- CHICAGO (Reuters) - Two in five Americans surveyed have turned to some
type of alternative medicine not offered by their regular doctors to treat
their aches and pains, a report published Tuesday said.
- Alternative medicine was equally popular
among different races, income groups and the two genders, according to
the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Those who tried alternative therapies
such as chiropractic or acupuncture did so not because they were fed up
with conventional medicine but because they viewed health more holistically,
the survey of roughly 1,000 randomly selected people found.
- Better-educated people and those with
a less-than-optimum health status were more likely to turn to alternative
medicine, the survey by John Astin of Stanford University's School of Medicine
in Palo Alto, Calif., found.
- Among the 4.4 percent of those who relied
primarily on alternative forms of health care, most had a distrust of conventional
physicians and hospitals.
- After chiropractic, which was used by
16 percent of all respondents, the most popular alternative treatments
were lifestyle diet (8 percent), exercise/movement (7 percent), and relaxation
(7 percent). The survey also identified homeopathy, megavitamins, spiritual
healing, massage, folk medicine, psychotherapy and art/music therapy as
alternative treatments employed.
- The respondents reported seeking relief
from various ailments including chronic pain, anxiety, chronic fatigue
syndrome, sprains, muscle strains, addictive problems, arthritis and headaches.