8:30am – 8:45am EDT

Welcome Back Remarks

8:45am – 10:15am EDT (concurrent sessions)

Member Symposium 3: The effect and mechanism of acupuncture on chronic pain

Speakers: Cun-Zhi Liu, Professor, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine,China; Ling Zhao, Professor, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China; Xinyan Gao, Professor, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China; Man Li, Professor, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

Pain is considered a major clinical, social, and economic problem in communities around the world. It is a prevalent, disabling condition that costs the United States up to $635 billion in health care expenditures and lost productivity every year. Approximately 1 in 5 individuals suffers from some type of chronic pain condition, which has contributed greatly to the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and abroad. Acupuncture, as a complementary therapy from traditional Chinese medicine, has been shown to be safe and effective for the management of numerous types of pain conditions. World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health has noted that acupuncture is safe, easy, and cost-effective to treat pain conditions. Some randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews have showed that acupuncture was associated with more effective and faster analgesia compared other analgesic in patients with pain conditions. In this symposium, we aim to show a few evidences of acupuncture for pain condition, and underlying mechanism. On this basis, we further explore the challenges facing future research and clarify the direction of future research. The lecture in this symposium including: Effect of acupuncture in Knee Osteoarthritis: A series of clinical studies, Research of clinical evaluation and neuroimaging mechanism of acupuncture treatment in migraine, Electroacupuncture activates AMPK to inhibit iNOS and IL-1 β and alleviate inflammatory pain, Acupoint Sensitization in Visceral Diseases Potentiates Acupuncture Intervention.

Individual presentations include:

Effect of acupuncture in Knee Osteoarthritis: A series of clinical studies

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the leading causes of chronic pain and disability in older adults. The prevalence of knee OA was found to be 16% among the general population in the late 20th to early 21st centuries, and has doubled since the mid-20th century. The costs of KOA greatly surpass the direct healthcare costs, making it a substantial public health problem. Although the number of acupuncture research studies on knee OA has grown markedly, its efficacy remains a subject of controversy. Therefore, we conducted a series of clinical trials to assess the efficacy of acupuncture for knee OA. At first, three pilot trials were conducted to compare manual acupuncture (MA) with sham acupuncture (SA), electroacupuncture (EA) with MA, and high-frequency with low-frequency EA, and finally formed intervention program of EA 3 times weekly for 8 weeks. Then, we finally conducted a multi-center, 3-arm randomized controlled trial with 480 participants who were randomly assigned to receive EA, MA, or SA. The primary outcome measure was response rate, which is the proportion of participants who simultaneously achieved minimal clinically important improvement in pain and function by week 8. Of the 480 participants recruited in the trial, 442 were evaluated for efficacy. The response rates at week 8 were 60.3% (91 of 151), 58.6% (85 of 145), and 47.3% (69 of 146) in the EA, MA, and SA groups, respectively. The between-group differences were 13.0% (97.5% confidence interval [97.5% CI] 0.2%, 25.9%; P = 0.0234) for EA versus SA and 11.3% (97.5% CI −1.6%, 24.4%; P = 0.0507) for MA versus SA. The response rates in the EA and MA groups were both significantly higher than those in the SA group at weeks 16 and 26. In summary, intensive electroacupuncture immediately improved knee pain and dysfunction. In addition, the benefit persists throughout follow-up.


Research of clinical evaluation and neuroimaging mechanism of acupuncture treatment in migraine Migraine is a leading cause of disability and significantly contributes to individual and societal burdens owing to pain and environmental sensitivities. Acupuncture is widely used for managing migraine in China and western countries. The long-term effect of acupuncture is critical to successful prophylaxis and reduction of migraine recurrence. One important unanswered question is whether TA is superior to SA in preventing future migraine attacks. Therefore, we conducted a 24-week, multicenter, 3-arm, parallel randomized clinical trial (RCT) to compare the long-term effect of TA vs SA or WL in migraineurs. A total of 249 participants were randomly assigned to TA, SA, or WL control group. Participants in the TA and SA received treatment 5 days per week for 4 weeks for a total of 20 sessions. Participants in the WL control group did not receive acupuncture but were informed that 20 sessions of acupuncture would be provided free of charge at the end of the trial. The primary outcome was the change in the frequency of migraine attacks from baseline to week 16. Secondary outcome measures included the migraine days, average headache severity, and medication intake every 4 weeks within 24 weeks. Compared with SA and WL control groups, TA manifested persisting superiority and clinically relevant benefits for at least 24 weeks in migraine prophylaxis, including reducing the number of migraine frequency and days with migraine, as well as decreasing pain intensity, improving the migraine-related emotional state. Although inferior to TA, SA was still associated with clinical improvement and was possibly a result of the nonspecific physiological effect experienced during needling or a placebo effect originating from frequent patient-acupuncture practitioner interactions.

