Complementary and alternative medicine has been immensely popular in the
United States since the 1990s and is regularly used by more than one-third of
adult Americans. Today, complementary
and alternative medicine comprises herbal medicines, dietary supplements, and
yoga, as well as provider-based services such as chiropractic care, massage
therapy, acupuncture, and Oriental Medicine.
A study done by Harvard Medical School confirms that this trend will
continue in the future. The Journal of the American Medical Association History
of Chinese Medicine in the U.S.:
• In 1972, a
newspaper columnist for the N.Y. Times newspaper (James Reston) wrote an
article about the benefits of acupuncture he received while recovering from an
appendectomy in China when former President Nixon made his historic visit to
• In 1975, the
first acupuncture school in the U.S. was established.
• In 1982, The
National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
. In 1985, the first NCCAOM Comprehensive Written
Examination (CWE) in Acupuncture (ACP) was given.
• In 1993, a television documentary and companion book
entitled “Healing and the Mind” by prominent American journalist Bill Moyers
were published; national surveys were showing significant use by the American
public of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including acupuncture.
• In 1996, regulatory
action of the Food and Drug Administration reclassified acupuncture needles
from the category of “investigational devices” subject to cautionary labeling
to the category of devices that are safe and effective
• In 2002,
Presidential (White House) Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Policy report concerning CAM (including acupuncture) was published.
• In 2005, the Office of Alternative Medicine (currently
the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health --NCCIH) was
• March 2016, the
Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) released a National
Pain Strategy. The strategy recommends, among other solutions to chronic pain
management, “the development of a system of patient-center pain management
practices” that include Oriental Medicine techniques, most prominent among
Complementary and alternative medicine services in the
United States are an approximately $27 billion market each year. Extrapolations to the US population suggest a
47% increase in the total number of visits to alternative medicine (JAMA)
article states that the majority of alternative medicine users find these
health care alternatives to be more congruent with their values, beliefs and
philosophical orientations towards health and life.
US Labor Department predicted that 17,700 oriental medicinepractitioners would
be needed in the next 10 years. According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) latest salary updates, health diagnosing and treating
practitioners, such as an acupuncturist, earn a median annual salary of