Though acupuncture has been in existence for thousands of years, its popularity in the United States has skyrocketed in recent years. One of the most major changes in the industry is state-by-state decision to license acupuncturists and allow the practice. While the practice of acupuncture is still not permitted in all states, more and more are introducing legislation to allow it.
One of the major barriers facing acupuncture, like other areas of alternative medicine, is acceptance by the mainstream medical community and consumers, but recognition of the practice is occurring. A 2006 American Academy of Medical Acupuncture survey indicated that 59% of physicians believed that acupuncture works as a complimentary therapy. Acupuncture.com reported in July 2006 that one in four hospitals now offer some form of complimentary alternative medicine. In fact, in 1998, just 8% of hospitals nationwide offered alternative medical therapies, but that number increased to 27% by 2005.
Another significant change to the acupuncture industry is the introduction of the doctoral degree, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) and program availability is increasing.