The history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back 3000 years. It is a complex healthcare system with a highly sophisticated literary and clinical history. It is the longest standing medicine practiced in the world today with over a quarter of the world’s population using the medicine. Chinese medicine has a rich history of empirical study and use. This tradition continues on in modern day practice where thousands of new clinical trials involving acupuncture and Chinese medicine are conducted yearly in China, the US and Europe.

Although Chinese medicine was first practiced in the US by Chinese immigrants around the time of the Gold Rush, it wasn’t until journalist, James Reston, recounted his experience with acupuncture in a front-page New York Times article that acupuncture and Chinese medicine truly took off here in the West. In 1971, Reston reported the effective use of acupuncture following an emergency appendectomy while covering Nixon’s visit to China. More than three decades later, Chinese medicine has become a recognized and respected medicine in the United States with over 13,000 US trained acupuncturists licensed to provide traditional Chinese medicine care. In 1997, the National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a Consensus Statement on acupuncture stating the safety and benefits of acupuncture therapy in the treatment of a variety of musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, respiratory, psycho-emotional and other conditions.