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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alternative Medicine Gaining Clout

Written by Tena Moore

It’s taken quite a long time, but conventional medical doctors are starting to take notice of, and even incorporate, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into their treatments. They pretty much have to – their patients are using it with or without them. A recent study found that nearly 40 percent of adults and 12 percent of children polled were using some form of CAM. Whether patients are taking certain herbs for their ailments, going to an acupuncturist or chiropractor for pain, or meditating for stress and anxiety, they are involving these mind-body-spirit therapies into their lives.

This is a definite case of the public changing the way a system works. So many people are incorporating CAM into their lives; doctors need to educate themselves so they can help their patients stay healthy. Many are reporting that these therapies are helping their clients, not as the only method, but used in addition to conventional medicine. This integrative style of medicine (for instance, a doctor prescribing prescription asthma inhalants, as well as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and the herb mullein) is becoming mainstream. In addition, more studies are being done to determine the safety of these alternative healing therapies, and more influential medical schools are teaching an integrative approach.

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