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J Integr Med. 2018 Jan;16(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.003. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Distribution of licensed acupuncturists and educational institutions in the United States in early 2015.

In recent decades, acupuncture has been used more widely and extensively in the United States (U.S.). However, there have been no national surveys or analyses reported in academic journals on the number of practicing or licensed acupuncturists. This study was conducted to identify the approximate number of licensed acupuncturists active in 2015. The Board of Acupuncture or Board of Medicine in each state or U.S. territory was contacted to collect data. Online license information searching was also performed in order to get accurate numbers of licensed acupuncturists for those states in which a board was unable to be contacted. The study found that the number of licensed acupuncturists in 2015 in the U.S. was 34,481. Of this, more than 50% were licensed in three states alone: California (32.39%), New York (11.89%) and Florida (7.06%). The number of licensed acupuncturists increased 23.30% and 52.09%, compared to the year 2009 (n = 27,965) and 2004 (n = 22,671), respectively; increasing about 1,266 per year. There were 62 and 10 accredited acupuncture institutions providing master and doctoral degrees, respectively. The West Coast comprised 51.39% of degree granting programs, while the East Coast comprised 29.17%; together the coastal states housed more than 80% of all programs, with the remainder sprinkled across the southern (9.72%), northern (8.33%), and the middle/central states (1.39%). Forty-four states and the District of Columbia regulated acupuncture practice by law at the time of data collection. Acupuncture continues to be a quickly growing profession in the U.S.

KEYWORDS:

Acupuncture educational institution; Acupuncture regulation; Acupuncturist; Oriental medicine; United States

PMID: 29397086  DOI:10.1016/j.joim.2017.12.003
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On Wednesday, Feb 14,2018, Acupuncture Society of Virginia (ASVA) members went to Richmond, Virginia, and attended 2018 Lobby day. Many Delegates and assistants came and tried acupuncture. There are 10 pictures here.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/JxGIYLrEeuv17Weo2

 

via Our article has been selected as one of ten articles for the November 2017 Elsevier Atlas Awards Nominations : “Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management–White Paper 2017”

Great news! This month our article”Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management–White Paper 2017″ 1 (Arthur Yin Fan is the first author, and Dr.David Miller is the correspondence author, our colleague Sarah Faggert also a co-author-there are 14 authors across the United States) has been selected as one of ten articles for the November 2017 Elsevier Atlas Awards Nominations.

As is stated on the Elsevier Atlas Awards homepage: “Each month the Atlas Advisory Board are sent a selection of 10 articles to choose their winning Atlas article. The articles are shortlisted by Elsevier from across journal portfolios based on their potential social impact. We are delighted to present the entire monthly shortlist and congratulate the authors of the nominated articles.” While the voting is still in progress, we are still very excited to even be nominated. This marks the first time that an acupuncture article has been nominated for the Elsevier Atlas Award.You may click on the following link to take you the Elsevier Atlas Nominations page: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/atlas/nominations.

We will let you know should our article win!

Each month the Atlas Advisory Board are sent a selection of 10 articles to choose their winning Atlas article.
ELSEVIER.COM
Reference:
1. Fan AY, Miller DW, Bolash B, Bauer M, McDonald J, Faggert S, He H, Li YM, Matecki A, Camardella L, Koppelman MH, Stone JA, Meade L, Pang J. Acupuncture’s Role in Solving the Opioid Epidemic: Evidence, Cost-Effectiveness, and Care Availability for Acupuncture as a Primary, Non-Pharmacologic Method for Pain Relief and Management—White Paper 2017. J Integr Med. 2017; 15(6): 411–425.

Acupuncture is good for changing American Opioids Epidemic, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug3e0FzSRAI

  针灸在美国被点赞 中药科研亟须提上日程

近日,第三届美国中医药大会在美国首都华盛顿举行,来自美中等国的300余名中医药专家参会。

中医在美国的发展现状如何?面临着什么样的机遇和挑战?带着这些问题,《经济参考报》记者采访了与会专家。

针灸发展形势良好执照医生约4.5万人

本次会议主办方是全美中医药学会与美国中医校友联合会,两个协会的会长均由曾就读于北京中医学院(现北京中医药大学)的田海河担任。

田海河对记者介绍说,自美国前总统尼克松访华把中医带回美国,至今已45年。目前,中医在美国有了长足发展,已有46个州和华盛顿特区完成了针灸立法,目前各类有执照的针灸医生约有4.5万人。

“这是一个很好的发展形势,但是学术水平良莠不齐,中医尚未进入医学主流体系。”他说,“就像美国人选择餐馆时还是以喜欢吃西餐为主,喜欢中餐的人虽有,但仍占不是占多数。要想怎么把中医带入美国主流社会,我们还有很多工作要做。”

