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The Colorado Acupuncturist Newsletter - April 15, 2018

11 Apr 2018 2:02 PM | Victoria Howlett (Administrator)

Message from the President

Dear Acupuncture Advocates,

Dry Needling: As I write this the proposed Physical Therapy Practice Act renewal bill (HB18-1155) bill is still in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and we await their vote on Thursday. We will continue to update you on the bill’s progression and interpretation.

As we previously informed you, with barely 24 hours’ notice, the PT Board added an amendment to HB18-1155 in the House HHS Committee to add “dry needling” to their scope of practice. The move makes clear that they are concerned about our legal challenge to Rule 211, which is before the Colorado Court of Appeals, and are attempting an end run around the judicial process. The bill passed the House, but we managed to have 14 people testify to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee to help educate them on the public safety dangers of a physical therapist, with no formal training in the use of acupuncture needles, starting a weekend course on Friday and by Monday beginning to insert acupuncture needles as deep as 6 inches into patients who have no understanding of the risks of such limited training. This issue and the legislative process are incredibly complex, and timing is often unpredictable.  As the bill continues to make its way through the legislature our lobbyist is doing his best to impress upon legislators the importance of protecting the public.

We have let the legislature know that at least 34 patients—including at least three patients in Colorado—have suffered serious adverse events caused by physical therapists performing dry needling. We continue to hear reports of injured patients in Colorado from both our change.org petition and social media. The injuries that are citable are shared with the National Center for Acupuncture Safety and Integrity (NCASI) so that injury reports are tracked. The three cited injuries on NCASI’s website for Colorado are: (www.acupuncturesafety.org)

  • Case 1. In November 2013, 17-year-old professional freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace suffered a penetrating right lung injury caused by a physical therapist performing dry needling. The penetrating right lung injury resulted in a traumatic pneumothorax (an accumulation of air in the pleural cavity resulting from blunt or penetrating chest injury and causing lung collapse). He was treated for the traumatic pneumothorax at the emergency department of the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, Colorado, and was admitted to that hospital on the same day. The traumatic pneumothorax required medical and surgical intervention. He was hospitalized for five days.
  • Case 2. In April 2015, 36-year-old senior recruiter Amanda Hilton suffered a penetrating left lung injury caused by a physical therapist performing dry needling. The penetrating left lung injury resulted in a traumatic pneumothorax. She was treated for the traumatic pneumothorax at the emergency department of the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, Colorado, and was admitted to that hospital on the same day. The traumatic pneumothorax required medical and surgical intervention. She was hospitalized for three days.
  • Case 3. In June 2015, 41-year-old clinical social worker Lisa Kerscher suffered a penetrating lung injury caused by a physical therapist performing dry needling. The penetrating lung injury resulted in a traumatic pneumothorax. She was treated for the traumatic pneumothorax at the emergency department of the Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. The traumatic pneumothorax required medical intervention.

Also, if you come across someone who has been injured by dry needling it is important to have them record a complaint to DORA through their website. They cannot call DORA nor can they send them an email. The complaint forms for DORA are found here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/DPO_File_Complaint

Finally, please remember that dry needling is acupuncture in which an acupuncture point (a specific muscle or connective tissue site) that has become exquisitely tender, commonly known in the West as a trigger point, is punctured with an acupuncture needle (a fine needle of up to six inches in length) to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease or other conditions, especially musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders, including musculoskeletal pain. The American Medical Association (AMA) states, “Dry needling is indistinguishable from acupuncture.” For your fellow Coloradan’s safety please remember how to describe what dry needling is to your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and patients. A weekend course of training in an invasive procedure is inadequate and represents a significant public safety concern that we have shared with the Colorado judicial and legislative branches.

Procuring Substances for Injection Therapy: We have continued to meet with our new director at DORA about making the necessary rules to allow acupuncturists to procure appropriate injectables. According to federal law many injectables considered compounded require a patient-specific prescription, and this is still hindering our ability to procure substances. We have continued to research if we will need to pass a bill to get prescriptive authority just for these substances. The lobbyist from the Colorado Medical Society will be arranging a meeting so that we may discuss with CMS how we can obtain the necessary prescriptive authority for the listed injectables. Our legislative committee will continue researching a possible bill giving us prescriptive authority with the goal of resolving our issues in procuring substances for injection therapy. We will continue to keep you apprised of our progress on this subject.

American Society of Acupuncturists: AAC Immediate Past President, Kimberley Benjamin, and I represented the AAC membership at the annual ASA meeting last month in Denver, Colorado. The meeting was very productive and we were able to collaborate with and learn from other state trade associations and national entities. For a full overview of the weekend’s events please visit https://goo.gl/EpsCVk.

