Thirty eight percent of us use complementary and alternative medicine to treat our ailments. I read with great surprise results of the National Health Interview Survey which asked 23,500 adults about the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). I work in Los Angeles where the use of CAM is popular and I thought I knew the demographics but here are the realities of who is using it, what they are using and why.
The 10 most common CAM therapies among adults
1. Natural Products (a wide category I know)
2. Deep breathing
3. Meditation (the use of meditation has risen dramatically from 2002 to 2007)
4. Chiropractic and Osteopathic
6. Yoga (use of Yoga has also significantly increased from 2002 to 2007)
7. Diet-based therapies
8. Progressive Relaxation
9. Guided Imagery
10. Homeopathic treatment
Why are patients using Complementary and Alternative Medicine?
1. Back pain (by far number 1 with 17% of people using CAM using it for back pain)
2. Neck pain
3. Joint pain
7. Head or chest cold
8. Other musculoskeletal
9. Headache or migraine
Some interesting facts about who is using Complementary and Alternative Medicine
1. The MOST common age group was 50-59 (I was surprised by this), with 60-69 a close second.
2. More women than men use CAM by about 10%.
3. Those with higher levels of education (master's, doctorate or professional 55.4%)
4. Those living in the West (44.6%)
5. Those who have quit smoking (48.1%)
What are the 10 most common natural products used by adults?
1. Fish oil/Omega 3
4. Flaxseed oil/pills
6. Combination herb pills
7. Ginkgo biloba
9. Garlic supplements
10. Coenzyme Q-10