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Doctors are warming up to alternative therapies

February 24, 2009 by  

Doctors increasingly prescribe alternative therapies as supplement to conventional medicineAs part of a trend that even very recently would have been unthinkable, increasingly many doctors are suggesting complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to their patients.

Although traditionally skeptical of CAM, doctors are now more willing to prescribe meditation, massage and acupuncture for the relief of a range of health problems, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In fact, practitioners such as Dr Ali Keshavarzian increasingly straddle both worlds as they realize that conventional medicine does not always have all the answers.

"CAM is looking at a patient as a human being, rather than a disease," said Keshavarzian, a gastroenterologist at Rush University Medical Center, as quoted by the newspaper. Although still a believer in "Western" medicine, he suggests relaxation techniques when he suspects that stress may be a factor or acupuncture for pain.

In an interesting development, medical schools have started teaching integrative practices. The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, a group that includes Duke University, Harvard and Northwestern, has grown from eight to 43 members since 1999.

This trend reflects the fact that alternative medicine is increasingly popular among ordinary Americans.

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

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  • s c

    It would be wonderful to see MDs thumb their noses at the incredible non-science spewed out by America’s AMA/FDA/drug company cult. For decades, Americans were expected to endure whatever over-priced insanity was doled out by a ‘cut, burn and poison’ paradigm [ref. chemotherapy].
    Destroying a weakened immune system is diabolical, and says much about those who practice this life-destroying insanity. Quo vadis, science?
    Honor your Hippocratic oath, doctors. Your first duty is ALWAYS to your patients [not your bank account].

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