Call for Abstracts & Symposia

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

Virtual Conference: June 14-16, 2021

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

Given the rise of the recent viral pandemic in the months following SAR’s 2019 conference, changes in health care and research have increased the complexity of acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine research. This has stimulated a need for a new evidence-based inquiry in our field.


Pandemics: Health care has changed dramatically since the emergence of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The field of Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) is changing as well. As such, we will devote a major theme of our conference to the impact that TEAM has on various levels of the pandemic in different countries. One research panel symposium will focus on the role that herbal medicines, as well as acupuncture research, has in treating symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, fatigue, and respiratory distress. TEAM also has the potential to address other issues of this pandemic such as its impact on mental health during social isolation and trauma of health care providers on the front line of patient care. In the emerging context of social isolation during this pandemic, we will also explore the role of self-care options such as self-acupressure and virtual health interventions. These avenues of health care can be taught remotely and do not require a clinician to interact with patients in person. During our conference we will also have a special panel composed of pandemic experts, clinicians, and health care providers from other countries affected by COVID-19, to discuss the prior and ongoing role of TEAM in this viral outbreak.

Pain: A second highly relevant clinical issue for TEAM therapies is the prevalence and poor treatment of chronic pain which has contributed greatly to the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S. approximately 1 in 5 individuals suffers from some type of chronic pain condition. We will bring experts in the field of TEAM treatment of chronic pain to discuss findings from pragmatic clinical trials supporting the use of acupuncture to reduce pain as well as the ability of TEAM to reduce the dependence on harmful medications such as opioids. Data will also be presented from speakers about different pain mechanisms and their treatment via acupuncture and other non-pharmacological TEAM approaches.

Policy Related to Disparity in Health Care: The third theme of our 2021 conference will touch upon the role of policy in TEAM, and specifically its impact on those that are underserved and minorities. We also seek to explore reimbursement of acupuncture treatment for chronic low back pain by Medicare and Medicaid as an important change in the field that will be highlighted, as will reports on how acupuncture has impacted health care policy in the U.S. and abroad.


Call for Abstracts

Abstract submission
Abstracts are solicited for hybrid e-posters in the areas of clinical research, basic science and research methodology pertaining to acupuncture and other modalities of East Asian medicine including moxibustion, traditional herbs, acupressure (including self-acupressure), Tai Chi, and Qi Gong. Abstracts will be reviewed by the conference Scientific Review Committee and prospective presenters will be informed by March 24th, 2021 as to whether their research has been accepted for a hybrid e-poster presentation.

NEW Abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2021

Please upload your abstracts by March 15, 2021 to:

Abstracts submitted after March 15, 2021 will not be considered.


Abstracts will be categorized by merit, and the highest ranking abstracts will be offered the opportunity to submit longer video presentations; will be highlighted in the conference program; and will be eligible to receive an abstract award following the conference (receiving both an award certificate and monetary stipend). An Award Committee will choose the best of these longer presentations for each category of basic science and clinical research following the conference.

PLEASE NOTE: Each accepted hybrid e-poster will include a traditional pdf poster with brief audiovisual oral presentation which will need to be submitted as a video file prior to the conference. These will be delivered in a pre-recorded video format to be viewed online by attendees during the virtual conference. Opportunities will be available for Q&A with abstract authors (not live, but using a chat feature), and PDF documents will be uploaded along with your recorded poster presentation. Detailed instructions will be provided to those whose abstracts are accepted for presentation.


Call for Symposia

We invite you to submit your ideas for a plenary symposia, and SAR’s Conference Scientific Review Committee will select the most meritorious submission(s) for plenary symposia during the conference. General topic categories may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tai Chi, Qigong, Tuina, TCM, and whole system approaches. Priority will be given to topics that relate to the 2021 conference theme: Pandemics, Pain, & Public Health: Roles and Relevance of Traditional East Asian Medicine.


Symposia Submission Deadline: March 31, 2021

Please use the following link to submit your symposia idea online:

Submissions after March 31, 2021 will not be considered.


PLEASE NOTE: Accepted symposia presentations will need to be submitted prior to the conference and delivered in a pre-recorded video format to be streamed online. Live Q&A chat with symposia speakers will be offered at the designated date/time in the conference program during the “live” online event. We have allotted 90 minutes total for selected symposia (any time for Q&A would need to fall within those 90 minutes).  Symposia submissions should include a minimum or 2 presenters (up to 5 are allowed through the form). Detailed instructions will be provided to those whose symposia ideas are accepted.