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National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day Aims to Increase Understanding of the Progress, Promise and Benefit of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 10/24/16 -- Today, on the 14th annual Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM) Day, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® celebrates the growing momentum for the field of AOM through new government recognition and research, and an increasing consumer interest in integrative medicine approaches.

Earlier this year, NCCAOM successfully helped to secure an independent Standard Occupational Code (SOC) for Acupuncturists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, federally funded research released in September by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health validates the effectiveness of acupuncture and other non-drug health therapies for pain.

Visibility of AOM in mainstream news has also increased. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, premiere athletes like Michael Phelps brought cupping -- an ancient Chinese treatment used to stimulate muscles and blood flow -- to the public eye. Furthermore, the devastating and growing impact of opioid abuse and deaths has prompted legislative action and a renewed attention to acupuncture as a viable alternative to narcotics.

"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."

Acupuncture Earns Distinction from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Earlier this year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirmed that 'Acupuncturist' had earned its own classification as a federally-recognized labor category based on measurable data that confirms growth in the industry. This recognition earns Acupuncturists a distinct Standard Occupational Code (SOC) which also means specific job classification with U.S. Department of Labor, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Census Bureau. The new designation is the result of a decade-long initiative spearheaded by NCCAOM in conjunction with the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) and other leading acupuncture professional organizations.

Federal Research Validates Acupuncture Therapies for Pain
When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health released research validating the effectiveness of acupuncture and other non-drug health therapies for pain, it was a significant milestone for the industry and for the battle against opioid addiction. Published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal, the piece, "Evidence-based Evaluation of Complementary Health Approaches for Pain Management in the United States," compiled evidence on how complementary health therapies -- including acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, massage therapy, and relaxation techniques -- are effective in treating chronic pain.

AOM Day 2016: Growing Awareness for Healthy Living
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. An estimated 33% of U.S. adults use some form of (CAM), according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Among the common CAM practices identified by the survey were acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, tai chi and qi gong. AOM Day 2016 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.

About 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 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.

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