A.M.A.B Association of Medical Acupuncturists of Bologna

logo amabA.M.A.B. Association of Medical Acupuncturists of Bologna, Italy, was legally established in Bologna November 3rd, 1986. 

The principle reason that prompted Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi and Dr. Umberto Mazzanti (respectively President and Vice President of the Association) to create an association and a school, with a group of physicians and friends (Raffaella Angelini, Maria Giulia Barbieri, Fabio Gentili and Luisa Zoni), was the desire to set up a body of information, training, organization and scientific update for medical Acupuncturists.

They also wanted to protect the image of professional acupuncturists and try to accomplish the possibility of integration between the medical acupuncturists, local government and Health Authorities on cultural, operational and institutional levels.

When the founding group constituted A.M.A.B., they didn’t imagine what would have happened in the years to come. In particular, the success of the initiative, which had started as a local reality, was going to become the first association of Acupuncture in Italy (with almost 600 members) and among the largest in Europe. They had the strength and perseverance to participate in determining the changes that have brought the doctor who practices acupuncture to have the title of Specialist doctor in Acupuncture recognized and to have the possibility of being able to indicate its securities.

The beginning of this success was on January 14th, 1987, the first AMAB meeting at the headquarters of the Order of Doctors and Dentists in the Province of Bologna. By that date, at a time when e-mails, Internet and social networks were not even imaginable, by a small paragraph in the Bulletin of the Order, all the colleagues who were supporters or interested in Acupuncture were invited. That evening, a heavy snowfall paralyzed the city of Bologna and the organizers were almost desperate: who would ever come to a meeting convened by young unknowns, facing such hardships and difficulties? The response was incredible: about forty colleagues responded to the invitation, all the medical acupuncturists in the Province of Bologna were present and among them the oldest and most famous.

Well that was, perhaps, the real spark that caused the fire of passion for Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and it has never abandoned them and supported them all these years. Many A.M.A.B.’s members are now part of it and contribute to various national and international institutions: the National Health Council, the Regional Observatory for Non-Conventional Medicine, the Committee on Non-Conventional Medicine of the Medical Association of Bologna, the Word Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS), the Pan-European Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine Societies (PEFOTS), the University of Bologna and the University of Florence.

A little History:

- AMAB as formative reality in Italy:

Since 1986, A.M.A.B. has started his teaching training in acupuncture as "Italian-Chinese School of Acupuncture" by the principle of scientific and seriousness of teaching, and with the awareness of the need of integration between the Western medical knowledge and traditional Chinese to protect the patients’ health. Since then they have formed many hundreds of excellent professionals in the field of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine which operate successfully and with personal satisfaction throughout the national territory. The teaching availed and still avails leading experts both Italian and foreign, including Leung Kwok Po (France), Bernard Auteroche (France) that we remember fondly, Giovanni Maciocia (England), Dan Tan and Qiao Wenlei (China).

Since 1987 AMAB has annually organized an International Congress of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, now at its XXVIII edition: it is the most important national event and one of the most important at international levels for the quality of Italian and foreign speakers, representatives of major Universities and Colleges of Acupuncture, , as well as the number of physicians participating, in these 28 years it has reached the number of 14,000. In recognition of the great cultural and scientific contribution of the initiative, the Congress has always been in its editions under the patronage of the institutions: Regione Emilia Romagna, Bologna Province, Municipality of Bologna, Azienda USL of Bologna, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Order of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists of the Province of Bologna, the Italian Federation of Acupuncture Societies (FISA), Pan-European Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine Societies (PEFOTS) Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine and University of Guansu.

In 1998, A.M.A.B. and its structure of education, the " Italian - Chinese School of Acupuncture" co-founded the GSSS (Group of Study Society and Health) the Matteo Ricci Foundation and in the same year the Matteo Ricci school, with offices in Bologna, Bari and Naples, an experience that lasted until 2009.

In 2009, A.M.A.B. Italian - Chinese School of Acupuncture has resumed his teaching activities independently and with the sponsorship of the Medical Association of Bologna.

- AMAB in the field of care and in the basic and clinical research.

In 1987 A.M.A.B. started working with the Department of Neurological Sciences of the University of Bologna, at first timidly, treating some patients with headache and followed by colleagues of the Center for the Study and Treatment of Headache, then in a more systematic and intense way, by signing an agreement with the Department for the research on Acupuncture in the treatment of headaches under the direction of prof. Peter Cortelli.

