Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Have They Helped You Heal?

Have you ever tried some form of complementary and/or alternative medicine to assist your own healing process?

It seems that 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children in the U.S. have used some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a 2007 government study, the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). This is a study repeated every year. Thousands of Americans are surveyed about their health and illness experiences and the use of 36 different types of CAM therapies, 10 types that require a provider and 29 types of self-provided therapies, e.g., herbs and aromatherapy.

Definitions of CAM
· Complementary Medicine is any methods and procedures used with together with conventional or traditional medicine
· Alternative Medicine is any methods or procedures used in place of conventional or traditional medicine
· Integrative Medicine combines conventional and CAM methods and procedures, if there is evidence of safety and effectiveness The study reveals that since so many Americans are actually using some form of CAM, it is important to perform adequate research to determine the safety and true value of these methods.

Do they work or are they just placebo, something that helps because we believe it can help or because someone else has told us it can help. It is important for medical professionals and other healthcare providers to discuss the particular CAM methods being used by patients. Especially since some of these products are not FDA approved, the exact dosage may not be accurately listed - and - combining herbal or other products with prescription medications can sometimes cause negative and even deadly interactions.

Who Uses CAM The 2007 survey, as well as an earlier survey in 2002, indicates the following CAM usage:
· Women (42.8%) compared to men (33.5%)
· Men and women aged 30-69
· Those with higher education
· Those who are not poor
· People living in the west coast of the U.S.
· Non-smokers or previous smokers who quit
· Children whose parents also use CAM

If you are currently using some from of CAM, don't just take it blindly. Read the current research provided by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the NIH and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Some of these methods have proven to enhance the healing process while others have not revealed much promising healing potential. For your own health and wellness, isn't it worth doing a bit of personal research to determine the effectiveness of a CAM treatment for your particular health concern? Would you try an experimental type of gas in your car or would you do some research first? which is more important to you, your car or your body?

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