Courtesy of Richard's Whole Foods
http://www.richardswholefoods.com

National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day

Posted Oct 26, 2006

October 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.

Celebrations and observances of AOM Day continue to soar as the widespread acceptance of Oriental Medicine practices surge in the U.S. Currently, the U.S. is home to more than 22,000 certified or licensed Oriental medicine practitioners whose industry reports annual revenue of more than $17 billion.

With an increasing number of health insurance plans now reimbursing patients who turn to alternative medicine recommended by their physicians, usage in the U.S. is at an all-time high. According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation study, employees covered by acupuncture health benefits increased from 33 percent in 2002 to 47 percent in 2004. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, an estimated 36 percent of U.S. adults use some form of alternative therapy, and 25 percent have tried acupuncture.

"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.

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 throughout the nation and worldwide.

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.

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.

SOURCE: NCCAOM

Date: Oct 25, 2006

Copyright Business Wire 2006