For Release: Monday, October 23, 2017
Contact: Sabrina Suarez, Echo Media Group
(714) 573-0899 ext. 227
Jacksonville, FL — National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine® Celebrates 15th Annual Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day.
“Over the course of this year, the field of AOM has gained prominence as an effective treatment of chronic pain as well as for preventative care among healthcare agencies and consumers alike,” said Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., CEO of NCCAOM. “AOM Day is designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.”
In observance of AOM Day, NCCAOM is raising awareness of acupuncture as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the long-term treatment of chronic pain. More than 11 million Americans misused prescription opioids in 2016, nearly 1 million used heroin, and 2.1 million had an opioid use disorder due to prescription opioids or heroin, according to the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The concern for opioid addiction and abuse in the U.S. has led six states to declare the crisis as a state emergency this year. To combat opioid addition, United States President, Donald Trump, has established a presidential commission to identify effective non-drug health therapies for pain such as acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Acupuncture is a viable evidence-based solution to the opioid crisis America is currently facing. According to a 2015 study by Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University, repeated acupuncture treatment “may reduce or eliminate the need for opioids by restoring the balance in the connectivity of the key pain brain regions, altering pain-related attention and memory.” NCCAOM states that more emphasis must be placed on alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, which has been shown to be effective in treating pain.
“In 2016, we have seen unprecedented growth in the field of AOM in healthcare agencies and by consumers alike. As use of acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments gains prominence, the need for consumer access to accurate information and nationally board certified practitioners is greater than ever,” said Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., chief executive officer of NCCAOM. “The annual AOM Day aims to grow understanding of integrative and complementary medicine treatments, inform consumers on the safe use of these treatments and advocate for the importance of seeking a nationally board certified practitioner for treatment.”
Food and Drug Administration Proposes Doctors Should Learn about Acupuncture
In May 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released proposed changes to its blueprint on educating healthcare providers about treating pain. In its proposal, the agency explained that healthcare providers “should be knowledgeable about the range of available therapies, when they may be helpful, and when they should be used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management.” The guidelines now recommend that doctors receive information about acupuncture and chiropractic care as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids.
Acupuncture Included in The Joint Commission’s Revised Pain Management Standards
Earlier this year NCCAOM, which has long advocated non-pharmacological treatments, commended The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, for their revised pain management standards that included acupuncture. In their ongoing response to the opioid crisis, The Joint Commission’s revision mandate, effective January 1, 2018, will now require accredited hospitals to provide nonpharmacological approaches to pain, hire licensed independent practitioners, and provide educational resources and programs to improve pain assessment, pain management and the safe use of opioid medications based on identified needs of its patient population.
“The new Joint Commission guidelines, will help tens of thousands dealing with acute and chronic pain to reduce pain and the risk of opioid addiction,” said F. Afua Bromley, Dipl. Ac., (NCCAOM)®, L.Ac., Chair of the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners. “Combined with the May 2017 U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation that healthcare providers be knowledgeable about the range of available non-pharmacological therapies, including acupuncture, as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain, these updated guidelines will usher in a more comprehensive strategy for pain management.”
AOM Day 2017
AOM Day was first established on October 24, 2002 and is observed annually. It is part of an effort designed to increase public awareness of the progress, promise, and benefits of AOM. According to the Pew Research Center, a fifth of Americans have tried alternative medicine in lieu of conventional medicine. Among the common CAM practices identified by the survey were acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, tai chi and qi gong. AOM Day 2017 will be marked by events across the globe. For more information about AOM Day visit www.aomday.org. To locate a nationally board certified AOM practitioner, visit www.nccaom.org.
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization established in 1982. NCCAOM is the only national organization that validates entry-level competency in the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) through professional certification. NCCAOM certification or a passing score on the NCCAOM certification examinations are documentation of competency for licensure as an acupuncturist by 45 states plus the District of Columbia which represents 98% of the states that regulate acupuncture. All NCCAOM certification programs are currently accredited by the National Commission for Certification Agencies (NCCA). To learn more about the NCCAOM, or about acupuncture and national board certification visit www.nccaom.org. To find an NCCAOM board-certified practitioner in your area, click on Find a Practitioner at www.nccaom.org.