The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), formerly the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), is a United States government agency that investigates complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) healing practices in the context of rigorous scientific methodology, in training complementary and alternative medicine researchers, and in disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.
The NCCAM is one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Department of Health and Human Services of the federal government of the United States. The NIH is one of eight agencies under the Public Health Service (PHS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The forms of medical systems covered include:
- Whole medical systems such as homeopathy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and ayurveda.
- Mind-body medicine such as meditation, prayer, mental healing, art therapy, music therapy, and dance therapy.
- Biologically based practices such as dietary supplements, herbal supplements, and scientifically unproven therapies such as shark cartilage.
- Manipulative and Body-Based Practices such as spinal manipulation (both chiropractic and osteopathic) and massage.
- Energy therapies such as qigong, reiki, therapeutic touch, and electromagnetic therapy.
- NCCAM home page
- NCCAM research results
- NCCAM Clearinghouse, the public point of contact for scientifically based information on CAM and for information about NCCAM
- NCCAM Congressional appropriations
- Why the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Should Be Defunded Essay by Wallace I. Sampson, M.D.
- Committee for Skeptical Inquiry