Mark your calendar!
October 24th is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day.
Designated to educate and raise awareness of acupuncture and Oriental medicine this national day of observance is spearheaded by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is supported through a unique international partnership that includes professional associations, research organizations and educational institutions.
You will find that many practitioners will host an open house, give a free lecture or even offer treatment discounts in observance of the day. Attend an event or contact a practitioner near you to learn more!
In the United States, the use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine is at an all-time high. An estimated 36% of U.S. adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a survey by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a component of the National Institutes of Health. When megavitamin therapy and prayer specifically for health reasons is included in the definition of CAM, the number of U.S. adults using some form of CAM in the past year rises to 62%. Among the common CAM practices identified by the survey were acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, tai chi and qi gong.
A survey by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine found that approximately one in ten adults had received acupuncture at least one time and 60% said they would readily consider acupuncture as a potential treatment option. Nearly half (48%) of the individuals surveyed who had received acupuncture reported that they were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with their treatment. In addition, one in five (21%) of the total NCCAOM survey respondents reported that they had utilized some other form of Oriental medicine besides acupuncture, such as herbs or bodywork (e.g., shiatsu).
These studies and others like them clearly demonstrate that CAM therapies such as acupuncture and Oriental medicine are common practice in today's health care system. They also support the need for consumers to be provided accurate and reliable information regarding their treatment options.
"Acupuncture and other traditional Oriental medicine therapies are gaining momentum and popularity at a rapid pace, but it’s important not to rush off to a practitioner without proper research," said Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the NCCAOM. "Consumers should be responsible about ensuring that the practitioner they visit is properly trained and is an NCCAOM-certified practitioner." Ninety-seven percent of the states that regulate acupuncture require either NCCAOM certification or the successful passage of one or more of the NCCAOM examination(s). NCCAOM-certified practitioners have an average of more than 2,000 hours of training, and have passed multiple rigorous national examinations.
Oriental Medicine Endorsed by the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization
With an increasing number of health care organizations reimbursing patients who turn to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the National Institutes of Health lists the following as approved uses for acupuncture: pain management, dental pain, headache, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, postoperative or chemotherapy related nausea and vomiting, addiction, stroke rehabilitation, infertility and asthma. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) also lists acupuncture as proven to be effective in relieving nausea during pregnancy, anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia.
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