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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Study

Written by Tena Moore

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is a Federal agency that funds projects, conducts research, trains researchers, and shares findings and information with the public about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Under this agency CAM is defined as health care that is not regarded as a component of conventional medicine. This can include products such as herbs and teas, practices such as meditation and yoga, and systems such as Acupuncture and Reiki energy healing. The four major categories of CAM study are: Manipulative (Body-Based) Practices, Biologically Based Practices, Mind Body Medicine, and Energy Medicine.

To find out how much CAM is growing in the United States NCCAM conducted a study as part of the annual National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), involving over 23,000 adults and over 9,000 children. The study found that CAM is on the rise; 38.3 percent of adults polled have used some form of CAM, up from 36 percent in 2002. This was the first time the study involved children under the age of 17. They found that 12 percent had used some form of CAM.

Many in the medical profession are starting to incorporate CAM into their practices, due to the high amount of people who are experimenting with these forms of healing. If you are using a form of CAM, inform your doctor so they can be aware of your overall health.

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