India recognizes acupuncture as healthcare therapy
NEW DELHI, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- India has recognized acupuncture as a system of healthcare therapy, after deliberations for more than two years, officials said Monday.
"Acupuncture system which is already recognised to be practiced as a mode of therapy can be accepted as an independent system of healthcare for the indications for which there is evidence and expertise exists for teaching, training and certification," said an order issued by the Department of Health Research under the country's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
A nine-member "Apex Committee on Acupuncture" has been constituted for the purpose of promotion and regulation of acupuncture as a system of healthcare therapy.
Besides, expert committees would be constituted including experts who are academically active in acupuncture. Experts from allopathy and other systems also need to be members of such committees for drawing the boundaries for evidence-based practices and best interests of patients, said the official order by the ministry of health and family welfare.
Welcoming the Indian government's move, Dr Inderjit Singh Dhingra, a renowned acupuncturist in the country, described it as the "biggest milestone achieved in the history of acupuncture in India."
"A big move and biggest milestone achieved in the history of acupuncture in India," he tweeted.
Dr Dhingra, who visited China last year leading a team of ten acupuncturists to learn Chinese techniques therapy, also stated "Wish to have more friendship between India and China for development of acupuncture."
Speaking to Xinhua, Dr Dhingra said that acupuncture can permanently cure as many as 330 diseases and physical ailments, and it is so popular in China.
"It has been a traditional way of treatment and we want to make it popular in India too. The Indian government's decision to recognise it as a healthcare therapy is a welcome step in this direction," he added.
He further stated that now, after formal recognition by the Indian government, colleges and institutes would be set up in the country to train acupuncturists through proper degree and diploma courses.