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Home > Newsletters > September 2006 > National Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day Aims to Educate Consumers about Benefits of Using Certified Practitioners

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va.---Aug. 17, 2006--

Oct. 24 is Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day, a designation recognized by leadership organizations in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and spearheaded by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The purpose of the designation is to raise awareness about the benefits of acupuncture -- 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.

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 Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary & 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, and more than $17 billion is spent on the therapies annually.

"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 currently require that acupuncturists are NCCAOM certified. NCCAOM-certified practitioners have an average of more than 2,000 hours of training, and have passed multiple rigorous national examinations.

Knowledge is power when it comes to making informed healthcare decisions. NCCAOM has not only established a Web site in honor of AOM Day at www.aomday.org, but the NCCAOM Web site at www.nccaom.org, hosts an excellent source for consumers to locate certified and good-standing acupuncturists and practitioners of Oriental medicine (to include Chinese herbology and Asian Bodywork Therapy) throughout the nation and worldwide.

ORIENTAL MEDICINE GROWS IN POPULARITY WITH CONSUMERS, IS ENDORSED BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH AND THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

With an increasing number of healthcare organizations reimbursing patients who turn to Oriental medicine, another excellent resource is the National Institutes of Health (www.nccam.nih.gov), who is also dedicated to educating consumers about its approved uses for alternative therapies. Currently, 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 effective in relieving nausea during pregnancy, Anxiety, panic disorders and insomnia.

"Five years ago, we established this annual event as a means to educate the public," said Dr. Ward-Cook. "Misconceptions about these areas of practice still exist, and we want to take the mystery and fear out of making the decision to seek acupuncture and Oriental medicine therapies."

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.

It is a considerable professional achievement to earn the Diplomate designation. NCCAOM Certification indicates to employers, patients, and peers that one has met national standards for the safe and competent practice of acupuncture as defined by the profession. The first NCCAOM Comprehensive Written Examination (CWE) in Acupuncture (ACP) was given in March 1985. Since its inception, the NCCAOM has certified more than 17,000 Diplomates in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, Asian Bodywork Therapy, and Oriental Medicine.

For more information on the NCCAOM, please visit its web site at www.nccaom.org.

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September 2006
Volume 4, Number 9

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