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President Obama Supports Acupuncture


Healthcare reform may include alternative medicine therapy language. In a recent town hall meeting in St. Louis, MO, President Obama noted that he supports acupuncture. A licensed acupuncturist noted that the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization have “discovered through their studies that alternative medicine is often more cost-effective and very effective”. The President replied, “it is pretty well documented through scientific studies that acupuncture, for example, can be very helpful in relieving certain things like migraines and other ailments — or at least as effective as more intrusive interventions”. He also discussed the challenges of integrating preventative medicine into policy making noting that the new Secretary of Health and Human Service, Kathleen Sebelius, former governor of Kansas, is charged with the task of implementing effective healthcare solutions.

Acupuncture first received national attention in 1972 when President Nixon went to China and New York Times reporter James Reston successfully received acupuncture resulting in successful post-operative pain control. In 1997, the US National Institutes of Health published a report supporting the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture treatments for a wide range of healthcare issues. Under the Clinton administration, the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy was formed and The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) became part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).