National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). We are 1 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.

Our Mission

The mission of NCCAM is to:

  • Explore complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science.
  • Train complementary and alternative medicine researchers.
  • Disseminate authoritative information to the public and professionals.

What We Do

NCCAM sponsors and conducts research using scientific methods and advanced technologies to study CAM. CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.

NCCAM has four primary areas of focus:

  1. Advancing scientific research
    We have funded more than 1,200 research projects at scientific institutions across the United States and around the world.
  2. Training CAM researchers
    We support training for new researchers as well as encourage experienced researchers to study CAM.
  3. Sharing news and information
    We provide timely and accurate information about CAM research in many ways, such as through our Web site, our information clearinghouse, fact sheets, Distinguished Lecture Series, continuing medical education programs, and publication databases.
  4. Supporting integration of proven CAM therapies
    Our research helps the public and health professionals understand which CAM therapies have been proven to be safe and effective.

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