Fall Newsletter - October 2008

A Look Back
The recent growth spurt of the Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR), highlighted by its exceedingly successful fall 2007 annual conference and the hiring of its first Executive Director, calls for a reflective moment to hearken back (pun intended) to 1991, a watershed year for acupuncture (and what has come to be called CAM) research.  In that year the US Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Iowa senator Tom Harkin, declared itself "not satisfied that the conventional medical community as symbolized at the NIH has fully explored the potential that exists in unconventional medical practices".1  As an action item, the Committee directed the NIH to set up an advisory panel, which created the fledgling Office of Alternative Medicine -- forerunner to the present National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

1991 was also the year that a small group of acupuncture researchers, including Steve Birch, Hannah Bradford and Pat Culliton, met in the NIH office of Don Murphy (who was then responsible for shining light on underserved areas of research).  The Committee, now the "Society" for Acupuncture Research, resulted from that meeting and SAR's first annual conference was held in Rockville, MD in January, 1993.  There were a total of 27 attendees at this first conference.  In comparison, our 2007 event attracted over 300 attendees.  May our look back in the year 2017 reflect as much, if not more, growth, commitment and support for research in AOM.

1. Bull Hist Med (1998) 72(2):279-298.

New Affiliate Dues Structure
This is a reminder that SAR affiliate dues now expire every year in September.  Please visit our website to renew your affiliateship.

SAR White Paper Conference, September 2008

Building upon the momentum of our successful international conference in November 2007, and with the support the National Acupuncture Foundation, the entire SAR Board participated in a two-day workshop/retreat at Georgetown University to develop a White Paper summarizing the current status and future needs of acupuncture research.

The White Paper will focus on important paradoxes emerging from the interfaces between basic science data (showing that acupuncture needling has clear physiological effects), pragmatic clinical trials (showing that acupuncture treatments have clear therapeutic effects) and sham controlled trials (showing lack of convincing relationship between needling and therapeutic outcomes). It also outlines a novel research agenda to resolve these paradoxes and move the field forward.

The productive and stimulating workshop was facilitated by Aviad (Adi) Haramati, PhD--Professor and Director of Education in the Departments of Physiology & Biophysics and Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and a nationally recognized leader in the fields of CAM education and research.  The SAR Board plans to complete the White paper in December 2008, and to submit it for publication to a high profile, peer-reviewed biomedical journal.

In keeping with SAR's mission, the broad goal of the White Paper is to promote, advance and disseminate scientific inquiry into Oriental medicine systems.  Reprints of the White Paper will be actively distributed to appropriate stake holders in the research, health policy and funding communities.

The WP workshop was made possible by the generous support of some of SAR's individual and institutional affiliates.

Interim CEO / Executive Director, Roni Posner
Roni D. Posner, chief executive and operating officer, highly experienced and skilled in quality team management, organizational change/growth strategies, with a performance record in revenue generation and cost containment, has joined SAR as our Interim
CEO / Executive Director.

Over the course of the past 25 years, Roni has brought-to-life the strategic plans, aspirations and intentions, of non-profit membership organizations including WomenHeart (the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease), the Alliance of for Nonprofit Management, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and Financial Women International. Dr. Posner received a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Northeastern University and subsequently earned a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Administration, Planning and Social Policy at Harvard University. Roni will work with the Board to maintain a consistent achievement of our mission and financial objectives and support the development of our organization. Welcome Roni!

Administrative Assistant, Liz Collins
Liz Collins, dynamic and delightful former Administrative Assistant for the Research Department at OCOM, has joined SAR to provide administrative support. Liz received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with Honors from New College, Sarasota, Florida and she is currently enrolled in the Midwifery Certificate Program at Birthingway College of Midwifery, in Portland, Oregon. Liz brings a friendly and compassionate attitude, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, strong organizational skills, impeccable work ethic, creativity, a positive attitude and familiarity with the unique challenges of AOM research. Welcome Liz!

Featured Articles
Tissue stretch decreases soluble TGF-beta1 and type-1 procollagen in mouse subcutaneous connective tissue: evidence from ex vivo and in vivo models.

Bouffard NA, Cutroneo KR, Badger GJ, White SL, Buttolph TR, Ehrlich HP, Stevens-Tuttle D, Langevin HM. J Cell Physiol. 2008 Feb;214(2):389-95.

This article, another in a series of experiments from the lab of Dr. Helene Langevin, investigates possible mechanisms of healing via acupuncture. Current trends in acupuncture research point to the influence of stimulating the connective tissue web or matrix. Earlier experiments from Dr. Langevin have indicated that needling acupuncture points causes 'winding' of connective tissue and has effects on connective tissue fibroblasts similar to those of tissue stretch. In this current experiment, stretching of connective tissue causes a decrease in cytokine (TGF-β1) that can influence the remodeling of connective tissue following injury.  Visit http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17654495?ordinalpos=1&itool=Email.EmailReport.Pubmed_ReportSelector.Pubmed_RVDocSum for the abstract.

Acupuncture in patients with headache.

Jena S, Witt CM, Brinkhaus B, Wegscheider K, Willich SN. Cephalalgia. 2008 Sep;28(9):969-79.

Visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01640.x/abstract for full-text.


Upcoming Research Conferences
*  SAR Board members Vitaly Napadow and Richard Harris will be teaching a workshop in Neuroscience Research and Acupuncture at the AAAOM Spring conference.

*  The SAR Board has submitted a workshop proposal to the North American Research Conference in CAM sponsored by the Consortium of Academic Centers of Integrative Medicine (CACHIM) to be held in Minneapolis, MN next spring. The workshop title "Paradoxes in Acupuncture Research: Strategies for Moving Forward" will present the review of the literature and findings that provide support to the White paper mentioned above.

*  SAR 2010
The University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, academic home of SAR Board member Jongabe Park, has graciously offered to co-sponsor SAR's next International Conference, scheduled for the Spring of 2010 (April, date TBA).

Information and links were accurate at the time the newsletter was published.


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