When Dr. Francis Yu started his acupuncture clinic in California in 1970s, most of his patients were Chinese. But now, half of his patients are non-Chinese.
"More non-Chinese Americans begin to accept the Chinese way of treatment, such as acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine. Another truth is, at least in California, nearly half of those who have acupuncture licenses and operate acupuncture clinics are not Chinese but Americans who do not know Chinese," said Yu who owns his two-storied TCM Healing Institute in Arcadia in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
Dr. Yu's remarks echoed the recent press reports that alternative medicine is finding wider acceptance by doctors, insurers and hospitals in the U.S.
People turn to unconventional therapies and herbal remedies for everything from hot flashes and trouble sleeping to cancer and heart disease. They crave more "care" in their health care as more people distrust drug companies and the government.
California became the first U.S. state to license qualified acupuncture practitioners as primary care providers in 1978. As of2004, California has licensed more than 9,000 acupuncturists. Now the figure is estimated to exceed 15,000. California constitutes nearly half of the licensed acupuncturists in the U.S.
Doctor Lisa Moses removes an acupuncture needle from "Ashley", a Moluccan Cockatoo, at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts March 7, 2008. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)
Dr. Yu told Xinhua that in the early days, acupuncture was not accepted and respected by the mainstream. Most Americans did not regard acupuncture as alternative treatment. But as time goes by and when more U.S. hospitals and research institutions set up acupuncture treatment centers, more Americans turned to the Chinese acupuncture and herbal medicine to cure diseases conventional American doctors could not treat.
He said recently one American lady on her 40s came from Florida to treat her pain on the neck. But Dr. Yu told her she needed to remove her plaque in her artery. She received cupping treatment for several times and when she went back to Florida, her doctor told her the plaque was gone and she felt much better.【1】 【2】