田海河说,作为外来医学,中医在美国“还是经常会受到一定排挤和否定”,虽然临床、科研及发表的文章为针灸提供了一些有效果的证据,但证据还不是显得非常充足,“需要我们更有效地开展临床科研工作,提供更有说服力的证据,以此来说服民众、媒体、立法、保险公司等更进一步认可中医,接受针灸。”

他表示,针灸是个好东西,确有疗效,很多人都认识到它的价值,近期出现了一些其他行业想染指针灸,“我们的态度很明确,欢迎更多的人来做针灸,惠及民众。但一些其他行业人只接受了很少的训练,就提供针灸服务,还有人把针灸改成‘干针’,试图绕过法律和各行业的执业范围限制去做针灸,非但没效,更对病人造成安全隐患。所以,我们要抗争,并教育、帮助们民众找到一个合格的针灸师。”

“我们需要对民众的安全负责,对针灸的名誉负责,需要对我们中华民族文化保护。因为‘干针’本来就源自于针灸,他们把针灸改头换面,不认祖归宗了,反倒说跟中医无关,这是一种剽窃行为。”田海河说。

针灸临床研究正规范望入美主流医学体系

谈到美国中医药大会,田海河说,该会每年举办一次,今年是第三次,美国、中国以及其他一些国家的中医领军人物都来了,几乎所有以西人为主的全国性中医组织的主要负责人也来了,参会的还有美国食品和药物管理局及美国国家卫生研究院官员,美国针灸执照考试委员会、美国中医高校联合会及资格鉴定委员会等机构的主要负责人也都到场。

“这次大会的目的是要团结更多的华裔和非华裔针灸师,大家聚集到一起共同探讨如何抓住机会,面对挑战,并同时提升整体学术水平,引领美国中医药的正确发展方向。”他说。

会上,世界针灸学会联合会主席、中国针灸学会会长刘保延教授做了题为《针灸临床疗效研究的思考与实践》的主题报告。他指出,疗效是针灸发展的根本,虽然针灸临床研究论文在1992年以后快速增长,但过去一直没有形成系统的临床评价方法,缺乏高质量研究数据,为此中医学界制定了或正在制定针灸临床研究和技术操作等一系列规范,希望按照国际通行标准,“推动针灸堂堂正正进入主流医学体系”。

大会期间,全美中医药学会副会长、美国执照针灸师樊蓥做了题为《假针灸真是假的吗?》的学术报告,对一些结论认为针灸无效的论文的研究方法提出质疑。

樊蓥在接受记者采访时解释说,美国顶尖医学期刊《美国医学会杂志》近年来发表7篇针灸研究论文,最近的一次是今年6月发表两篇论文,其中刘保延负责的一项研究显示针灸治疗女性压力性尿失禁确实有效,而另6篇临床研究结果都是阴性(无效)结论,这可能与研究方法有关系。

樊蓥说,西医的临床研究要求随机、对照、双盲,对针灸而言,随机和对照没有问题,但双盲是有问题的,因为假针灸很难瞒过针灸师和病人,造成了所谓“真针灸不真、假针灸不假”的问题。

美国国家卫生研究院的夏月博士探讨了大数据对针灸科研的指导意义,希望美国和中国在中医科研方面加强对接。

中药尚处灰色地带科研亟须提上日程

田海河强调,中医不仅是针灸,还包括中药,但因为针灸首先进入美国,所以针灸在美国成了中医的代名词。目前,中药在美国未被列入药物范畴,只能归类为食品补充剂,不能宣传治疗效果,所以还处于灰色地带,这限制了中药在美国的广泛应用和发展,“要把中药发展提到日程上来,包括推动在州层面甚至联邦层面立法。当然,这需要一个漫长的过程。”

他举例说,包括麻黄在内,有几个中药因为安全性问题被美国食品和药物管理局禁用,“因此,有些人经常拿这些药说事,说中药不安全。我担心这类事件发生多了后,对在美国开展中药工作会有负面影响。所以,我们需要做一些科研,了解中药的毒副效应,保证民众的安全服用。如果只有针灸,而没有中药,不是一个完整的中医概念。”

会上,中国国家中医药管理局政策法规与监督司原司长、世界中医药学会联合会秘书长桑滨生解读了中国中医药立法及对海外的影响。桑滨生说,《中医药法》是中国中医药领域的一部综合性、基础性法律,不仅对中国中医药发展具有里程碑意义,而且对各国中医药和传统医学立法起到引领和借鉴作用。

美国药管局植物学评审组官员李静介绍了该机构有关植物新药的评审情况。她指出,截至去年年底,共有超过650种植物药物提出或通过“新药临床试验申请”,其中绝大多数处于二期临床试验阶段,但只有2种获准上市。如果把植物药物按全新成分的药物看待,这个通过率“还不错”。

另外,还有十多位中美知名针灸专家和科研教育领域的学者做了学术报告。大会主要赞助企业同仁堂也介绍了其国际化之路,表示已在纽约、旧金山和洛杉矶开设分店,要让更多美国人知道同仁堂这个品牌。记者 林小春

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/28/c_136643669.htm

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Although traditional Chinese medicine as a whole is struggling in the United States, acupuncture itself is in a much better situation.

