platinum donations. Every effort was made to contact donors for permission to use their names, so please forgive us if we somehow missed you.

 Platinum donors  $500+

Michael Lay - Uptown Acupuncture, Denver
Anonymous Donor – CSTCM, Denver
Anonymous Donor – Minneapolis, MN

Gold Donors $250+

Allison Suddard Briggs  - Performance Acupuncture, Evergreen
Andrew Maloney - Jade Mountain Health, Boulder
Carol LeCroy - Acupuncture Plus, Denver
Dayna Larson - Traditional Chinese Medical Clinic, Fort Collins
Karen Marks - Alpenglow Acupuncture, Wheat Ridge
Patty Polman - Jing Japanese Acupuncture, Denver

3­­ Anonymous Donors – Boulder
3 Anonymous Donors – Denver
Anonymous Donor – Broomfield
Anonymous Donor – Cedaredge
Anonymous Donor – Conifer
Anonymous Donor – Colorado Springs
Anonymous Donor – Littleton
Anonymous Donor – SWAC, Boulder

Big thanks also go out to the following members of the AAC Board of Directors who donated not only dollars, but also many hours of their time in calling acupuncturists across the state asking for support of the AAC and our Legal Fund:

Kimberley Benjamin, Brittney Chowning, Mark Costello, George Graf, Kristen Grayce McGary, Yvonne Piper, Scott Richardson, Robin Schiesser, Stephanie Shober, Mark VanOtterloo

Donate Now


The Summer Issue of Meridians Journal is Ready for Members!

The summer issue, v. 4 no.3, of Meridians: The Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is now available for AAC members to read on our website! Digital issues of this peer-reviewed, Medline compliant journal are available free to you as a valuable benefit of being an AAC member. Log in to read the Summer issue. (After logging in, scroll down under the Acupuncturists tab to Members, then select Meridians Journal at the bottom of the menu at right.) Having trouble logging in? Contact Charissa at info@acucol.com or (303) 572-8744.

Meridians Journal Clinical Pearls Call for Submissions

Topic for the Winter 2018 Issue: How do you treat complex regional pain syndrome in your clinic?

Practitioners:  Please submit your short (approx. 500 words) Clinical Pearl on this topic by or before Nov 1, 2017. See the Meridians Journal website for details.


AAC Membership

There are options to becoming a member of the AAC. You can make a once yearly payment or use our automatic monthly payment option. Join us now!

Become a Member

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Charissa Haines at the AAC Office at (303) 572-8744 
or email at

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