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Alternative medicine increasingly popular among Americans

February 18, 2009 by  

More Americans are turning to alternative medicine for pain relief With a struggling healthcare system and millions of uninsured citizens, unconventional medicine centers are seeing an influx of patients.

Almost 40 percent of adults and over 10 percent of children sought alternative medicine help for a range of health problems – such as chronic back pain – in 2007, according to a joint survey by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the NIH, says she was struck at these numbers, adding that people also seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy to treat neck pain, musculoskeletal pain and headaches.

Therapies most often used in CAM to threat pain include chiropractic care, acupuncture as well as massage.

During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised wide-ranging reforms of the healthcare system.

However, according to Dr Daniel Redwood, associate professor at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, any healthcare reform should take into consideration treatments and therapies that rely on evidence-based methods of prevention, chiropractics, and complementary and alternative medicine as well.


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  • Florida Girl

    Finally, American’s a opening up to alternatives to traditional medicine.

  • Thomas Blasejewicz

    Hello, I am a native German, but live for 30 years in Japan and have now 25 years of clinical experience..
    Here I am running of the VERY few acupuncture clinics run by a western foreigner.

    The situation in Japan is certainly not “the same”, but I believe there are a lot of similarities. One of which is most probably, that if you see a physician, s/he watches his/her screen, typses some information but does not really look at the patient(s). And since the medical system runs into more and more trouble, you still have to pay maybe 20 USD for a 2-3 minute consultation. Oriental medicine usually spends MUCH more time on the patients. So, they might be gladly willing to pay let’s say 50 USD, even if it is only to enjoy the luxury of being “cared for”.

    So, if the medical commuity constantly raises health care costs, while at the same time cutting the “service” (as is the case in Japan), physicians (the health care system) are unintentionally sending their patients to the “alternative” health care providers. (which is good for us …)

    But then again, I may also be completely off the mark …

    Greetings from Japan

    • Glen

      I would like to introduce you to a new company of health products. Genesis Pure is an international company and available in Japan. Check out my website and see if this is something that would interest you.
      Especially check out Dr. Lindsey Duncan, the doctor that develops these products.
      This company is still in pre-launch and is a great business/health opportunity.


      Glen Gleghorn

  • Bob Livingston

    The U.S. health care system is number 72 in the world and it is beginning to show in the lack of quality care. This is bleeding through to the public and they are thinking alternative medicine for treatment and medical care.

    Obama’s promised “wide-ranging reforms of the health care system” will not be to improve quality but to legislate financial benefits to a greater number of people. This will be more political than anything else as the health care system is already loaded with costs.

    Orthodox medicine is all about money from the pharmaceuticals to the local doctor’s office. The whole system is profit motivated and the patient is lucky if he gets good medical care.

    • Ian D. MacGillivray, D.O.,AOCFP

      Bob, i comprehend your comens. Before I became a patient I thought everybody criticizing was wrong, but it true that ad doctors o exist. I recoend when see one, report to the State Medical Board!

  • Sylvia

    I am terrified of getting “really” sick because nothing is right in the health care system anymore and my doctor has dropped me as a patient because I don’t come in frequently enough. If you only want to go to the doctor when you are sick — they don’t want you as a patient. They will continue scheduling unnecessary return visits if you will keep going. They have even withheld maintainance refills unless I come in frequently. And there is always a problem finding a doctor taking new patients because they are all flooded with the unnecessary return visits which is their guarenteed income. And all this “preventative” care has not prevented anything. Everyone I know who has come down with cancer have survived long enough to become a “successful” statistic (5 years) and then died after the 5-year torture. And then there’s the huge statistic of deaths by hospitalization and incorrect medicines instead of the diseases. Known carcenogens are served as food and being added to our water. And congress is trying to make vitamin suppliments available by prescription only. Lindsey Wagner faught it back a few years ago but the pharmacudicals are relentless. It’s ALL so wrong.

