Some Facts About So-Called “Alternative Medicine” – By Terry Rondberg, DC

According to a recent national survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in nine children and teens use herbal supplements or some type of alternative medicine.

This is the first time children’s use of such remedies, including meditation and chiropractic care, has been measured. Adult use of alternative care remains about the same as it was in 2002 — more than one in three.

Given that children are generally healthy, the finding that one in nine uses alternative medicine is astounding.

The study is based on a 2007 survey of more than 23,000 adults who discussed themselves and more than 9,000 adults who spoke on behalf of a child in their home.

The adults most likely to report using alternative care were women, college graduates and those who live on the West Coast. Among most adults, alternative care was used equally by those with private health insurance and those without.

Children were five times more likely to use alternative care if a parent did. Those covered by private health insurance were more likely to use alternative care than children who were uninsured or covered by public programs.

In 2002, adult use was 36 percent, compared to 38 percent in 2009.

In this decade, many academic medical centers and other mainstream health care providers have integrated alternative care into their research and patient services. Chiropractors can be found in general hospitals. Insurance coverage and licensing of alternative care is on the rise.

There were differences in how the 2002 and 2007 surveys were conducted. Regarding herbal remedies, the 2007 study asked participants whether they had used such a product in the previous 30 days, while the 2002 study asked if they had taken it in the past year.

In both studies, herbal remedies were the most popular form of alternative care for adults. In the latest survey, nearly one in five adults reported taking a supplement in the previous month.

For adults, pain was the primary reason for seeking chiropractic care.

About the Author – Dr. Terry Rondberg
Terry A. Rondberg, DC, is a nationally recognized author, speaker and publisher on chiropractic care and wellness. He’s an outspoken proponent of chiropractic and drug-free healthcare.

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