In 1997, A.M.A.B. stipulated a convention with the U.S.L. of Bologna for the establishment of a public clinic of Acupuncture for the treatment of rheumatic problems in the elderly. In this clinic, run by Dr. Sotirios Sarafianos, patients who undergo free sessions of acupuncture are still treated. During these years the benefits received by the patients and the reduction of drug consumption were monitored.

In 1997, A.M.A.B. carried out an experiment on the behavior of the radioisotope (Technetium Pertechnetate) injected into an acupuncture point and into another point outside the meridian. The experiment took place at the Service of Nuclear Medicine, Maggiore Hospital in Bologna, thanks to the support of the enthusiastic Chief, Prof. Achille Abbati, and all the members of the Board of AMAB who offered themselves as volunteers. The purpose of the research was to determine whether there was a difference in the flow of the injected radioisotope in an acupuncture point or in a skin area that was not a point of Acupuncture. The experiment demonstrated the rapid migration of the radioisotope when injected at the point of Acupuncture, and on the contrary its stagnation in the case of the injection away from the point: this would demonstrate an underlying structure that has not been identified yet, that would allow the migration of the tracer, the one that in Traditional Chinese Medicine is called the Meridian.

Since 2005, A.M.A.B. has participated, with the availability of their teachers, to some research projects initiated and funded from the OmncER (Regional Observatory for Non Conventional Medicine in the Emilia Romagna Region), in particular: the "Survey of patients who turn to acupuncture for the treatment of pain related to diseases of the musculoskeletal system"; the "Randomized controlled trial in patients with chronic headache and muscle tension-type headache" "Acumigran, randomized, controlled study on the efficacy of acupuncture in migraine with and without aura "and '" ACUMIALGIC, randomized, controlled study on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. " The positive results obtained in patients with the diseases, object of the application of acupuncture studies, has led to a historic achievement: with Resolution No. 741 of 26.05.2014 the Government of the Region of Emilia Romagna has issued guidelines in which indicates that acupuncture may be provided in facilities of the region from the Fund for regional Healthcare for "recurrent or chronic musculoskeletal lumbar pain, with or without sciatica," for the "Prevention of headache" and for the "Prophylaxis of migraine headache ".

In 2013 A.M.A.B. was the winner of the project CHETCH - China and Europe taking care of healthcare solutions, in a consortium with prestigious Italian, European and Chinese universities and institutions (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Macerata University, University of Ferrara, European Foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (FEMTC ) in Barcelona, Spain, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine (NJUCM) in Nanjing China, Hunan University (HNU) Changsha China, South China University of Technology (SCUT) in Guangzhou China, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels Belgium, East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) of Shanghai and Beijing Normal University (BNU) Beijing China). The project provides CHETCH European funding for research and cultural exchange between researchers in Europe and China as part of the Marie Curie Actions established by the EU .

- A.M.A.B. and relationships with public institutions in Italy:

Since 2004, A.M.A.B. with Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi and Dr. Annunzio Matrà, as his representatives inside the OmncER (Regional Observatory for Non Conventional Medicine in the Emilia Romagna Region), has worked to demonstrate that Acupuncture may be used alone or as a valid support to conventional therapy in the treatment or prevention of various diseases with a strong social impact (rheumatic troubles, low back pain, tension headache and migraine) for both therapeutic results and for the reduction of health care costs, allowing recognition and its inclusion in the regional council resolution n ° 741 of 26.5 / 2014. It has also participated in the drafting of the “OmncER ‘s Recommendations for the practice of acupuncture in the SSR of Emilia Romagna", whose main guidelines are listed below.

Since 2006, A.M.A.B. with its representatives in the Commission of Non-Conventional Medicine of the Order of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Bologna, Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi and later with Dr. Umberto Mazzanti, has participated in the drafting of the standard training object of the resolutions "Rules for the operators of Unconventional Medicine" approved on 28-12-2006 and 10-07-2007 by the Council of the Order, establishing the criteria for boasting the title Physician Specialist in Acupuncture (as well as in other MnC recognized by FNOMCeO in 2002). Briefly, we report the main steps referring only to the practice of acupuncture: " Acupuncture: four-year diploma of Italian Federation of Acupuncture Societies of 450 hours of practical training with mentoring and outpatient, or 300 hours of training + three years of clinical practice or entry in the register of medical acupuncturists FISA that warrants these parameters in the evaluation of curricula. Traditional Chinese Medicine: apply the same parameters set for acupuncture + a two-year Diploma of 120 hours of specific Chinese Pharmacology.”

