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Acupuncture Case Study In the U.S. Congress.By Y.C.Chan(Your Health Magazine, July, 2010)

Acupuncture practice reached and gained immense popularity in the United States after President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972.As a medical profession in this country, acupuncture should have scientific explanation to the general public, and a based theory satisfactory to AMA. Furthermore, the acupuncture needle must have FDA approval, because it is considered a medical device.In the early 1970’s most acupuncturists practiced under ground, because there was no licensure procedure available for practitioners. Due to the AMA opposition, many acupuncturists were arrested because they were considered to be practicing without a license. Under the influence of AMA, the government authorities were not favorable to acupuncture.Despite the legislative opposition to acupuncture, there was great patient demand and a growing interest among the general public. In addition, the positive acclaim from two U.S. Governor’s also gathered acupuncture’s popularity.

In the U.S. Congress, the chairman Allen Ertel of subcommittee on science and technology and Chairman George Brown of the subcommittee both agreed to hold a hearing for acupuncture on June 22, 1979. The hearing was created to examine and explore the current views of the U.S. medical profession on acupuncture.

Two acupuncture centers, and two acupuncturists were invited for testimony, as well as others (AMA, representatives, physicians, politicians, and a few patients) and totaled more than 200 people who attended the hearing. The acupuncture profession provided testimony and a copy of acupuncture study plus the author’s six page documentation, for a total of 32 pages for the records. The results of the study showed that for the acupuncture treatment of low back pain, the effective rate was 83% (after six weeks treatment plus 40 weeks intensive observation).

This study was recorded at the U.S. Congress in 1979, during the 96th Congressional Hearing for Acupuncture. The original study was planned in 1976 and completed in 1978 in Montgomery County. Almost 35 years ago, due to the uncertainty of the legal situation, there were only a small group of practitioners in the state. Since the study was not supported by any organizations, all participants were volunteers. It was almost impossible to convince physician’s to perform services without a salary, but fortunately we found the right professional group to join the study.

Acupuncture has become a healthcare profession in recent years and is available in the entire nation, but comprehensive acupuncture studies remain few. This is because most of the practitioners use herbs combined with different products, which can confuse the results. It is very difficult to perform professional studies.

These acupuncture pioneers contributed their valuable time, knowledge, dignity, passion and all efforts to sacrifice themselves to their profession. All records in the U.S. Congress, FDA and AMA proved their comprehensive study. They should be proud and deserve partial credit of acupuncture’s history in the United States of America.

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