Alternative Medicine Gains Funding and
by Carrie Elizabeth Sklar
||The National Institute of Health National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was awarded a budget of $117.7
million for 2004, marking a budget increase of over $67 million
from when it was founded in 1999.
NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative
healing practices. There is strong evidence that complementary
and alternative medicine (CAM) is rapidly gaining popularity in
the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical
Association, approximately 42 percent of all Americans are using
complimentary therapies, spending more than $34 billion annually.
More specifically, the National Certification Commission for
Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine states that one out of every
10 adults in the United States has tried acupuncture, which has
been cited by the World Health Organization to treat over 43 conditions.
Massage is also a popular form of health care: According to the
American Massage Therapy Association, 28 percent of adults reports
having a massage from a massage therapist in the past five years,
spending a total of between $4 and $6 billion on 114 million visits
One of the reasons acupuncture and massage are so popular is
because they provide health benefits that are also free of side
effects when performed by a licensed professional. According to
Chinese medical practitioners, qi is conducted between the surface
of the body and internal organs along pathways called meridians.
It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical
balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health
habits or other circumstances, disease can result. Acupuncture
and massage keep the flow of this energy unblocked and release
endorphins in the brain, thus preventing and alleviating pain.
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine is one of the oldest and
largest accredited institutions training professionals in the
areas of Oriental medicine, acupuncture, massage and Chinese herbal
medicine. At its community clinic, Pacific College provides discounted
CAM therapies to the public. For more information, please call