When it comes to the American health care system, drugs and surgery are primarily implemented when a more natural approach should be presented first. Often times, people resort to conventional methods to ‘fix’ certain disease or ailments and then resort to alternative methods as a last resort. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
A recent survey presents that an increasing number of Americans are fed up with conventional medicine and seeking complementary care rather than the conventional approach.
More Americans seeking non-mainstream approach together with conventional medicine
According to the National Health Statistic Report a combined data of 88,962 adults of 18 years of age or older were collected as a part of the 2002, 2007, and 2012 to estimate the use of complementary health approaches in the US. The results showed that overall 34% of US adults used a complementary health approach in 2012 and 5% of Americans used them as a primary source of health care. (1)
The approach the individual chose varied over the three time periods, however, the most popular choice was the use of non-vitamin and non-mineral dietary supplements. The use of yoga, tai chi, and qi gong increased linearly with yoga accounting for approximately 80% of the prevalence. Other approaches that were fairly popular included the use of deep-breathing exercises, chiropractic, or osteopathic medicine. (1)
Past findings show that there could be MORE Americans using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) than most realize
According to the Health Services Research in 2011, approximately 63% of Americans uses the CAM approach. Statistic shows that the rate may be much higher among health care workers than the general population. (2,3)
In fact, out of all the health care workers, 76% of them use the CAM approach and 1 in 30 Americans were referred by doctors to try mind-body therapy such as yoga, meditation, or guided imagery. (3,4,5) This approach appears to be effective in certain areas such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, and even some forms of cardiac disease. (5)
Dr. Aditi Nerurkar, who co-authored a study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, did this research based on her patients’ request and was surprised with the findings. “One in 30, that’s huge to me,” Nerurkar said. “When you think of a yoga class of 30 people, that means one has been referred by their health care provider. We were not expecting this number.” (5)
Dr. Nerurkar also explains that these types of alternative therapies have been widely accepted and solidly used in mainstream even without a doctor’s approval or knowledge. “…pursuing these alternatives has been patient-driven for years, and people don’t necessarily tell their doctors. It’s really great to see that the role of mind-body therapy in the conventional setting is becoming more widely accepted, ” she said. “My personal interest is to broaden the exposure of mind-body therapies in the conventional medical care.” (5)
Use a simple approach to radically improve your health
Most diseases could be easily reversed with proper diet, exercise, and overall wellness. Here’s a good starting point to implement healthy eating into your lifestyle:
- Consume a whole foods diet that is processed/refined sugar free.
- Ensure enough consumption of plant-based omega-3 and omega-6 fats into your daily diet, which reduces inflammation, is an anti-coagulant, and helps with blood clotting. Foods such as, seeds, leafy greens, beans, cabbages, and winter squashes are good sources. (6)
- Incorporate healthy probiotics since the beneficial bacteria have been found to modulate your immune response, reduce inflammation, produce vitamins, absorb minerals, eliminate toxins, control asthma, reduce the risk of allergies, helps with mood, improves mental health, and help boost weight loss! (3)
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