Alternative Medicine - Usage

Usage

Further information: List of branches of alternative medicine

A 2011 multi-National systematic review concluded that about 40% of cancer patients use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine varies from country to country. Jurisdictions where alternative medical practices are sufficiently widespread may license and regulate them. Edzard Ernst has said that in Austria and Germany complementary and alternative medicine is mainly in the hands of physicians, while some estimates suggest that at least half of American alternative practitioners are physicians. In Germany herbs are tightly regulated: half are prescribed by doctors and covered by health insurance based on their Commission E legislation.

Many people utilize mainstream medicine for diagnosis and basic information, while turning to alternatives for therapy or health-enhancing measures. Studies indicate that alternative approaches are often used in conjunction with conventional medicine. This is referred to by NCCAM as integrative (or integrated) medicine because it "combines treatments from conventional medicine and CAM for which there is some high-quality evidence of safety and effectiveness." According to Andrew T. Weil M.D., a leading proponent of integrative medicine, the principles of integrative medicine include: appropriate use of conventional and CAM methods; patient participation; promotion of health as well as treatment of disease; and a preference for natural, minimally-invasive methods.

A 1997 survey found that 13.7% of respondents in the United States had sought the services of both a medical doctor and an alternative medicine practitioner. The same survey found that 96% of respondents who sought the services of an alternative medicine practitioner also sought the services of a medical doctor in the past 12 months. Medical doctors are often unaware of their patient's use of alternative medical treatments as only 38.5% of the patients alternative therapies were discussed with their medical doctor.

Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, wrote in the Medical Journal of Australia that "about half the general population in developed countries use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)." Survey results released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the United States National Institutes of Health, found that in 2002 62.1% of adults in the country had used some form of CAM in the past 12 months and 75% across lifespan (though these figure drop to 36.0% and 50% if prayer specifically for health reasons is excluded); this study included yoga, meditation, herbal treatments and the Atkins diet as CAM. Another study suggests a similar figure of 40%.

A British telephone survey by the BBC of 1209 adults in 1998 shows that around 20% of adults in Britain had used alternative medicine in the past 12 months. Ernst has been active politically on this issue as well, publicly requesting that Prince Charles recall two guides to alternative medicine published by the Foundation for Integrated Health, on the grounds that "hey both contain numerous misleading and inaccurate claims concerning the supposed benefits of alternative medicine" and that "he nation cannot be served by promoting ineffective and sometimes dangerous alternative treatments." In general, he believes that CAM can and should be subjected to scientific testing.

The use of alternative medicine in developed countries appears to be increasing. A 1998 study showed that the use of alternative medicine had risen from 33.8% in 1990 to 42.1% in 1997. In the United Kingdom, a 2000 report ordered by the House of Lords suggested that "...limited data seem to support the idea that CAM use in the United Kingdom is high and is increasing." In developing nations, access to essential medicines is severely restricted by lack of resources and poverty. Traditional remedies, often closely resembling or forming the basis for alternative remedies, may comprise primary healthcare or be integrated into the healthcare system. In Africa, traditional medicine is used for 80% of primary healthcare, and in developing nations as a whole over one-third of the population lack access to essential medicines.

Advocates of alternative medicine hold that the various alternative treatment methods are effective in treating a wide range of major and minor medical conditions, and that recently published research (such as Michalsen, 2003, Gonsalkorale 2003, and Berga 2003) proves the effectiveness of specific alternative treatments. They assert that a PubMed search revealed over 370,000 research papers classified as alternative medicine published in Medline-recognized journals since 1966 in the National Library of Medicine database. See also Kleijnen 1991, and Linde 1997.

Complementary therapies are often used in palliative care or by practitioners attempting to manage chronic pain in patients. Complementary medicine is considered more acceptable in the interdisciplinary approach used in palliative care than in other areas of medicine. "From its early experiences of care for the dying, palliative care took for granted the necessity of placing patient values and lifestyle habits at the core of any design and delivery of quality care at the end of life. If the patient desired complementary therapies, and as long as such treatments provided additional support and did not endanger the patient, they were considered acceptable." The non-pharmacologic interventions of complementary medicine can employ mind-body interventions designed to "reduce pain and concomitant mood disturbance and increase quality of life."

Physicians who practice complementary medicine usually discuss and advise patients as to available complementary therapies. Patients often express interest in mind-body complementary therapies because they offer a non-drug approach to treating some health conditions. Some mind-body techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, were once considered complementary medicine, but are now a part of conventional medicine in the United States. "Complementary medicine treatments used for pain include: acupuncture, low-level laser therapy, meditation, aroma therapy, Chinese medicine, dance therapy, music therapy, massage, herbalism, therapeutic touch, yoga, osteopathy, chiropractic, naturopathy, and homeopathy."

In defining complementary medicine in the UK, the House of Lords Select Committee determined that the following therapies were the most often used to complement conventional medicine: Alexander technique, Aromatherapy, Bach and other flower remedies, Body work therapies including massage, Counselling stress therapies, hypnotherapy, Meditation, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Maharishi Ayurvedic medicine, Nutritional medicine, and Yoga.

Read more about this topic:  Alternative Medicine

Other articles related to "usage":

Hyphen - Usage in English
... For Wikipedia's own standards for hyphen usage, see WikipediaManual of Style#Hyphens Hyphens are mostly used to break single words into parts, or to join ordinarily separate words into ... exist rather, different manuals of style prescribe different usage guidelines ...
Usage - History
... "The first person we know of who made usage refer to language was Daniel Defoe, at the end of the seventeenth century" ...
Nancy Mitford - Biography - U and Non-U
... or upper-class, and "non-U" classification of linguistic usage and behaviour (see U and non-U English) — although this is something she saw as a tease and she certainly never took ... have frequently portrayed her as the snobbish inventor and main preserver of this usage ... as an example of upper-class linguistic usage ...
Gay - Generalized Pejorative Use
... retaining its other meanings, it has also acquired "a widespread current usage" amongst young people, as a general term of disparagement ... This pejorative usage has its origins in the late 1970s ... and especially in the late 1990s, the usage as a generic insult became common among young people ...
Gong - Other Uses
... In older Javanese usage and in modern Balinese usage, gong is used to identify an ensemble of instruments ... In contemporary central Javanese usage, the term gamelan is preferred and the term gong is reserved for the gong ageng, the largest instrument of the type, or for surrogate ... In Balinese usage, gong refers to Gamelan Gong Kebyar ...

Famous quotes containing the word usage:

    Pythagoras, Locke, Socrates—but pages
    Might be filled up, as vainly as before,
    With the sad usage of all sorts of sages,
    Who in his life-time, each was deemed a bore!
    The loftiest minds outrun their tardy ages.
    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)

    ...Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, “It depends.” And what it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
    Kenneth G. Wilson (b. 1923)

    Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don’t are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn’t put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a lesbian.
    Fran Lebowitz (b. 1951)