Neuroimaging approaches have been used to measure structural and functional brain changes in migraine patients, providing feasible, efficient, and noninvasive tools for investigating the central mechanisms of acupuncture, and has been a global trend in acupuncture research. In the fMRI studies of migraine without aura patients (MWoA), our findings suggested that progressive brain damage in relation to increasing disease duration suggest that MWoA is a progressive central nervous disease, and the anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, brainstem, basal ganglia and other related brain networks are the main regions of damage in MWoA patients, the abnormal changes of these brain regions and networks are significantly correlated with the severity of the disease. Neuroimaging studies on acupuncture have confirmed that the brain responses to true needling at true acupoints were significantly different from the responses to needling at sham points or sham needling on true acupoints. Compared with non-acupoints, acupoints had a much more extensive influence on brain functions and that acupoint specificity was regulated by the central nervous system. Acupuncture at the active acupoint might have the potential effect of regulating some disease-affected key regions and the pain circuitry for migraine, and promote establishing psychophysical pain homeostasis. The neuroimaging mechanism of acupoint specificity is with a target-oriented tendency.

Acupoint Sensitization in Visceral Diseases Potentiates Acupuncture Intervention

Mechanisms of visceral pain sensitization and referred somatic hypersensitivity remain unclear. Myocardial ischemia (MI) causes cardiac referred pain and sympathetic hyperactivity. The role of sympathetic-sensory coupling in cardiac referred pain is less clear than that in somatic hyperalgesia. It was demonstrated in the present study that somatic sensory inputs from the referred area regulated cardiac function to homeostasis by augmenting sympathetic activity and postganglionic sprouting both in the skin and DRG, which mediated cardioprotection through alpha 2 adrenoceptor (α2AR).

Also, we conducted calcium imaging in Pirt-GCaMP6s mice to gauge the responses of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in colitis model in vivo. These findings suggested that TNBS-induced colitis and capsaicin-induced visceral irritation may sensitize L6 DRG neurons to colorectal and somatic inputs, and increase the excitability of L4 DRG neurons that do not receive colorectal inputs.


Electroacupuncture activates AMPK to inhibit iNOS and IL-1 β and alleviate inflammatory pain

In recent years, many studies have shown that activation of AMPK activation can significantly improve inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. However, little is known about how activation of AMPK contributes to the antinociceptive effect of EA on inflammatory pain. In this study, we determined the role of activation of AMPK in the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on the expression of iNOS and IL-1β in inflamed skin tissues and inflammatory pain. The inflammatory pain model was induced by subcutaneous injection with CFA into the left hind foot of mice. EA was performed once a day from 2nd to 7th day of CFA-induced inflammatory pain. Mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia and bipedal load-bearing experiment were used to detect inflammatory pain. The activation of AMPK was detected by Western blot. The protein and mRNA levels of iNOS and IL-1β expression were detected by Western blot and qPCR. To observe the effect of AMPK activation on EA, the AMPK inhibitor Compound C was injected intraperitoneally 0.5h before EA treatment. Immunofluorescence was used to observe the co-localization of AMPK, INOS or IL-1β and macrophages. In CFA-induced inflammatory pain model, EA significantly alleviated the inflammatory pain and inhibited overexpression of iNOS and IL-1β induced by CFA. EA activated AMPK in local inflammatory tissues, and AMPK was mainly distributed in macrophages. Compound C was administered before EA treatment from 2nd to 7th day, and inhibited the analgesic effect of EA. Compound C reversed the effects of EA on activation of AMPK and inhibition of overexpression of iNOS and IL-1β in macropahges. Our study suggested that EA inhibits overexpression of iNOS and IL-1β through activating AMPK in local inflammatory tissues to alleviate pain.