The ancient Chinese practice involving the insertion of fine needles into the skin was generally thought to be brought to America in the early 1970s, thanks to then-President Richard Nixon’s ice-breaking visit to China.

About 45 years later, over 46 U.S. states have legalized acupuncture, and the number of licensed acupuncturists in the country has grown to around 45,000.

BIGGER ROLE

Now, local acupuncturists expressed hope that the ancient art of healing could play a bigger role in solving the ongoing U.S. opioid epidemic, which claims 91 American lives every single day.

“Acupuncture is an effective, safe, and cost-effective treatment for numerous types of acute and chronic pain,” wrote a white paper released this week by several organizations that promote the practice in the United States.

“Acupuncture should be recommended as a first line treatment for pain before opiates are prescribed, and may reduce opioid use.”

The white paper came about a week after the U.S. National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), asking its insurance company members to review their payment and coverage policies in order to promote alternatives to opioids, such as acupuncture.

Cathryn Donaldson, director of communications and public affairs for the AHIP, a trade association representing 1,300 health insurers, told Xinhua that they have responded to the NAAG letter, which was signed by 37 state and territorial attorneys general.

“Plans are exploring and improving access to non-pharmacologic pain treatments that have been proven effective in reducing pain,” Donaldson said in an email.

“Depending on the individual patient, therapies like acupuncture, mind-body interventions (yoga), psychological interventions (cognitive therapy), and exercise can be an effective first line of treatment for many before moving on to pharmaceuticals when necessary,” she said.

BIG DEAL

Although millions of Americans use acupuncture each year, the practice was considered primarily to be a complementary health approach.

As a result, many American acupuncturists were excited by the NAAG letter, which was virally spread and heatedly discussed in the social media. One of them, Fan Ying, whose clinic is based in the state of Virginia, called it “a big deal” for the industry.

“The spring of acupuncture might have come,” said Fan, one of the authors of the white paper.

“The U.S. opioid crisis will allow non-pharmacologic therapies, including acupuncture, chiropractic care and medical massage, to have a place in the U.S. healthcare system,” he said, but cautioned that “we can’t say there will be no spring chill in the future.”

Li Yongming, a licensed acupuncturist in the state of New Jersey, called the U.S. fight against opioid abuse and addiction “a new opium war.”

“Acupuncture is the most effective in all kinds of non-pharmacologic therapies for pain relief and management,” Li said.

“So the opioid crisis provides the best opportunity in decades for our industry to develop and even become more of a mainstream healthcare option. This may represent a new era of acupuncture.”

Tian Haihe, president of the non-profit American TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) Association, noted that the NAAG letter is only a proposal, but it may indeed mean a turning point and that the next question could be how to grasp it.

“We must demonstrate to patients that we can help relieve their pain, so they will have no reason or excuse to use painkillers and thus avoid being addicted,” Tian said.

“Even if the NAAG proposal is adopted, we should know that many private clinics that offer acupuncture treatments are still out of the insurance system, a problem we should worry about and think how to solve.”

“If acupuncture is covered by health insurance eventually, it’s way too good, but it should be a long process,” Tian said. “We can’t just wait. We need to provide scientific evidence to prove that acupuncture is safe and effective.”

GENERALLY CONSIDERED SAFE

So, how does American academia think about the practice of acupuncture?

“Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. Improperly performed acupuncture can cause serious side effects,” the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) wrote in an article posted on its website.

“Results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease types of pain that are often chronic such as low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headache,” the NCCIH said.

What’s more important, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a draft proposal in May recommending that doctors learn about acupuncture and other non-pharmacologic therapies for pain management.

Actually, a 2015 study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, found that of more than 6,000 chronic pain patients who responded to a questionnaire, 32 percent reported acupuncture use, 47 percent reported chiropractic use and 21 percent reported using both.

The peer-reviewed work, published in the American Journal of Managed Care, included members of Kaiser Permanente health plan only.

“There is a growing body of scientific evidence which supports the use of acupuncture for pain management. Often the medications we use don’t work well, or have too many side effects. Thus both doctors and patients are eager for alternatives,” Charles Elder of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, the paper’s first author, told Xinhua.

“It would make sense that the role of acupuncture should continue to grow in the context of managing chronic pain within our health care system,” he said, citing as an example the state of Oregon where complementary medicine approaches including acupuncture are required to be covered for back pain patients of Medicaid — a joint state-federal health care program.

“My guess is that we will see more of this in the future,” Elder said.