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Book unveils acupuncture's four-decade journey to America


09:41, October 20, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- A new book reveals acupuncture's four-decade journey to America, from the challenges of achieving legal recognition to it being embraced by a growing number of Western physicians and therapists.

Published on Tuesday -- World Traditional Medicine Day -- "Acupuncture's Journey to America" by Li Yongming is meticulously researched and contains historic files and interviews with key players in its rise in the West.

The book details the obstacles -- both legal and medical -- that acupuncture has encountered in America over 40 years.

The legal use of acupuncture came about in 1996 when Congress decided to allow the practice into the health care system for the federal employees.

Li concludes that an article by New York Times columnist James Reston served as the catalyst for acupuncture's acceptance in the United States.

Currently in the United States, the number of licensed acupuncturists is estimated to exceed 20,000.

"Acupuncture has seen an unexpected welcome in the Western world," Li said. "It now stands with Kung Fu and Chinese food as one of the three quintessential pillars of Chinese culture overseas."

Even with its growing acceptance, Li encourages the Chinese government to increase efforts in promoting professional training and further research in acupuncture .

Li claims China resembles the United States in the 1970's with a high speed of economic and technological development.

"The Chinese middle-class will revert to adoring traditions and nature, just as Americans did in the 1970's," Li said. "And I hope the book raises the awareness of Chinese to pay close attention to the cultural value of traditional therapy and to revive the ancient healing methods of China."


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