It is one of my life’s missions to bring awareness about acupuncture and Chinese medicine to as many people as possible. Â Â To this end, I gave two acupuncture presentations this month; one at the Leicester Senior Center, and one to nursing students at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) in Worcester.Â As a result, there are now about 50 more people who have a greater understanding of Chinese medicine, and I hope that they will pass this information on to others.
Knowledge is the first step in allowing us to make well-informed decisions about our health.Â Educated consumers can impact our nation’s health-care system, influencing the system to provide greater support and reimbursement for complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies.
While some states have comprehensive health-insurance coverage for acupuncture, many, including Massachusetts, do not.Â Surveys in Iowa and in Washington state show that the majority of consumers believe that health coverage should include any licensed health-care professional, including CAM providers.Â Florida and British Columbia are beginning to implement programs to include acupuncture coverage in their Medicaid/ Medical Services Plans for low-income patients.
I am encouraged by these reports, because I truly believe that almost everyone can benefit from Chinese medicine to some extent.Â This medicine is an excellent complement to Western medical care and may even provide an alternative to more invasive treatments.
If you agree that health insurance in Massachusetts should cover acupuncture treatments (with full coverage, not just discounts), I encourage you to contact your insurance company and your legislators, to make your opinion known.