Fact Sheet

Oriental medicine is a comprehensive health care system encompassing a variety of traditional health care therapies that have been used for more than 3,000 years to diagnose and treat illness, prevent disease and improve well-being.

Acupuncture is one of the essential elements of Oriental medicine. Other elements include Chinese herbology, bodywork (e.g., acupressure, shiatsu), diet and exercise (e.g., tai chi, qi gong) based on traditional medicinal principles.

All Oriental medicine modalities are intended to improve the flow of qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi regulates the body's spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). According to traditional Chinese medicine, when yin and yang are balanced, they work together with the natural flow of qi to help the body achieve and maintain health.

According to a National Institutes of Health consensus panel of scientists, researchers, and practitioners who convened in November 1997, clinical studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer-related treatments, as well as for dental pain experienced after surgery. The panel also found that acupuncture is useful by itself or combined with conventional therapies to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, and to assist in stroke rehabilitation.

CLICK HERE TO REVIEW THE NIH CONSENSUS STATEMENT

Outside the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the United Nations, lists more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture may be a useful treatment.

Conditions Appropriate for Acupuncture Therapy

Digestive
Abdominal pain
Constipation
Diarrhea
Hyperacidity
Indigestion

Emotional
Anxiety
Depression
Insomnia
Nervousness
Neurosis

Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat
Cataracts
Gingivitis
Poor vision
Tinnitis
Toothache

Gynecological Infertility
Menopausal symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome

Miscellaneous
Addiction control
Athletic performance
Blood pressure regulation
Chronic fatigue
Immune system support Stress reduction

Musculoskeletal
Arthritis
Back pain
Muscle cramping
Muscle pain/weakness
Neck pain
Sciatica

Neurological
Headaches
Migraines
Neurogenic
Bladder dysfunction
Parkinson's disease
Postoperative pain
Stroke

Respiratory
Asthma
Bronchitis
Common cold
Sinusitis
Smoking cessation
Tonsilitis

Source: World Health Organization United Nations

In response to the public’s increased use of complementary and alternative medicine such as acupuncture and Oriental medicine, an Office of Alternative Medicine was established at the National Institutes of Health. The Center became the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in 1998 and now has an annual budget of more than $100,000,000.

An estimated 36% of U.S. adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a new survey by the NCCAM. When megavitamin therapy and prayer specifically for health reasons is included in the definition of CAM, the number of U.S. adults using some form of CAM rises to 62%. Among the common CAM practices identified by the survey where acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, tai chi and qi gong.

 

 

NEWS AND INFORMATION

Welcome to the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day News Room. This area of the site was developed to provide journalists, supporting organizations and the public with up-to-date, comprehensive and accessible information on the news activities related to Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day.

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