Mix of Complementary & Alternative Therapies is Changing Over Time

An interview survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Health Statistics finds growing interest in mind and body approaches to pain management, particularly yoga and osteopathic manipulation. The survey found that herbal supplements continue to be the most used complementary therapy approach, but that other modalities are gaining acceptance as well. Josephine Briggs, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), posits that the usage trends might be related to a growing body of research that shows that some mind and body practices can help manage pain and reduce stress.

The interview survey, conducted in 2012, provides the most comprehensive information on the use of complementary therapies in the US. Overall, 33.2% of adults and 11.6% of children used complementary health approaches in 2012, the survey found. Natural products (dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals) continue to be the most common complementary medicine used by Americans, although the use of certain supplements has increased and the use of others has decreased. The survey also found that Americans do not always disclose their use of natural products to their healthcare providers. Therefore, it is very important for clinicians to ask their patients about complementary product use, Dr. Briggs said.

Read a news story about the survey findings here.




Related Content