Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Day is observed annually on October 24 since its initial commemoration on October 24, 2002. It is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture medicine.
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 NCCAOM 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 alternative medicine besides acupuncture, such as herbs or bodywork (e.g., shiatsu).
These studies and others like them clearly demonstrate that CAM therapies 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.
Happy AOM Day!
1. Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine Day. https://www.ahmday.org/
2. October 24th is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day. https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Acupuncture+and+Oriental+Medicine+Day