Chinese Medicine Times : Keeping You Informed

Chinese Medicine Times : Keeping You Informed

Development of traditional Chinese medicine in United States



The United States government established Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to meet the public needs. In 1991, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved the first acupuncture clinic for their patients. The National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was founded at NIH in 1998 to sponsor and develop CAM research. In 2001, the budget for NCCAM had grown to 130 million USD. Of the 3 300 papers on CAM published in the past ten years, 520 were funded by NIH. NCCAM goals are to focus on "mind and body medicine" and "herbals" for future research. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the major components in CAM. From 1998 to 2012, NCCAM funded 248 research subjects on TCM, with a total budget of 236 million USD. The subjects were as follows: 160 for acupuncture, 36 for Chinese medicine, 33 for Tai Chi, and 19 for Qigong. The American public is increasingly supportive of CAM, including TCM. According to the national survey in 2008, nearly 40% of American used CAM, 11% of them were children, self-spending 33.9 billion USD in 2007. In the same year, 3.7 million people received acupuncture in the United States. The data also indicate that women, higher income and higher educated people used CAM more frequently. An increasing number of allopathic medical professionals are open to CAM, and recommend their patients to use acupuncture and other modalities. TCM, as an important part of CAM, has become a new option for patients in improving their healthcare services in conjunction with allopathic medicine. TCM will have more potential to be utilized in the United States.

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