2021 Conference

SAR's 2021 International Research Conference 
June 14-17, 2021 (virtual event)

Pandemics, Pain, & Public Health: Roles and Relevance of Traditional East Asian Medicine

Sponsored by the University of Michigan Department of Anesthesiology and Program in Integrative Medicine


SAR’s 2021 conference is organized around the theme of Roles and Relevance of Traditional East Asian Medicine as it relates to our current world environment.  To our knowledge, this conference will be the first acupuncture and TEAM research forum focused on the current global viral pandemic.  These unprecedented and complex times necessitate a diverse audience that can inspire innovative thinking and new approaches to this challenge.

While not yet broadly accepted by mainstream healthcare in the U.S., acupuncture and adjunct TEAM modalities have been used to treat viral pandemics in the past, and are gaining in popularity.  Recent data suggests that acupuncture may be effective for COVID-19 and associated symptoms.  Patients experience persistent fatigue and dyspnea which provides opportunity for acupuncture and TEAM to be integrated into recovery processes to reduce symptoms and improve function and quality of life.  Indeed the rise in mental health issues co-occurring with social isolation during COVID-19, can also be treated with TEAM.  Finally, Chinese Herbal Medicine is an additional provocative modality within TEAM gaining recognition as a potential therapy for COVID-19. 

In response, SAR aims to broaden its conference’s usual focus on acupuncture to include Chinese Herbal Medicine, Qigong, and related mind-body research.  During the conference, we will present the current studies, discuss both limitations and opportunities, to improve the rigor of these investigations to strengthen the evidence base.


Workshops will include:

  • Implementing an Implementation Science Study
  • Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0: Using the New Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool with Acupuncture as an Example
  • Self-Care and Empowerment in the Digital World: Combination of eHealth Applications and Acupressure

Symposia presentations will include:

  • Research on Acupuncture and TEAM for COVID-19 and Other Viral Pandemics
    Panel Discussion: “What is the Global TEAM Response to Pandemics?”
  • Acupuncture and the Treatment of Chronic Physical and Emotional Pain
    Panel Discussion: “Can Acupuncture Be Covered by Mainstream Health Care Reimbursement?”
  • Acupuncture Research and Health Care Disparities
  • Panel Discussion: "Health Care Disparities and the Role of Public Policy"          

We also plan to offer opportunities for junior researchers to schedule discussions with senior researchers for individual Q&A about career goals, research studies, grant seeking/writing, or will try to match a senior researcher to whatever questions you may have related to acupuncture research. These blocks of discussion times will be scheduled outside of the main conference program so that you won’t miss any of the workshops or sessions you wish to attend.

Plus, we are planning opportunities for Special Interest Groups and SAR Global Ambassadors to meet for smaller group discussions to match individual interests.

Stay tuned for the full Conference Program!  (Link to the Program-at-a-Glance here.)

Call for Abstracts and Symposia 


The conference will be offered as an all virtual event.  Information will be posted here on the website as available.


SAR is applying for CEUs through California Acupuncture Board and PDA points through NCCAOM.  The number of credits we are requesting for this conference is 13.25.  Details will be posted here as available.


We have some exciting sponsorship opportunities for this conference!  For information about sponsoring the event, contact Laura Triplett at [email protected].


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