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    A VIEW FROM THE HILL
    ACUPUNCTURE IN WASHINGTON

In 1993, Bill Moyers produced a magnificent television series on "Healing and the Mind". His book, published under the same name, was dedicated to his father, Henry Moyers, who "loved life despite his pain" and "to men and women of the Fetzer institute, whose Mission is healing."

The following is John E. Fetzer's mission statement for The John E. Fetzer Foundation in Kalamzoo, Michigan:

The John E. Fetzer and Bill Moyer series contributed greatly to awaken America's curiosity for medical systems outside their own. Shortly before this program was released, clinicians trained in both Eastern and Western medicine disciplines and representatives from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came together in Temple, Arizona in May, 1992 to discuss the "Biomedical Research on Acupuncture". It generated a serious and intense dialogue, and I was very excited to participate in a meeting that laid the groundwork for further development in this field. At the same time the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) was formed as a division of the NIH, with the objective of evaluating different alternative treatment modalities that are being utilized in this country.

In April, 1994 the OAM, the NIH, and the FDA held a workshop on acupuncture in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Again clinicians and researchers in acupuncture came together with representatives of the above three agencies, to present and discuss different aspects of acupuncture research. I was invited to be one of the panel chairs, specifically for the presentation of how acupuncture worked on "Antiemesis (nausea and vomiting relief) in Humans". In fact, this particular panel presented some of the best studies providing the most convincing data to support the efficacy of acupuncture.

Based on this information and that of all other panels (Pain, Substance Abuse, Neurological and Pulmonary Diseases) the FDA has now changed its classification of acupuncture needles from "investigational" to "general use".

1993-1995 was a busy time for me. I have just completed my two year term as president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA), an 800 member physician-only organization, represented by all specialties across the nation. My present position as Imediate Past President allows me to concentrate more on writing and teaching. I am working on several books now, hoping to contribute to a better understanding of this fascinating field, so that all people may have access to safer and more effective medical care.


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