So-Called 'Alternative'
Medicine Now Used
By 40% Of Americans

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.

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