Contact: Mina Larson, CEO NCCAOM (202) 381-1115 [email protected]
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) supports the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report
(Washington, DC, September 23, 2019) – As efforts to combat the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States increase, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force recently released its final Report and Resource Kit.
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) supports the Task Force’s Report, which identifies gaps and inconsistencies in pain-management treatment practices and establishes best practices for pain management.
The Report notes that chronic pain is a complex and stigmatized condition that affects 50 million adults in the United States, costing the nation between $560 – $635 billion annually.
To improve the lives of those suffering from pain, the Task Force’s recommendations include five broad treatment approaches: 1) Medication; 2) Restorative Therapies; 3) Interventional Procedures; 4) Behavioral Health Approaches; and 5) Complementary and Integrative Health. The Report discusses and endorses historically ignored, yet effective therapies, such as acupuncture, yoga, massage, and relaxation techniques. The Task Force Report emphasizes:
• Individualized, patient-centered care fostering a therapeutic alliance between the patient and clinician.
• Multidisciplinary approaches using treatment modalities and the biopsychosocial model to pain care.
• Consideration of special patient populations, as well as comorbid conditions that can accompany complex pain conditions.
The philosophical and cultural shift to address chronic and acute pain through acupuncture and its adjunctive therapeutic approaches continues to gain momentum. The Report cites the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (2016), which recommends non-pharmacological treatments, such as acupuncture, and encourages education, enhanced access to care, and shared decision-making between patients and practitioners.
“As outlined in our June 26, 2018 letter to the HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, the NCCAOM is pleased that the Task Force has included non-pharmaceutical interventions such as acupuncture for the treatment of addiction and pain in the recently released final Report and Resource Kit”, stated Afua Bromley, NCCAOM Board Chair.
It will take time to undo the damage from the overreliance of opioids, but the Task Force Report is the roadmap to a safer, more functional, and less painful future.
About the NCCAOM
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 passing scores on the NCCAOM certification examinations are documentation of competency for licensure as an acupuncturist by 46 states plus the District of Columbia which represents 98 percent of the states that regulate acupuncture. All NCCAOM certification programs are currently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). To learn more about the NCCAOM, or about acupuncture and national board certification visit www.nccaom.org. To find an NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturist™ in your area, click on Find A Practitioner at www.nccaom.org.