8:45am – 10:15am EDT (concurrent sessions)

Member Symposium 4: Women’s health can be a pain! How research informs acupuncture practice for pain conditions in women’s health


Speakers: Dr. Kate Levett, PhD, MPH (epi), BEd (Hons I), Adv.Dip.App.Sci (Acup), Senior Research Fellow, School of Medicine Sydney, The University of Notre Dame Australia; Adjunct Fellow,NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University; Dr. Debra Betts, PhD, NZRN (retired), DipAc, BSc (Acupuncture), University Western Sydney, Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, Adjuct Research Fellow; Claudia Citkovitz, PhD, MS, LAc, Director, Acupuncture Services, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, NYU Medical School; and Lisa Taylor-Swanson, PhD, MAcOM, LAcCollege of Nursing, University of Utah

This workshop draws together the experience of four researcher-practitioners in women’s health, elucidating current evidence-informed approaches to pain conditions experienced by women.    Pain is a complex and subjective experience that is often invisible. Research estimates that sufferers of chronic pain are more likely to be women, with women constituting around 70% of people impacted by chronic pain. Women tend to experience pain more consistently and more intensely, implicating underlying biological and hormonal contributions. Women experience some specific and life-stage related pain, including menstrual cycle related pain such as endometriosis, pregnancy conditions, labour and childbirth, and menopause pain syndromes.     Each of these areas is marked by a set of biological and psychosocial factors, for which acupuncture can play an important role in the treatment and management of symptoms and more complex syndromes. Clinical trials highlight areas of effectiveness in treating pain in the context of women’s health. This workshop proposes to discuss the evidence for pain related conditions in women’s health and highlight how some novel findings can be used to inform clinical practice.  It should be of interest to researchers and clinicians as well as health care administrators.    Deeply rooted in the clinical experience of each presenter, the individual sessions aim to model truly evidence-informed practice, both at the information-gathering level and also in the individual clinical encounter.  To this end, each presenter will briefly summarise the clinical and relevant mechanisms research on acupuncture, in relation to the clinical literature used in acupuncture training, and in relation to physical and emotional challenges faced by her patients. 

Presentation details include:

Endometriosis and the inflammatory triad

Endometriosis is a common, chronic gynaecological disease, where tissue resembling the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, leading to lesions, pelvic pain, and other symptoms. Additionally, common co-morbid conditions, such as migraines, depression and gut conditions creates further severe impacts on women.  This presentation brings together recent research information regarding the common genetic link between endometriosis, migraines, depression and inflammatory gut conditions, which disproportionately affect women.   This presentation will describe the evidence for the link between these conditions and an explanatory model of systemic inflammation. This examination provides a link to autoimmune conditions and inflammation generally as seen through a TCM lens, and the research evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of these chronic pain conditions. This presentation will use research literature, clinical trials, case studies and common clinical findings to support the research literature linking these conditions.  Through elucidation of the pathophysiology of endometriosis, and the research that describes the inflammatory pathway, we can determine the presence of the ‘inflammatory triad’ – endometriosis, gut conditions and depression. We can understand the fetal origin of gut mucosa cells and their proliferative role in the development of endometriosis and depression, seen through common genetic and inflammatory markers.  This presentation will describe how TCM views inflammation, provide a critical review of the evidence for acupuncture for endometriosis, depression and inflammatory gut conditions, and describe point section and dosage regimes to aid management of these conditions.   By describing clinical presentations, diagnostic tools and common diagnostic findings, the presentation will provide acupuncture indications, use of moxibustion, and timelines and treatment expectations.

Pregnancy related lower back and pelvic pain

The incidence of pregnancy related back and/or pelvic pain is reported as being as high 70 % with half or more women reporting that this interferes with their ability to maintain usual daily activities or impacting on their ability to remain in the workplace.   Although it is an expectation that this pain will resolve following delivery the reality is that symptoms may persist for several years.  Due to concerns over the risks of over-the-counter pain medications during pregnancy, non-pharmacologic treatment alternatives such as acupuncture may have an important role in maternity care. It also appears that acupuncture is a treatment that women are willing to receive, with lower back and/or pelvic pain reported as the leading presentation in a hospital acupuncture maternity clinic.      Physiotherapy guidelines recommend acupuncture for pregnancy related back and pelvic pain, and additionally the literature reports this use by physiotherapists, midwives and those using dry needling techniques. However, despite an evidence base documenting the safety of using acupuncture for pain relief in lower back and pelvic pain in pregnancy, many acupuncturists continue to express safety concerns. This disparity between the research literature and the concerns of acupuncture practitioners may be limiting treatment opportunities for women and a missed opportunity for to promote acupuncture care for pregnancy related lower back and pelvic pain.   This presentation reviews the current evidence base with a focus on how research can inform acupuncture practice in terms of dosage, point selection and self-care with acupressure. It will also explore how practitioners can use the evidence in their advertising for this common disorder in pregnancy.

