U.S. and International Acceptance of Chinese Medicine
Global TCM Research and Support
The World Health Organization, the medical branch of the United Nations, recognizes acupuncture as an effective medical treatment stating that: “The sheer weight of evidence demands that acupuncture must be taken seriously as a clinical procedure of considerable value”.
They issued a provisional list of 41 diseases amenable to acupuncture treatment. These include respiratory ailments, pain and chronic pain conditions, PMS and other gynecological disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and many other health problems.
Further points of research:
The U.S. government has funded more than $10 million in research monies for the study of acupuncture’s effectiveness in the treatment of addictions. Programs in New York, N.Y., Miami FL, and Minneapolis MN, have been funded to research the treatment of drug addiction and alcoholism with acupuncture.
15 million Americans received acupuncture treatment in 1996, with the number of persons seeking acupuncture treatment in this country increasing substantially every year.
The American Osteopathic Association, the American Chiropractic Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association all endorse acupuncture. Former Surgeon General E. Koop MD has recognized acupuncture treatment as a useful method of overcoming nicotine addiction.
Acupuncture is increasingly being used in the treatment of addictions. More than 20 hospitals around the country have incorporated acupuncture into their substance abuse treatment programs. In the correctional system, several programs use acupuncture in prisons to treat addiction.
Private and public insurance coverage for acupuncture is available in many states. Blue Cross/Blue Shield State Employee’s Plans and Worker’s compensation, Mass. Mutual and other major insurers cover acupuncture treatment for substance abuse in several states. In California, many HMO such as Lifeguard, American Specialty Networks, have acupuncture benefits as well as many hospitals such as Kaiser Permanente.
Last year the National Institute of Health published findings, summarized in a sixteen-page consensus report stated that the benefits of acupuncture are:
Nausea after surgery, chemotherapy
Nausea during pregnancy
Pain after dental surgery
carpal tunnel syndrome
The NIH panel said its report should prompt medical insurers, including Medicare to include acupuncture as a covered treatment modality. With an estimate that acupuncturist might cause less than one serious event per 100 years of full-time practice, the overall conclusion of the study was that acupuncture is a relatively safe therapeutic measure.
As of January 1, 1999, all Workers Comp insurance carriers, HMOs, HCOs, and PPOs have to provide acupuncture services as an option to injured workers. Assembly Bill 204 guarantees injured workers the right to have acupuncture treatments, to have an acupuncturist treat them, and for them to pre-designate a “personal acupuncturist” who would then oversee their treatment in the event they are injured in the future.
There are many acupuncture organizations that are great resources, such as, The California Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CAAOM), The American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM) and many others.