Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient practice of medicine dating back over 5,000 years. Unlike any other ancient traditional medicines, such as Egyptian, Ayurvedic (India) and European herbal medicine, Chinese Medicine has never been overrun or replaced by other forms of medicine and has improved dramatically throughout its history.
- TCM provides about 50% of healthcare services for China, Korea, and some of the Southeast Asian countries, with Western Medicine providing the rest. (i)
- By the 1900’s, acupuncture had spread to France and Germany. It is now widely practiced by physicians and other practitioners in Europe, Africa, South and North America.
- In the 1950’s, acupuncture anesthesia became successful in China. (ii)
- In 1971, New York Times reporter James Reston witnessed successful operations on the brain and lung in which acupuncture was the only anesthesia used. (iii)
- In 1973, Dr. DeBakey and U.S. medical delegates witnessed two heart operations in which acupuncture was used as anesthesia. (iv)
- In 2002, the World Health Organization updated over 100 indications of acupuncture based on clinical trials. (v)
- As of 2005, there are 22,671 licensed acupuncturists on record in the United States. (vi)
- About 3,500 physicians in the United States are practicing acupuncture according to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. (vii)
- In 1998, a national phone survey of 1500 US adults estimated that the total number of visits to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners exceeded the total number of visits to primary care physicians in 1990. It was estimated that Americans spent $27 billion out-of-pocket for CAM services in 1997. (viii)
- According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey—the largest and most comprehensive survey of CAM used by American adults to date—an estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture, and an estimated 2.1 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture in the previous year. (ix)
- The National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture stated in 1997 that acupuncture is being widely practiced by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners for relief or prevention of pain and various other health conditions. (x)
- NIH consensus stated that “The data in supporting acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies…one of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same condition."
Research and Academia
- As of 2008, in www.clinicaltrials.gov, over 180 trials on acupuncture research funded by NIH and other agencies have been conducted since 2000. (xi)
- Educational programs and clinical services in Integrative Medicine are being provided at medical schools or hospitals such as UCLA, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Duke University, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and others.
- The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the Federal Government's leading agency for scientific research on CAM, and is one of the National Institutes of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NCCAM sponsors and conducts research using scientific methods and advanced technologies to study CAM. Its mission is to support research and training in CAM and to disseminate evidence-based information to both the public and professional worlds. (xii) It recognizes that acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are the most popular alternative medicines in the U.S.
- NIH Funding for biomedical research in the field of integrative medicine has increased dramatically over the past several years from $2 million to $121 million from 1992 to 2005. (xiii)
- i http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets
- ii Acupuncture anesthesia and medicine in China today. Capperauld I. Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics. 1972
- iii James Reston, A View From Shanghai, N.Y. Times, Aug. 22, 1971, at E 19)
- iv per conversation between Dr. Bing You and Dr. Debaky in June of 2008
- v Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trial, Annual 2002 p23 Diseases and disorders that can be treated with acupuncture. Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2002 World Health Organization
- vi www.medicalacupuncture.org
- vii www.medicalacupuncture.org
- viii Eisenbert, et. Al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1569-75. Click here to read full article.
- ix http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture
- x 1997 NIH Consensus Development Conference
- xi www.clinicaltrials.gov
- xii http://www.osher.ucsf.edu/
- xiii http://www.osher.ucsf.edu/