Know who your legislators are;
Review how the legislative process works. Understanding how and idea becomes law will help you effectively communicate with your legislator;
Contact your legislator about your particular issue BEFORE they take action on a matter;
Identify the Topic, Bill Number, Section of Law, Page, Line – where you have concerns;
Use a variety of communications methods – old fashion letter, email, fax, phone, social media, or visiting in person (the best way).
Give testimony at public hearings held by the legislature;
Your message should be concise, yet specific. Tell a legislator what effect you think a particular issue will have on you, your business, profession, children, community;
Suggest a course of action and offer assistance;
The Legislature is an institution where people on opposite sides of the issues have an opportunity to engage in thoughtful debate. Therefore, it is important to be polite, even if you disagree strongly with the legislator you are addressing.
Effective Letter Writing:
Address all correspondence to the members of the legislature in the following fashion:
The Honorable Jon Doe
State Senator / State Representative, District #
The Capitol (or District Address)
Use the right address and spelling.
Keep letters brief and to the point.
Identify your issue at the beginning of the letter
Cover only one issue per letter.
Back up your opinions with supporting facts.
Avoid abbreviations or acronyms, and DO NOT USE technical jargon.
Try to personalize the letter.
Effective Phone Calling:
Plan you call in advance.
When preparing to visit your legislator make an appointment.
A day prior to the appointment, confirm it.
Keep the point and stay on topic.
Prepare a one-page fact sheet for you and the Member
Marshall H. Sager, DO, FAAMA
Rey Ximenes, MD, FAAMA
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) is the premier North American organization of physician acupuncturists. The AAMA is committed to insuring public health and safety by ensuring that all persons practicing any type of medicine, including acupuncture, are properly trained and educated. It is imperative that courts and medical bodies maintain and preserve strict standards of education and training in acupuncture before any person undertakes inserting a needle into a patient. An ill-trained practitioner could, as a result of lack of education or ignorance, cause substantial medical injury.
Acupuncture, like Western Medicine is a complex subject. It cannot be mastered in a weekend or in a month. All AAMA members in addition to four (4) years of medical school (MD or DO), must have 300 hours of didactic and clinical acupuncture education and training. A non-physician must have in excess of 2,000 hours of clinical and didactic education and training before they can become certified to treat patients in most states. Dry needling is the use of solid needles (contrasted with the use of hollow hypodermic needles that are used for injections) to treat muscle pain by stimulating and breaking muscular knots and bands. Unlike trigger point injections used for the same purpose, no anesthetics are used in dry needling. There is controversy regarding the definition of dry needling. Licensed medical physicians and licensed acupuncturists consider dry needling as Western Style Acupuncture or Trigger Point Acupuncture whereby the insertion sites are determined by tender painful areas and tight muscles. These sites may be treated alone or in combination with known acupuncture points. Other practitioners take the position that dry needling is different from acupuncture in that it is not a holistic procedure and does not use meridians or other Eastern medicine paradigms to determine the insertion sites.
Dry needling is an invasive procedure. Needle length can range up to 4 inches in order to reach the affected muscles. The patient can develop painful bruises after the procedure and adverse sequelae may include hematoma, pneumothorax, nerve injury, vascular injury and infection. Post procedure analgesic medications may be necessary (usually over the counter medications are sufficient). There has been controversy in the United States as to who is qualified to practice dry needling. Since it is an invasive procedure using needles, many take the position that it should only be performed by licensed acupuncturists or licensed medical physicians (M.D. or D.O.). In Illinois, this sentiment was echoed by a decision to reverse legislation permitting physical therapists to perform dry needling. These and other practitioners were performing this procedure who are not trained nor do they otherwise routinely use needles in their practices.
The AAMA recognizes dry needling as an invasive procedure using acupuncture needles that has associated medical risks. Therefore, the AAMA maintains that this procedure should be performed only by practitioners with extensive training and familiarity with routine use of needles in their practice and who are duly licensed to perform these procedures, such as licensed medical physicians or licensed acupuncturists.
December 9, 2014
Board of Directors of AAMA