    • Ian D. MacGillivray, D.O.,AOCFP

      Sylvia, I und4erstand much of the LAY puboic’s concern, but most of it is because they just do’t know! Medical books are available in Medical School libraies, please read them. I als adivise you to do Active Resistive exercing as often as you can; esp 20 minutes 3 times a week!

  • Dan

    Best thing to do is just not get sick. I can barely afford health insurance either. I’ve been out of work for so much time of the last year and a half, that the COBRA payments themselves are driving me toward bankruptcy. I also have maintenance medication some of which, I may have to consider doing without if I can. They tend to load you up with prescriptions without any thought to the cost of and some may not necessarily be all that beneficial. Maybe even harmful. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy by design, but the care givers often make you worse and keep you coming back. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right?

    Alternative medicine also includes, on the preventive side, balancing of the spiritual and mental as well as the physical. Often, too much emphasis is on the physical / material, when problems in the other two areas are really at the root of the problem. Meditation & prayer can be powerful agents of healing and help to still the mind. (Anger and resentment in themselves can eat you alive). All too often using our God given conscience & common sense is overridden by the victim and helplessness mentality. For instance: Why am I still poisoning myself with this or that when I know better? Because of depression which is anger turned inward. Fear, worry and self doubt don’t seem to do any favors, either. Even the medical industry is starting to get that. Anyway, that one is free.

    Energy medicine is another new area of discovery of ancient knowledge that is helpful. Some include simple exercises that can do a world of good. Even just the breathing. There’s lots of information out there and for little money (cost of a book or DVD) and a little time can be well worth it.

    Try to find foods and supplements that provide as complete a range of nutrients as possible. Many many problems, especially in degenerative disease are preventable or curable if your body gets the right stuff. The body is very self-regulating, if given the chance.

    I have to do something. The government isn’t going to do anything except keep me in the poor house and limit my options. It’s doing all the right things to create a country of dependents with a strong sense of entitlement, helplessness and victimization and centralized power structure. Sounds something akin to the old USSR. Only now the USSA.

    • Ian D. MacGillivray, D.O.,AOCFP

      Hi Dan,I understand the lay public is confused and worried about their health concerns. My best recomendation is for you to read, understand and memorize current medical ethics, then find a doctor you like that agrees to adhere to them.
      E.G., Hippocratize and Strong

      • http://Hughes John

        dr. macgillivray,
        thank you for your comments. you are very knowledgeable and smart. Would you be interested in advising my parents on their current medical conditions?

  • Joe

    There are so many “fix all” products on the market, many that are very good, but not one compares the the one my wife and I started taking only a month ago. As a type 2 diabetic, my sugar levels have improved greatly, and hope to be off the “pharmacuitical” pills within 6 months. My wife has not felt better, (like me) in years and we are both in our 50′s. Our vet is amazed of how only a teaspoon a day has stopped a turmor inside the bladder of our much loved dog Rusty. Visit my web site and call then call or email me. I am very passionate about this product, that contains 7 adaptogens that NO other product has.

    • Ian D. MacGillivray, D.O.,AOCFP

      Joe, could you advise us what chemical you take is so marvelous?

    • http://none Ignacio Cisneros

      Joe, I would like information on such a product.

  • Isabel

    I think the key issue is “responsability”, We have to start realizing that it is OUR OWN responsability to take care of our own health, learn about what foods to eat, how our bady works, what to do with what nature provides to improve our lives, etc, etc. It is OUR lives and we are the ones that care the most about it. We should “prevent” many things that we face now as a society.

    • Ian D. MacGillivray, D.O.,AOCFP

      Isabel, without the knowledge gained by studying, how can you expect to have the knowlege of what your nutional physiology is needed?

  • Ian D. MacGillivray, D.O.,AOCFP

    May ask; why would any intelligent adult person choose an alternative medicine over any refered by a licensed physician?

