More people choosing alternative medicine

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Alternative therapies are going mainstreamNew statistics from a government agency reveal that Americans’ use of alternative medicine – including natural supplements – is rising.

Additionally, the study by the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at children’s use of natural therapies and found that 12 percent of kids have used such treatments over the past 12 months.

Among adults, nearly four in ten said they had used complementary and alternative medicines in the previous year.

Some of the most popular treatments included nutritional supplements such as fish oil/omega 3, glucosamine, Echinacea, flaxseed oil and ginseng.

Adults tended to use natural products to treat back pain, neck pain, joint stiffness and arthritis. Children used alternative remedies for conditions such as colds, anxiety and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Commenting on the findings, the Los Angeles Times suggested that alternative medicines may be most popular in areas "where mainstream medicine has not had much success."

"These statistics confirm that CAM practices are a frequently used component of Americans’ health care regimens," commented Dr. Josephine P. Briggs of the NCCAM.
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