Since 2009, A.M.A.B. with its representatives in the Commission of Non-Conventional Medicine of the Order of Physicians and Surgeons of the Province of Bologna, has helped to set up the Registrar of Non-Conventional Medicine, respectively for each of the nine Non-Conventional Medicine (Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Anthroposophical Medicine, Ayurvedic, Homeopathic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homotoxicology, Osteopathy and Chiropractic), performed by physicians and dentists.

In 2011, Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi was appointed Expert of the Superior Health Council for the Non-Conventional Medicine. In this role, and also as President of FISA, he has contributed in a decisive way to provide indications concerning education in Acupuncture, in the Conference of Government-Regions February 7th, 2013, of the "Agreement for the criteria and procedures for the certification of quality, education and operation of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Homoeopathy by physicians, dentists, , veterinarians and pharmacists. "With this agreement is ratified "the need to proceed with the certification of the quality of training in Acupuncture ... by identifying the criteria and minimum requirements and uniform on the national territory of the training courses, they are suitable for qualifying professionals engaged in these disciplines, and the use on patients remains reserved to surgeons and dentists, as in the preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative field. "

The training criteria identified for the education predict that the curriculum of the courses, run by public and private entities, will have to be accredited and have a three-year period of "at least 400 hours of theoretical training, plus 100 hours of clinical practice, including at least 50% of practical training supervised by a physician experienced in the discipline in question. To this we must add the number of individual study hours... which may not be less than a total of 100 hours.” Regarding the procedure of accreditation of public and private schools responsible for the training, the Agreement provides that "accreditation is issued by the Region in which the institution has its registration and has a national value." The legislation pursues the primary goal of protecting the health of citizens with the aim of "protecting freedom of choice of themselves and the care from doctor and dentist ... in respect of professional ethics" and "enable citizens to have access to health professionals with an adequate training of the disciplines of Acupuncture ... considered as systems of diagnosis, treatment and prevention that support the medical establishment, having as a common purpose, the promotion and protection of health care and rehabilitation. " The agreement was received by the Region Council resolution No. 679 on May 19th, 2014.

In May 2014, A.M.A.B. with Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi and Dr. Annunzio Matrà, its representatives inside the OmncER (Regional Observatory for Non Conventional Medicine in the Emilia Romagna Region), participated in the definition of "Recommendations of the Regional non-conventional medicine for the practice of acupuncture in the SSR of Emilia Romagna", briefly described here, and which provides for the definition of the Goals and Tools subdivided into: Check list of the minimum requirements of quality in Acupuncture divided into: Provider: acupuncturist qualified / accredited, primarily chosen among the company employees or contracted, enrolled on the lists of experts acupuncture operators set up at the provincial professional associations of doctors surgeons and dentists;Materials: comfortable environments, well-ventilated, and suitable; CE certified sterile disposable needles, electro-stimulators; Procedures: patient with a family doctor's prescription or other specialist and diagnosed congruent with the defined Resolution; first visit with a medical history, clinical examination, with diagnosis of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and therapeutic plan (number and frequency of treatments); eventual execution of the 1st treatment in case of acute pain; minimum duration of the first visit: 30 minutes (60 minutes if inclusive of first treatment); minimum duration of subsequent treatments: 30 minutes, including at least 20’ with needles setted-up; possibility of not more than two treatments (ie two patients) in parallel and only starting from the second treatment; use of outpatient clinic dedicated folder, including clinical diary; administration to the patient satisfaction questionnaire.

In 2014 A.M.A.B. within the project CHETCH - China and Europe taking care of healthcare solutions, has signed special agreements with the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Association of Person-Centered Medicine of Bologna, and with the ISS (Superior Institute of Health).

- A.M.A.B. and international relationships:

In 1990 A.M.A.B. has signed an agreement of collaboration with the Faculty of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Guangzhou in the presence of Scientific Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Rome Prof. Li and Zhai Run the President of the Faculty of Traditional Chinese Medicine Guangzhou Prof. Li Ren Xian.

In 1994, A.M.A.B. has signed an agreement of cooperation with the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Gansu in the presence of its President Prof. Guo Shi Bi.

Since 2001, the year of its foundation, Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi has been Vice President of PEFOTS (Pan European Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine Societies) and Dr. Umberto Mazzanti General Secretary.

Since 2010, Dr. Carlo Maria Giovanardi has been Vice-President of WFCMS (World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies).

In 2010, AMAB has signed an agreement with the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine for teaching and research.

In 2014 A.M.A.B., within the project CHETCH - China and Europe taking care of healthcare solutions, has signed a special agreement with the Middlesex University, London (UK), while the one with the Université de Genève in Geneva (CH) is one step from being signed.