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Use of alternatives to traditional medicine holding steady

Posted in News by Skepdude on December 11, 2008

WASHINGTON — More than one-third of U.S. adults and nearly 12 percent of children use alternatives to traditional medicine, according to a large federal survey released Wednesday that documents how entrenched acupuncture, herbal remedies and other once-exotic therapies have become.

The survey of more than 32,000 Americans in 2007, which for the first time included children, found that use of yoga, “probiotics,” fish oil and other “complementary and alternative” therapies held steady among adults since the last national survey five years earlier, and that such treatments have become part of health care for many youngsters.

“It’s clear that millions of American every year are turning to complementary and alternative medicine,” said Richard Nahin, of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which released the survey. “The use of complementary and alternative medicine seems to have stabilized in the United States.”

The most commonly used are dietary supplements and herbal products such as echinacea, flaxseed oil and ginseng, followed by deep-breathing exercises, meditation, chiropractors, massage and yoga. While fewer Americans were using certain diets and trying herbal remedies such as echinacea to cure colds, the popularity of acupuncture, meditation, yoga and massage all grew.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “THE SEATTLE TIMES”

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