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(6 pages total)

Page 6 - Ancient Medicine for a New Millennium

Alternative medicine use and expenditures increased dramatically from 1990 to 1997. As a result, the budget of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, created by Congressional mandate as part of the National Institutes of Health in 1992, has exploded from $2 million in 1993 to $50 million in 1999.3 Over 300 drug treatment programs now use acupuncture in the U.S., including: community health clinics, court affiliated programs, halfway houses, prisons, jails, Native American clinics, and municipal hospitals.

In 1997, a National Institutes of Health panel deemed acupuncture "an acceptable alternative, or part of a comprehensive treatment program" for certain conditions. "One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions."4 Often acupuncture treatments can result in avoidance of surgery, fewer hospital visits and quicker return to employment.

Since the 1997 endorsement by the NIH, interest in Oriental medicine has never been higher. Although still relatively new to the United States, the fact that Oriental medicine has been practiced for thousands of years not only shows it has survived the test of time, but also supports its effectiveness in treating illness.

1. R. Sandroff, "Does Acupuncture Really Work?", Vegetarian Times (August 1999) : 44-45.
2. National Institutes of Health
3. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Clearinghouse
4. National Institutes of Health

Rebecca Wilkowski, Director of Public Relations & Advertising, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, 7445 Mission Valley Rd. Suite #105, San Diego, CA 92108. Tel: 619-574-6909 or 800-729-0941. Email: rwilkowski@ormed.edu, Website: www.ormed.edu

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