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Endorsement by the National Institutes of Health

Consumers Guide to Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

In November 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a panel of 12 distinguished physicians and scientists to review the history, licensing, practice and current status of clinical research on the effectiveness of acupuncture. The first formal endorsement of acupuncture by the NIH stated: "There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture's value to expand its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and clinical value."

The panel determined there is clear evidence that needle acupuncture is effective for post-operative, chemotherapy and pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting, and for post-operative dental pain. Other conditions for which evidence is good but further substantiation is required include: post-operative pain, myofascial and lower back pain, addiction, stroke rehabilitation, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, headache, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps and asthma. The panel noted the World Health Organization has identified more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture may be helpful. The panel found that one of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions. To read the NIH Consensus Statement, go to NIH Consensus Statement



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