The meeting was attended by 27 state associations represented by 41 delegates, as well as representatives from CCAOM, NCCAOM, AAPAS, and DVCIPM.  We had Skype/Zoom Meeting addresses by ANF and ACAOM, including a screening of the first segment of “Getting to the Point”– a new film by film maker Doug Dearth via the Acupuncture Now Foundation. Marilyn Allen and the American Acupuncture Council also sponsored a lunch program presenting information on ICD 11, which will include Traditional Medicine codes, and opened discussion for the potential for course development in orthopedic acupuncture. NCCAOM also presented a lunch program answering stakeholder questions. Our evening gathering was generously sponsored by Modern Acupuncture, and we had a valuable breakfast program sponsored by CM&F insurance looking at malpractice coverage options for the industry. We thank our general supporters as well, including Golden Flower Chinese Herbs, AcuClaims, Lhasa OMS, and Legendary Herbs. With help from these very generous sponsors, we completed a dense and meaningful agenda with fine spirit and strengthened collegial bonds. We are thrilled as well to announce that next year’s 4th annual ASA Council Congress will occur in conjunction with our first profession-wide national meeting in Washington, D.C.! Please keep your eyes open for more information (coming soon) on this industry-wide conference: “The State of Our Union: American Acupuncturists in U.S. Healthcare”. This will be a phenomenal event which will bring our industry into the national arena.

I hope to see you all at the conference April 21st - 22nd. As your industry trade association run by an all-volunteer board of directors, the AAC uses membership dues and conference income to maintain our efforts on your behalf, and we greatly need and appreciate your involvement and support. “Like” the Acupuncture Association of Colorado’s Facebook page for continued updates from the association and interesting news in the field of acupuncture.

Mark VanOtterloo DAOM
President, AAC Board of Directors
(720) 295-9323


Tuesday April 17th is the Last Day to Register for the 35th Annual AAC Conference!

Dear Colorado Acupuncturists:

The AAC volunteer Board of Directors has been working hard on behalf of Colorado Acupuncturists to educate legislators about the risks involved with Physical Therapists being able to perform acupuncture after attending a weekend course. We are making progress but WE NEED YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT.

Here are FIVE REASONS you should attend the conference April 21st - 22nd this year: 

1. Fundraising - The annual AAC Conference is our largest fundraising event for the year. The AAC is run by a group of volunteer Board Members who donate their time to further the profession of acupuncture in Colorado. We cannot do this without your support. Please consider contributing to this mission by attending the conference this year while obtaining 14 NCCAOM approved and CA (pending) CEU's.

2. Networking - this year we are inviting ALL Colorado Acupuncturists (members and non-members) to attend our Membership Mixer sponsored by Blue Poppy and KPC Products. Even if you are unable to attend the conference, please consider attending the Membership Mixer Saturday 4/21 starting at 6:30! This is a great way to network with other acupuncturists and chat with AAC Board Members. We only ask that you make a $10 donation to the AAC organization if you are a non-member. If you sign up for membership that evening the fee for the event will be waived. All mixer attendees receive two drink tickets for beer, wine, soda or bottled water, and there will be live music to enjoy!

3. AAC Annual Meeting - All Members of the AAC are welcome to attend the annual meeting on Saturday 4/21 from 12:30pm - 2pm. An update on our legislative efforts around Dry Needling will be included, and we have proposed By-laws changes to vote on (stay tuned for an email soon to come). Complimentary lunch will be provided to conference attendees. All others will be charged $25 if you would like to have lunch. Payment can be made at the registration table, but if you are not registering for the conference and would like to attend the meeting (with our without lunch) please notify me at Conference@acucol.com or (720) 460-0766 by Monday, April 16th.

4. Silent Auction - this will be the largest AAC Silent Auction to date. We have incredible donations this year including trips, sports memorabilia, artwork, acupuncture supplies, CEUs and more. Take advantage of these incredible donations from our conference sponsors by bidding on these items and donating to the AAC! (See more info below.)

5. Jeff Nagel, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (last but by no means least!) - People rave about his presentations and unique style of acupuncture, and he was one of our most highly requested presenters. Jeff's innovative approach to training and healing will make this event unlike any other you have you attended before.

DON'T MISS THIS EVENT! We have a fantastic venue and event planned and we want to see as many Colorado Acupuncturists come together as possible this year!

Registration closes Tuesday, April 17th for this event on April 21st and 22nd, 2018 at the Westminster Marriott.

Jeff Nagel, MA, LAc, Dipl Ac. Jeff is trained in the 8 Branches of Chinese Daoist Healing Arts, Medicine, Internal Martial Arts & Life Sciences and is an experienced long-time practitioner.

His two-day seminar is entitled Healing Stress, Anxiety, Depression & Pain - Precursors to Disease in Your Practice & in Your Life (Classical Chinese Medicine Daoist Style Special Applications of Master Tung's Holographic).  14 NCCAOM PDA / California CEUs pending.

More about the Course:

Classical Chinese Medicine traditions raise the question: What causes and promotes health and vitality and not just dis-ease? Some of the most effective answers and solutions to this question will be covered in this class:

“7 parts patient lifestyle adjustment + 3 parts doctor’s treatment”

Teachings include:

·         How to cultivate Relax & Calm Down Qigong Breathing & Taiji Ruler Heart Calming Qigong for patients and practitioners.

