a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 602.1 

Guest: Dr. David Ramsay, President, University of Maryland 

Topic: NIH Acupuncture review 

Reporter: Aaron Cohen 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Acupuncture gets a government thumbs up...coming up...  

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association...fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362. 

NEMA: A National Institutes of Health expert panel has concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for a number of ailments. Aaron Cohen has Health on the Hill... 

COHEN: Acupuncture to treat pain and nausea has been routine medicine in China for thousands of years, but it's only just gained wide acceptance in the West. The NIH panel, chaired by the University of Maryland's David Ramsay, says It's time to drop the stigma and take acupuncture seriously... 

RAMSAY: We actually decide that there were a number of situations where it really does work. Matters of nausea or sickness that follows being given an anesthetic...surgery, following chemotherapy...the vomiting nausea that one encounters in pregnancy...and there's a very clear cut one too... and that is post-operative dental pain. And so, we've come to the very kind of clear cut decision that treatment under these circumstances really did work. 

COHEN: Critics contend that well placed tiny needles to balance the body's energy field, called the chi, is a placebo at best ...and at worst, a fraud. But with millions of people each year lining up at clinics all across the country, the public, and now the medical profession, is taking a huge leap of faith to practice a technique that still holds ancient mysteries. For Health on the Hill, I'm Aaron Cohen.