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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Increasing Awareness of Natural Health Care

I don't like the terms alternative, complementary or integrative when it comes to health care.

I've written on this topic for a very long time and I am in total support of the term "First Medicine" that I coined a few decades ago for natural care.

But then I've been ahead of the curve for a long, long time and am not new to the trendy bandwagon like the Oprah doctors.

For several decades I've taught other of my medical colleagues about natural health care applications.

At the same time I've taught these approaches to individuals, in college based programs, corporate wellness venues, community groups and continued the educational priority through my writing.

I am glad to see this report. It gives me hope. But in the interim I'll continue teaching people how to advocate for their own best health so they can push the envelope a little so their health care providers 'get modern'.

And with a great amount of hope, that all those proposed health programs from the current political candidates, get to the point where supplements and natural care get parity.
Survey Shows Integrative Medicine on Rise with Practitioners
Excerpt from AAHF.
To no surprise to AAHF, as more and more consumers are embracing integrative medicine, so are practitioners. According to a recent survey by Jackson & Coker, a significant number of healthcare providers are using some form of integrative medicine to enhance their own health and well-being, or they have introduced certain facets of alternative medicine into their patient care.

The survey, entitled “Healthcare Providers' Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” was sent during June to thousands of physicians and other health professionals throughout the United States, with nearly 300 individuals responding.

The survey queried respondents as to what heath measures they personally hope to achieve in using some form of CAM. The results were as follows:

Stress relief 19.0%
Improve general health 15.6%
Pain management 13.3%
Improve mental alertness 11.4%
Weight reduction / control 9.3%
Reduce hypertension 8.2%
Overcome insomnia 7.8%
Lower cholesterol 5.9%
Control diabetes 3.5%
The survey pointed out, interestingly, that only a small number of doctors (15%) believe that as complementary and alternative medicine becomes more acceptable within the healthcare field, more insurers will provide approved reimbursement. Sixty-two percent felt it was either "not too likely" or "probably unlikely" that insurance coverage will substantially increase in the foreseeable future.

Most interestingly, the survey showed one of the areas that needs more focus – the education of integrative medicine by practitioners. The health practitioners surveyed learned about complementary and alternative medicine through various means: formal medical training (13%), seminars on holistic medicine (21%), and self-teaching or interaction with colleagues (25%). The types of alternative modalities, therapies, and treatments with which health providers were most familiar included: herbal medicine, massage therapy and reflexology, yoga and meditation, chiropractic treatment, biofeedback, and acupuncture. Other approaches with which they were less familiar included: hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, Tai Chi, and Ayurvetic medicine.

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