Photo by Snapjlr.

This weekend, I attended the 2009 Symposiun for Portland Area Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (SPARC). SPARC is a yearly event where all Complementary and Alternative medicine come together to listen to new research presentations, view posters, and discuss research in the field of alternative medicine. The Helfgott Research Institute is the organizer of this event - you can check out their blog here.

Dr. Josephine Briggs, the director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) gave a great presentation on how alternative medicine is changing in the west, and how it is sought out now compared to several years ago. For example, in a 2007 survey, the top three reasons patients seek acupuncture was for back pain, neck pain, and joint pain. Compare this to a 2002 survey where the common cold was the reason (now it's down around #7!). It's good to see that people are realizing the all-encompassing healing that is Traditional Chinese Medicine, and I can't wait to see what comes up in a future survey.

For a list of more research articles, check out Barbican Acupuncture's research page, or Chinese Medicine News.