The results of a study carried out by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), recorded that both adults and children were using either complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) of some kind. The research comprised therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractics as well as other forms including meditation or herbal remedies. CAM was classified in four categories: Energy Medicine, Manipulative and Body-Based Practices, Biologically Based Practices and Mind Body Medicine.
The results confirmed that the more common therapies used in the U.S. were amongst the natural products, physical and breathing exercises, massage, osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation and yoga. These therapies were used to cure pain in general, including neck and back ache; while in children they were used more particularly for colds, anxiety and hyperactivity disorder.
Doctors and hospital centres are now becoming more responsive to complementary and alternative medicine, where these therapies are used to boost the effect of traditional medicine. Doctors realise that patients cannot be treated systematically with drug prescriptions, their patients global health and eating habits must also be considered as well as any other supplements they may be taking.
There are now many grocery stores that offer dietary supplements and often specialise in health nutrition, for CAM therapies are gaining terrain over traditional remedies and are becoming increasingly popular.
The value of CAM therapies are more generally recognised, and in combination with conventional medicine can boost health and longevity. The problem lies in the fact that not many insurance companies will accept to reimburse this form of medicine. Further research in this field must be carried out in order to study the side effects and usefulness of these remedies and integrate them in the health care system.