Acupuncture and acupressure for pain management during birth

As a nonpharmacological method for management of pain as well as the course of labor, acupuncture it is widely in use by midwives in Europe and other countries, and by acupuncturists in some US hospitals.  Acupressure has also shown promise as a cost-effective intervention that can be performed by partners, with results comparable to acupuncture.  A 2020 Cochrane review on acupressure or acupuncture for pain management reported that while most comparisons were inconclusive, acupuncture versus sham acupuncture may increase satisfaction with pain management and decrease use of pharmacological analgesia, while acupressure may reduce pain intensity in comparison to combined control and usual care conditions.  In order to interpret the results of this meta-analysis and the trials reviewed, clinically and for research and program planning, a closer examination of the actual interventions conducted.  Methods  This presentation examines the interventions used in the included studies, discussing their implications for clinicians along with considerations of ecological validity.  Results  The review included 13 trials of acupuncture and 15 trials of acupressure.  The acupuncture interventions varied widely as to timing and duration of application, type and specifics of stimulation method (electrical stimulation intensity/frequency; manual stimulation style/intensity), and points used.  The majority used fixed protocols, while eight used at least some individualization of treatments.  Acupressure interventions also varied as to points used and stimulation instructions given.  Discussion  Clinically, acupressure’s strong performance relative to acupuncture is the most noteworthy finding of this review.  However, ecological validity and practitioner experience need to be considered in evaluation of some of the acupuncture studies.  The distinction between explanatory and pragmatic or comparative effectiveness designs is also important to consider in future research planning.

Increased pain during the menopausal transition: Another neglected experience of women

Chronic pain accounted for the highest health care expenditure amount in 2016 in the United States ($134.5B). Back and spine impairments are more common in women than men (73.3 versus 57.7 per 1000 population) and are most common between the ages of 45 and 64, which are the menopausal transition (MT) years. Over 85% of midlife women experience multiple symptoms that interfere with their quality of life and daily activities. An identified symptom cluster comprises pain, hot flashes, sleep, cognitive, and mood (anxiety and depression) problems. Symptoms in the midlife lead to increasing disability and lost productivity. In fact, women have reported preferring a reduced lifespan instead of experiencing 30 days of MT symptoms at their worst. There is an additional risk for midlife women experiencing chronic pain: women are more likely than men to be prescribed opioids for pain management. Women are at increased risk for misuse or overdose compared to men. Interestingly, acupuncture has been trialed extensively for MT hot flashes, yet it has not been studied explicitly among midlife women experiencing pain. This presentation will begin with an overview of pain dring the MT and the importance of studying non-pharmacological interventions such as acupuncture for this population. It will then summarize evidence to date and propose future research on this critical and presently neglected topic.

10:15am – 11:45am EDT (concurrent sessions)

Member Symposium 5:  Implementation of Effective Integrative Health Programs for Patients with Long COVID Symptoms in Various Healthcare Settings

Speakers: Ka-Kit Hui, MD, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine; Jianping Liu, MD, PhD, Center of Evidence-based Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine; Weijun Zhang, DrPH, UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research; Center for East-West Medicine; and Grant Chu, MD, MSAOM, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine

Tens of millions of Americans have been infected with and survived COVID-19. A set of lingering symptoms beyond 12 weeks from the onset has been called Post-Acute Sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), or Long COVID. Numerous studies over the past few months have shown that up to 1 in 3 infected persons go on to develop Long COVID. Given their higher rates of infection and comorbidities, vulnerable populations, including minoritized communities and underserved populations, will have more morbidity related to Long COVID symptoms and widening inequalities in outcomes due to the disproportionate effect on them. As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out worldwide, Long COVID has the potential to affect how the pandemic unfolds.

Long COVID symptoms can vary widely from person to person and there is apparent heterogeneity of illness pathways. However, these symptoms can be categorized as three main sequalae, including respiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuropsychiatric disorders. From the clinical perspective, these conditions are not unique. Long-term respiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuropsychiatric sequelae have been described for other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS), and these have pathophysiological parallels with Long COVID. In most instances, these conditions should be interpreted as an array of non-communicable diseases and social and income inequalities that exacerbate the adverse effects of each of these diseases in many communities.  Traditional Chinese medicine, with accumulating evidence on sequelae of Long COVID and similar coronaviruses as well as clinical evidence on various symptoms, has the potential to address symptoms of Long COVID. While knowledge about Long COVID is accumulating daily, there is an urgent need to develop effective healthcare programs integrating traditional Chinese medicine into health systems to treat Long COVID with a focus on vulnerable populations.

