Nearly one in ten adults (approximately 20 million people) in the United States has received acupuncture and sixty percent say they would readily consider acupuncture as a treatment option, according to the findings of a national survey released by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Nearly half (48%) of the individuals surveyed who had received acupuncture reported that they were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with their treatment, and only eighteen percent of respondents reported being not very satisfied or not at all satisfied with their treatment.
Disorder of the bones, muscles, joints or nervous system (e.g., arthritis, headaches, or low back, neck or shoulder pain) was selected as the top reason (58%) for seeking treatment.
Satisfaction with their current health care services was the primary reason (30%) cited by respondents for not receiving or considering acupuncture, with nearly an equal number (29%) believing there is insufficient evidence that acupuncture works. Eleven percent referred to concerns about safety, and seven percent cited a lack of insurance coverage.
Of those individuals who reported they had not received acupuncture, only fifteen percent said they would never consider acupuncture as a treatment option.
In addition, one in five (21%) of the total survey respondents reported that they had utilized some other form of Oriental medicine besides acupuncture, such as herbs or bodywork (e.g., shiatsu).
"This survey shows that acupuncture and Oriental medicine are clearly playing a role in the American health care system, either as free standing modalities or complements to Western practice," said NCCAOM CEO Christina S. Herlihy, Ph.D. "At the same time, it indicates that there is a need for continued research and public education so more people can access and benefit from this important system of medicine."
The survey is part of NCCAOM's effort to increase the public's awareness of acupuncture and Oriental medicine as components of a comprehensive traditional medical system that is used to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease and improve well-being. That effort also includes joining with other national acupuncture and Oriental medicine organizations in declaring October 24 as Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day.
"We want consumers to consider acupuncture and Oriental medicine as viable treatment options," said NCCAOM Board Chair Daniel Jiao, Dipl. Ac. & CH. "In addition, we want consumers to seek out only the services of competent professional providers."
The complete results of this survey are available at www.aomday.org. This Web site, sponsored by NCCAOM, contains basic information about acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and links to additional resources.
Find an acupuncture practitioner on www.Acufinder.com
Source: This Harris Interactive QuickQuerySM survey was conducted online within the United States from September 19-23, 2002, among a nationwide cross section of 2,717 adults 18+ years of age. Figures for age, sex, race, education, region, and income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. "Propensity score" weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
About the NCCAOM
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization established in 1982. The mission of NCCAOM is to establish, assess, and promote recognized standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public.