·         Learn simple & effective methods of Acu-Touch Pulse for diagnosis & treatment.

·         Learn how to use internal-external herbal polarity-5 phase nutrition.

·         Learn practical clinical applications to diagnose and treat stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and pain before dis-ease sets in using Master Tung's Acupuncture and the 5 Phase Organ-Meridians and 12 Attitudes Method.

·         Learn how to harmonize the emotions with Temporal Pulse Balancing, the “10 Essentials of Life” & Geopathic Medicine for stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and pain.

These methods are practical and highly effective and can be implemented immediately in practice. The class will be taught through a combination of lecture, hands-on experience, and question and answer opportunities. Bring your most difficult case studies to class for group feedback and applied practical clinical applications.

Read more about Jeff, the conference and register here.

We are so excited for this conference, which will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with peers, get energized and learn amazing things. 
Register with a friend now and take advantage of buy one, get one half off discounts. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Kind regards,
Erika Schultz, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, ACN
Conference Chair, AAC Board of Directors
(720) 460-0766


Our Most Exciting Conference
Silent Auction Ever!

The AAC's 2018 Silent Auction offers you an array of items to boost your practice as well as your fun time. Are you planning a vacation? Be prepared to be wowed with local, national and international trips, and the best news is you get a great discount and at least 30% of the proceeds go to our Legal Fund! Are you a Colorado Sports Enthusiast? We have Autographed Sports Memorabilia available for you, too! Enjoy CEUs and certifications! Do you want to get your holiday gift shopping started? We have gift cards, handmade items and much, much more to choose from.  

Can't attend the full Conference this year? That’s ok! Join us at the Membership Mixer Saturday night starting at 6:30 to check out and bid on the Silent Auction items. If you cannot attend the mixer, but still would like to participate, you can request a list of the items via email at omwellnessllc@gmail.com, send bids to the same address and a volunteer will be in touch as the weekend bidding continues.

Yvonne Piper, DOM (NM), L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Conference Committee
(720) 387-9522


Activity Report 2018

This past year has once again been an incredibly busy one for your volunteer AAC board. We do our best to keep you up-to-date with our quarterly email newsletters. If you are a member and are not receiving our emails, please contact Office Manager Charissa Haines at info@acucol.com or call (303) 572-8744. If you have missed previous newsletters they are archived in the News/Classes tab of Acucol.com. As Mark mentioned above, many announcements, updates and interesting information are posted more rapidly on the Facebook page, so please “Like” the Acupuncture Association of Colorado’s Facebook page, click “Follow” (next to the “Like” button) and turn on notifications by hovering over the Following button until a drop-down menu appears and select “Notifications - On (Highlight Posts)”.

AAC board meetings: This year your volunteer board alternated 7 meetings between Denver and Boulder in addition to a few call-in meetings on timely actions. We have had board members from Fort Collins and as far afield as Colorado Springs and Buena Vista. Those who are not within driving distance may call in for the meetings which occur every 6-8 weeks. Please consider contributing to your profession by running for a board position as your help is needed! Last fall we were able to hold the first weekend board retreat in many years to train new board members, perform a S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) Analysis, set one- and five-year goals and refine our Mission: To advance the profession of Acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine as an integral component of health care in Colorado. All AAC members are welcome to attend board meetings to witness and participate in the process of running the organization and working for our profession. Watch the AAC Facebook page for board meeting announcements and be sure to RSVP to hold your spot at the table.

Goals: While still dealing with paramount judicial and legislative issues, we are working hard on one of our most important one-year goals: to increase professional membership to 500 from 246 through outreach of the Membership, Conference, Fundraising, and PR committees. A robust membership is the only way our voices can be heard by policy makers and we can educate the public in a meaningful way. Five-year goals include having 50% of licensed acupuncturists in Colorado as professional members, hiring an Executive Director, Mandatory Insurance coverage - Medicare/Medicaid, and inclusion in CDC Pain Guidelines.

Website update: We continue to make improvements and additions in an effort to make our new website as user-friendly and educational a resource as possible for acupuncturists and prospective patients. If you haven’t done so, please log on to Acucol.com to check the status of your public profile, which is available under the “Find an Acupuncturist” tab as a way for patients to find you. New features include a Member Area that is only visible to logged-in members. This area has exclusive information such as any judicial efforts, member benefits, job postings, free access to read the peer-reviewed Meridians Journal of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and an an AAC newsletter archive that goes back to 2009. If you are having trouble logging in or have suggestions on how we can make the site better, please contact our Office Manager Charissa Haines at info@acucol.com or (303) 572-8744. She continues to help us keep things running as smoothly as we can. Please stop by the sign-in table to thank her. In an effort to conserve resources, Charissa will be emailing your PDA certificates this year. Thanks again for your membership and involvement, which are very important and mu

ch appreciated!

Linda Machol, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac.
Secretary & Membership Chair, AAC Board of Directors
(720) 299-8278





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