- As one of oldest healing practices in the world, acupuncture is the most important part of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and of the ancient Chinese system of health care. It is the practice of inserting very fine, solid, metallic needles into specific points on the body to improve health and well-being, and prevent and cure specific diseases and conditions through the stimulation of these points. For example, many researches have shown that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting after surgery and chemotherapy. It can also relieve pain and stress. Because blood circulation is improved by these needle stimulation, there is much more potential benefit in acupuncture treatment, such as more energy, stress and depression relief, flu prevention, and less medicine reliance. Lastly, acupuncture is a green and natural health care system.
Status of acupuncture in the US
- Based on the website of the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH/NCCAM), acupuncture became better known in the United States in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries. The report from a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture held at the NIH in 1997 stated that acupuncture is being "widely" practiced by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners for relief or prevention of pain and for various other health conditions. According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by Americans, an estimated 3.1 million U.S. adults and 150,000 children had used acupuncture in the previous year. Between the 2002 and 2007 NHIS, acupuncture use among adults increased by three-tenths of 1 percent (approximately 1 million people). The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was established in October 1998. It is a Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, and 1 of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.