Presentation details include:

Person-centered integrative health approaches to patients with Long COVID

Established in 1993, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) has developed a model system of comprehensive care with emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation through integrating traditional Chinese medicine into medical practice in the UCLA Health system. CEWM strives to combine clinical care, education, research, and international programs designed to advance the field of integrative medicine. The patient-centered and problem-solving approach can be applied to patients with Long COVID through their five consultative and primary care clinics. 

This presentation aims to provide a conceptual framework for applying person-centered integrative health approaches to patients with Long COVID.

Evidence of East Asian medicine and integrative health approaches for persistent symptoms of Long COVID

While knowledge about Long COVID is still accumulating daily, modalities of traditional Chinese medicine, such as herbal medicine, herbal tea, acupuncture, Tai Chi, qigong and massage, have been recommended as treatment options in guidelines published by government and academic organizations in China. In other nations, groups of integrative medicine experts also offer plausible integrative strategies, including a broad range of traditional Chinese medicine modalities. This presentation aims to summarize evidence from the following sources: 

  • Evidence on Chinese medicine modalities for Long COVID symptoms in three main sequelae
  • Evidence on Chinese medicine modalities for persistent symptoms from other novel coronaviruses - SARS and MERS

Implementation strategies for developing integrative health programs for Long COVID in various healthcare settings

Implementation science become more relevant in the current later phase of the pandemic, when the expanding research evidence is starting to consolidate. Also, evidence regarding similar viruses and similar disease can be extrapolated regarding rehabilitation and mental health support. Implementation science offers a multidisciplinary perspective and systematic approach for the design, evaluation and analysis of translation evidence into practice. To provide recommendation for the implementation of a specific practice, we need to develop implementation strategies tailoring to key stakeholders and context of clinical practice for better fits in culture and local settings. This presentation aims to identify barriers in providing integrative health program to long COVID patients and summarize evidence-based implementation strategies to overcoming these barriers in various healthcare settings. 

Implementation of integrative medicine programs for Long COVID at an academic medical center

UCLA Health has started a Long COVID pilot program. East-West Medicine participates, among other specialists, in a referral pool for primary care providers and other providers where patients with Long COVID can be referred for further evaluation and management. Part of the program includes participation in the COVID CME to share knowledge, experience, and provide clinical recommendations or suggestions to UCLA primary care providers. This presentation aims to provide an interprofessional East-West team-based protocol for Long COVID in the UCLA Health system based on available evidence as well as evaluation of its cohort in response to East-West treatments.

10:15am – 11:45am EDT (concurrent sessions)

Member Symposium 6: From predictors, challenges to solutions for acupuncture trials design: views from patients, clinicians, and trialists

Speakers: Lixing Lao, PhD, Professor and President, Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (VUIM); Dawn Richards, PhD, Clinical Trials Ontario; Yuqing (Madison) Zhang, MD, MSc, PhD, Assistant professor in Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact in McMaster University, Visiting Professor at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, Honorary Assistant Professor, Ningbo Nottingham GRADE Center, University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China; Klaus Linde, MD, Institute of General Practice and Health Services Research, Technical University Munich, Germany; Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine, Chief, Integrative Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Xiang-Hong Jing, PhD,Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

Since 2010 to date, there have been, on average, approximately 1,000 Acupuncture trials published annually. As with other non-pharmacological interventions, challenges exist when designing and conducting acupuncture randomized controlled trials (RCTs) – some are unique to acupuncture.  

It is helpful to identify critical methodological and clinical factors influencing the effect size in acupuncture trials, recognize existing unique challenges when designing and conducting acupuncture RCTs, and provide solutions to move forward. 

Presentation details include:

This symposium consists of two parts. 

Part I: what can predict acupuncture treatment effect?

The magnitude of the effects of acupuncture in these trials across interventions varies largely. Key methodological and clinical factors influencing the effect size in acupuncture trials remain unstudied (e.g., settings, therapeutic areas, variations of practice, and methodological rigor). 

