To mark his first 100 days in office, President Obama participated in a town hall meeting in Missouri and answered questions from the audience there.
One participant, a Licensed Acupuncturist and Licensed Massage Therapist, asked the President how the administration’s health care program would incorporate alternative medicine.
This was Obama’s reply: “Well, look, my attitude is that we should — we should do what works. So I think 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. I will let the science guide me.”
That short paragraph has acupuncturists everywhere talking. The President of the United States called acupuncture “effective”! What a great endorsement!
But will these statements actually have an impact on acupuncture use in our country? President Obama did not explicitly say that acupuncture or other holistic treatments would be covered under his proposed new health plan.
Also, an endorsement from a famous person doesn’t necessarily mean that people will be flocking to try acupuncture. In 2007, Oprah Winfrey devoted the majority of an entire show to acupuncture. Although Oprah is seen to be a major trendsetter, only one new patient in my office mentioned that she decided to try acupuncture because of the show.
The best endorsements for acupuncture, as with most products and services, are the testimonials of satisfied patients. If you have benefited from acupuncture, please think about telling someone you know who might find it helpful. If you have never tried acupuncture before and are curious about it, ask someone you know who has tried it. Or, contact a Licensed Acupuncturist near you; many offer free telephone or in-office consultations.
You can also stay tuned to future blog posts, which will include an incredibly easy way to decide if acupuncture is a good option for you!