  • M Hanson

    I found alternative medicine 21 years ago and have treated myself and my 7 children almost exclusively with homeopathic remedies. I have continuously studied and learned more about this inexpensive, proven, and effective medicine that has been around for more than 200 years. Look in the library. The only reason i have health insurance now is because my son in college is required to have it. It is cheaper for us to get it for the family than to have it for just one, so now we pay for insurance, that is almost not necessary because i can treat most problems at home without doctors. I have treated ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, strained ligaments and tendons, hernias, sore throats, breast infections, toenail fungus, and many other ailments myself by homeopathy.

  • Judy

    I would like to introduce you to my business with a 35 year Japanese Company dealing specifically in the wellness industry. For more details go to my web site and click on “business opportunith” and consultant of the year as well as the other sub titles. This is a globall company with millions of customers and with products that are all natural, no side effects, and safe.

    Please take a look and contact me.


  • Maryann Short

    I have stage 4 lung cancer and have used alternative methods for two and half years. I am still here and feel great most of the time.


  • http://PersonalLibertyDigest Wiselady

    Wiselady says:


    I am excited that there is more interest in Alternative Medicines. I adhere to Osteopathic Cranial Medical care. Stress takes its toll on our bodies and Cranial medicine is a de-stressing process that requires Certified Osetopathic Physicians to treat the Cranial area along with the whole body.

    My doctor was an MD and became an Osteopath, now known as the Mother of Cranial Medicine. I have known her for almost 50 years and became President of her clinical teaching center in So. Calif., to help her move from a 1,000 square foot bldg. to a 29,000 square foot bldg. so she could teach other physicians, the procedures of Cranial Medicine to only MD’s and Osteopaths.

    The basic principal is to treat the whole body and get to the cause. It is a very delicate process but it has saved my life along with eating natrual foods as much as possible. I am 77yrs. old and my immune system is strong, I have not needed prescibed medications for almost 50 yrs. Now the UCSD Medical Center employs Osteopathic Physicians but can not practice Cranial Medicine however, I am thrilled to have three female Osteopathic Physicians, known as D.O.’s at the UCSD Medical Center because they understand Cranial Medicine. Although they are not allowed to practice it there, they know that I go to the clinical teaching Center for my Cranial medical treatment about every three months. If I have an injury, I immediately take care of it with my Cranial specialist and I am good in 3-4 days without drugs. My D.O. works there and at a regular Medical Hospital Clinic.

    It takes a special form of self decipline to maintain good health when you adhere to this type of care, such as excercise, natrual foods, avoiding preservatives as much as possible, soft drinks, to omany sweets, etc. It is best to start with babies, but children benefit from it beautifully as I have seen in my children and grand children, teen agers and young adults and older people may also benefit depending on their health conditions..

    The drawback is: my HMO insurance coverage will not pay for any of my services unless my D. O. signs up and the center won’t do that because of Government interventions so they droppped the HMO’s. I still have mine but hardly use it except for emergencies and seeing a specialist, and have never bought any presciption drugs for 50 yrs. I have to pay for my Osteopathic treatments which are expensive but prefer to do that than to be popping pills all the time.

    I am most blessed to have learned about Osteopathic medicine when I was younger. Along with that, my strong faith keeps me going because as my doctor says, “Jesus is the healer, we are just his hands”.

  • J. Kelley

    Why is it called unconventional or alternative medicine in the U.S.A? China and India became civilized many thousand of years before the U.S.A was formed. The Native Americans were healing the people of their tribes long before any people came to the North American continent. All of these people were using natural ingredients of the earth to do heal along with Spiritual faith and love. I started looking to find better ways to use what I believe God provided people to use, but unfortunately I have not had the finances to buy many of the products I thought would be of great benefit. It is terribly sad that for all the education that has been developed by western medicine it has not been realized that much of what is called old home remedies or the healing that had been done throughout centuries in the Asian countries are better than what is called modern medicine.


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