We will present the latest research exploring factors that impact the magnitude of the treatment effects across therapeutic areas in acupuncture trials from a systematic survey of 584 acupuncture trials published in the past five years. 

Part II: Round table discussion

We will have an international and multidisciplinary panel discussing some of the unique challenges and possible solutions for designing and conducting high-quality acupuncture trials. Example topics that will be addressed in the round table include:

  1. Roles and relevance of acupuncture in healthcare: choice of optimal research questions.
  2. Patients’ expectations and its impact on treatment effect.
  3. The choice of comparators in acupuncture trials.
  4. Individual patients vs. public health perspective and its impact on trial design.
  5. How do organizations engage patients in designing and conducting trials?

The presentation and discussion from part 1 will inform the content of part 2. 

11:45am – 12:00pm EDT

Break / Networking with Exhibitors

12:00pm – 1:15pm EDT

Symposia 3: Acupuncture Research and Health Care Disparities

Speakers: George A. Kaplan, PhD, University of Michigan (retired), Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health, The Institute for Integrative Health; Maria T. Chao, DrPH, MPA, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; and Robert B. Saper, MD MPH, Chair, Cleveland Clinic Department of Wellness and Preventive Medicine

This symposia will explore how research can guide policy and conversely, how policy might influence research. The emphasis will be on how acupuncture research can respond to and impact policy around health care disparities. This panel will address in detail the following questions in multiple integrated presentations: What health care disparities exist in the current treatment of COVID-19, chronic pain, and mental health?  How can acupuncture research impact policy around minorities and the under-served?  How can this evidence be sorted and applied to public health policy? What is acupuncture’s role for minorities in the U.S. healthcare landscape? Finally related to the panel discussion of symposium 2, the topic of insurance reimbursement of acupuncture, specifically in barriers for minorities will be covered. 

Presentation details include:

Health disparities abound, and so do the solutions – evidence from COVID-19

Most health problems are not randomly distributed in the population, showing large variations in extent and severity by socioeconomic position, race/ethnicity, and geographic location. It is important to unpack the reasons for these disparities, and the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic provides a useful context for doing so. Dr. George Kaplan will discuss how socioeconomic position, race/ethnicity, and geographic location, individually and together, impact the four important aspects of the pandemic: susceptibility, exposure, infection, and recovery.

Leveraging Integrative Medicine to Advance Health Equity: Research on Improving Chronic Disease Management in Diverse Patient Populations

Integrative medicine can contribute to reducing health disparities and advancing health equity through whole person, culturally appropriate care for vulnerable populations. The presentation by Dr. Maria Chao will describe three studies on chronic disease management in diverse patient populations: (1) an integrative pain management program in a primary care, public health clinic; (2) group acupuncture for diabetic neuropathy in linguistically diverse patients; and (3) integrative nutritional counseling, which combines Chinese medicine principles with biomedical nutrition recommendations to support diabetes self-management. The studies will be used to highlight strategies for improving access to integrative medicine and a conceptual framework for bridging integrative medicine and health equity. 

Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities

Health disparities are differences closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Well-documented health disparities exist in chronic pain, cancer, and mental health among others. Increasingly research suggests a variety of integrative approaches including acupuncture may be safe and effective for several chronic conditions. However, relatively little integrative medicine and acupuncture research and clinical services have targeted non-white, lower income populations. We will discuss four categories of barriers to integrative medicine research among diverse underserved populations: awareness, availability, accessibility, and affordability.

1:15pm – 1:45pm EDT

Panel Discussion:  Health Care Disparities and the Role of Public Policy

Panelists include Belinda (Beau) Anderson, PhD, MA(Ed.), LAc, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Health Professions, Pace University; and patient advocate Ms. Desiree Walker with personal perspective on health care disparities in the U.S. 

1:45pm – 2:00pm EDT

Awards & Closing Remarks

2:00pm – 2:30pm EDT

Poster Session / Visit Exhibitors

View poster presentations, ask questions about posters in the chat area, and visit virtual exhibit booths

2:30pm – 2:45pm EDT

Break / Visit Exhibitors

2:45pm – 3:45pm EDT (concurrent meetings)

Meet the Experts

An opportunity for junior researchers and practitioners to connect in one-on-one discussions with senior researchers and practitioners

2:45pm – 3:45pm EDT (concurrent meetings)

Special Interest Group Meetings

  • Clinical Research
  • Basic Science Research
  • Hospital Based Acupuncture Research
  • Education
  • Research Dissemination & Implementation