NCCIH receives largest budget increase in over a decade

Last week, Congress passed a budget for the fiscal year that began in October 2017, which includes $142,184,000 for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The $11.5 million or 9 percent increase over the NCCIH's 2017 budget of $130.5 million is the largest increase the center has seen in 15 years.

Congress established the Office of Alternative Medicine in 1992 and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, later renamed the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, in 1999. Its aim is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and healthcare.

The center conducts research on complementary and integrative health approaches, and are one of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The agency funds a number of research initiatives each year, observing all aspects of integrative medicine, including alternative therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurveda, therapeutic touch, and reiki.

Recent research looked at Tai Chi benefits for fibromyalgia patients; music and brain health for aging patients and cognitive decline; and plant-based substances for depression treatment. The organization also maintains a botanical database and collection of clinical practice guidelines for integrative practitioners.