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National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day Aims to Educate Consumers about Benefits of Using Certified Practitioners

  [ 129 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • October 25, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 2005--Oct. 24 is National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, a designation recognized by a half-dozen organizations in the field of alternative medicine, and spearheaded by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The purpose of the designation is to raise awareness and benefits of alternative therapies -- a viable form of medicine with a 3,000-year history -- and how consumers can find certified professional practitioners to ensure better care, better treatment and better outcomes. "One of the biggest misconceptions about acupuncture is that it is still a 'back room' therapy performed by unlicensed people," said Laura Edgar, director of communications for NCCAOM. "On the contrary, today, most certified practitioners have master's level degrees from accredited schools, with an average of more than 3,000 hours of training, and have passed multiple rigorous national examinations. Additionally, 95 percent of the states currently require licensing of acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners which requires testing by NCCAOM." In the United States the use of acupuncture and Oriental medicine is at an all-time high. According to a recent study conducted by the National Institute for Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), an estimated 36 percent of U.S. adults use some form of alternative therapy, and 25 percent have tried acupuncture. According to recent research, 64 percent of physicians have referred patients to certified practitioners of alternative therapies, including acupuncture and Oriental medicine. With an increasing number of health care organizations reimbursing patients who turn to alternative medicine recommended by their physicians, the National Institute of Health ( is dedicated to educating consumers about its approved uses for alternative therapies. Currently the National Institute of Health lists the following as approved uses for acupuncture: pain management, including dental pain, headache, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain and osteoarthritis; postoperative or chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting; addiction; stroke rehabilitation; infertility and asthma. In honor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, the NCCAOM has several tips and advice for consumers trying to locate a certified practitioner of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 1) Start With Your Family Physician. Thanks to a growing trend in "integrative medicine," members of the medical community realize that alternative medicine is not a threat to traditional practices, but a helpful adjunct. Additionally, some insurance companies will cover the costs of acupuncture and other therapies if a patient is referred by a primary care physician. 2) Use Your Resources -- Ask Friends and Family. With approximately 25 percent of people in the U.S. using acupuncture, and 36 percent using some form of alternative therapy, chances are good that someone close to you can offer some feedback on their experiences and possible references. 3) Do Your Research. Log on to to find a certified practitioner. For acupuncture, in particular, the certification bestowed by the NCCAOM is critical to avoid unpleasant side effects that can be caused by improper technique and use of needles. Also, ask specifics about their credentials. Some practitioners have been certified through organizations that require only 300 hours of training, as opposed to the more than 3,000 hours typically required by accredited schools and the NCCAOM. National AOM Day is supported by a consortium of international organizations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Pakistan; including the NCCAOM, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Alliance, American Association of Oriental Medicine, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, and the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. The term "Oriental Medicine" encompasses acupuncture, Chinese herbology, Asian bodywork techniques and the general study of traditional Chinese medicine. About the NCCAOM The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is a non-profit organization established in 1982. Its mission 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. For more information on the NCCAOM, please visit its Web site at Contacts Echo Media Group for National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Sabrina Shannon, 714-573-0899, ext. 27

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