6 Key Reasons Millions Of People Use Alternative Medicine
Which CAM therapies are most commonly used by American adults?
According to The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), “In the United States, approximately 38% of adults (about 4 in 10) and approximately 12% of children (about 1 in 9) are using some form of CAM.” “Among adults aged 18 and over, increases were seen from 2012 to 2017 in the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors during the past year.” (Source).
According to Grandview Research, 70% of adults surveyed in 2017 in the United States believe complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provides positive results. 78% of those responders were women, and 62% were men. (Source)
Holistic Medicine Availability
One reason that many people use alternative medicine is that it is widely available. For example, the use of herbs to maintain optimal health or to make home remedies. Herbs are more accessible and affordable for a wide range of people. Mind-body practices such as yoga and meditation can be easily practiced at home without the high costs.
Alternative Medicine Affordability
A related reason is that alternative medicine is usually more affordable than conventional medicine. People who may have trouble paying for medical bills may be drawn to the comparatively low cost of alternative medicine.
The cost of going to alternative medicine practitioners for services like acupuncture may be high. Obtaining herbal supplements, essential oils, and others can be far more affordable than a trip to the hospital.
Natural Strategies In Healing
Prescription drug use is at an all-time high in the United States. Often patients complain that the first go to of their doctor is to write a script.
Most all of the therapies used in CAM are natural. This is far from the often chemically based interventions seen in conventional medicine. This includes but is not limited to, herbs, essential oils, healthy diet, supplements, chiropractic treatment, mind-body practices, and naturopathy.
Improved Life Quality and Side Effects Of Treatment
Another important reason people use alternative medicine is that it can improve life quality and lessen side effects of treatment. When people endure serious illnesses or chronic conditions, inevitably their life quality suffers, and side effects of conventional medical treatments bring undue hardship. CAM can help.
For example, Music Therapy is often used in pain management. It can be helpful for conditions such as arthritis and other chronic pain syndromes. Cancer.gov reports that acupuncture is helpful in reducing the side effects of treatment. (Source)
Would You Trust Holistic Medicine?
Millions of people all around the world genuinely trust alternative and holistic medicine as they have for the whole history of humanity. Some of the therapies used in CAM, [acupuncture, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, and Herbalism] have been in use for thousands of years. Eastern culture strongly believes in its effectiveness in the modern world.
A more accurate term for “alternative medicine” might be “folk medicine.” “Folk” comes from the German word for “people.” “Folk medicine” means something like “the people’s medicine” or even “popular medicine.”
What this really comes down to is whether we should trust man-made solutions more than we should trust natural solutions. (Source)
A final reason that an increasing number of people trust alternative medicine is that the reasons not to trust it are dissolving. A recent increase of scientific curiosity in alternative medicine has led to a number of legitimate scientific studies on its effects.
While several alternative medicinal cures and practices have been “debunked,” many, including essential oils, therapeutic touch, meditation, and yoga are becoming more popular. Scientific studies are adding validity to the trust that many people already placed in them.
If this article inspired you to look deeper into alternative medicine, that’s great. If it convinced you to have a little more understanding and respect to people who do use alternative medicine, that’s even better.
If you are interested in exploring alternative medicine, you can ease into it by talking to your primary care provider. Many conventional doctors recommend alternative therapies to their patients and can provide more information on how to get started.
You should also talk to your healthcare provider before exploring alternative medicine if you are on any medications. While very few alternative medicine practices are harmful to healthy people, some can interact with prescription medications.
A holistic medical doctor is trained in the use of both conventional and alternative medical care and is something of a one-stop shop.
Are Natural Remedies for You?
Western medicine is slowly losing its appeal as individuals across the nation are shifting their focus towards holistic methods of healing. From the introduction of CBD to using essential oils to cure headaches, the laundry list is vast of natural options.
While many people swear by their valerian root and hemp protein, others are apprehensive about jumping on the natural train. They may fear giving up products that they’re used to for something brand new.
There are valid reasons to be afraid of trying something out of your comfort zone. To begin, few natural remedies are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. That means fewer case studies and more room for error.
In addition, are natural remedies effective? Some are nervous about trying procedures like acupuncture because they don’t believe it has value. Why risk your current health for something that isn’t proven?
When considering going the natural route, there are several things to consider before taking the plunge and making a major change. Let’s consider a few.
Are You Prepared For the Cost?
Natural remedies are more expensive than traditional medication. For example, ibuprofen is priced as low as $2 per pill. Lavender oil, an essential oil that’s used to cure headaches, is priced at a minimum of $6.
That $4 difference could add up over time. If you’re prepared to make this permanent investment in yourself, you have to be prepared to pay for it. Start slowly in the beginning. Purchase only a few products until you’re financially able to make the switch.
Not every major store sells natural remedies. The places that are the most convenient usually sell traditional medication. Unless you’re in a progressive area, you have to go out of your way to get the remedies you need. Count the costs and see if you’re prepared to adjust your schedule to meet your needs.
Have You Done Your Research?
Natural remedies require extensive research. You have to understand what to take, how to take it and what to stay away from while you’re taking it.
For example, it’s suggested to not take valerian root with chamomile tea as the sedative is too powerful. You may find it hard to function properly.
Understand what works for your goals. If you’re using natural remedies to cope with physical ailments, do the proper research. Consult with a healthcare professional to make sure you’re taking the right combination of things.
Remember that herbs are medicinal in nature. They’re powerful. Use your own discretion and be smart about what you’re using. As always, consult with a healthcare professional prior to implementing this into your daily life.
You may even find it beneficial to reach out to a holistic specialist. Find a reputable and trustworthy source who can guide you in the right direction.
Are You Prepared to Make a Lifestyle Change?
Like many treatments in conventional medicine, you might have to make some or major changes in your lifestyle to really reap optimal benefits.
With natural remedies, you have to do the same. This means changing your diet, getting active, and living a life of wellness.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to make the switch to entirely organic. Take it slow while you’re getting your footing. This will help you really make this way of living a lifestyle change as opposed to a momentary fix.
Natural remedies are only a fraction of what it takes to be healthy. Make sure you’re prepared to make all the necessary changes to live your healthiest life.
Making the switch from traditional medication to holistic should be discussed with your doctor. Work together with them to decide the best routine for your lifestyle change.
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