National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Frequently Asked Questions

On this page:

Consumer Questions

Q: Does NCCAM provide referrals to or maintain a list of complementary health practitioners?
A: No. As a medical research agency, we don't refer people to or maintain lists of such practitioners or treatment centers. However, our Web site has information on how to find a practitioner and offers answers to basic questions.
Q: Does NCCAM provide medical advice?
A: No. As a research agency, we don't provide medical advice. Information provided by NCCAM should not take the place of your health care provider's medical expertise. You should discuss all aspects of care and treatment with your health care providers, including any complementary health approach you're using or considering.
Q: Does health insurance cover payment for complementary health approaches?
A: It might. If you're considering using a complementary health approach, contact your insurance carrier to see if it's covered. Also, see our fact sheet Paying for Complementary Health Approaches for more information.
Q: How do I find out about credentialing and licensing of complementary health practitioners?

A: Requirements for licensure vary by type of complementary health approach and by state. For some complementary approaches, some states require licensure while others don't. For other complementary approaches, there are no formal requirements for practice. Consider contacting a nearby hospital, medical school, health licensing authority, or state medical board for credential and license requirements in your state. For more information on this, see our fact sheet Credentialing: Understanding the Education, Training, Regulation, and Licensing of Complementary Health Practitioners.

Our information on how to find a complementary health practitioner provides information and resources for learning more about professional standards, training, and other requirements for complementary health practitioners.

Professional organizations may be useful places to contact to find complementary health practitioners. The MedlinePlus Directories page from the National Library of Medicine lists organizations for some professions and provides links to directories of libraries and various types of health professionals, services, and facilities.

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Research Questions

Q: How do I learn about the results of research conducted by NCCAM?
A: Our Research Results page highlights findings from NCCAM-funded studies. We also provide links to databases you can search for published articles about NCCAM-funded projects and other research studies involving complementary health approaches.
Q: How do I apply for a grant?
A: Our Tips for New NIH Research Grant Applicants provides links that will help you get started and complete all the required steps. The page includes announcements, guidelines, advice on writing grants, and other help. There's also information on the types of projects we fund, as well as our research priorities.

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Web Site Questions

Q: Are the images and text on NCCAM's Web site copyrighted?

A: Most photos and graphics on our site were purchased and are protected by copyright. Copyrighted material carries a credit line indicating that it did not originate at NCCAM. Please do not copy these photos and graphics on our Web site without permission from the copyright owner. Images within the NCCAM Image Gallery, however, are freely available for non-commercial scientific and educational use. Please see the Image Gallery's Terms of Use for details.

Text on the NCCAM Web site is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. You may print and copy our publications. Please credit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as the source, and include the publication title and date, where applicable. Do not use our information in a way that suggests we endorse any commercial product or service. Because we routinely review and update information, we encourage you to link directly to our Web site.

Occasionally, the NCCAM site may contain documents or links to documents, such as full-text journal articles, that are copyright protected. Web users may view and print these documents. Contact the copyright owner for any other uses.

Q: Does NCCAM endorse products or other Web sites?
A: No, NCCAM does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services, nor does NCCAM endorse any complementary health product or practice. The information on NCCAM's Web site may not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

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General Questions

Q: How do I contact NCCAM?

Toll-free in the U.S.: 1-888-644-6226
TTY (for deaf or hard-of-hearing callers): 1-866-464-3615

NCCAM Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 7923
Gaithersburg, MD 20898

E-mail: info@nccam.nih.gov

For more specifics, see the Contact Us page.

Q: How can I stay up-to-date on NCCAM's activities?
A: You can stay informed via e-mail and social media updates.