Monday, April 14, 2008

CAM Growing in Popularity

People want complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) even when they're using mainstream medicine. The American Hospital Association does a survey every two years on CAM use in hospitals and the latest shows the percentage of hospitals offering one or more CAM services increased from 8% in 1998 to 27% in 2005.

You probably expect them all to be in California but most were in the Midwest and they were actually less common on the West Coast. The least common areas to offer CAM services were in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The top CAM services offered on an outpatient basis among hospitals were massage therapy (71%); tai chi, yoga, or chi gong (47%); relaxation training (43%), acupuncture (39%); guided imagery (32%), and therapeutic touch (30%). The top inpatient services were massage therapy (37%), music/art therapy (26%), therapeutic touch (25%), guided imagery (22%), relaxation training (20%), and acupuncture (11%).

There are literally hundreds of other therapies available (as shown in UnBreak Your Health) but at least we're making a start. Hospitals and doctors are beginning to realize there are thousands of years of healing experience available in therapies outside of prescription drugs. People are finding the courage to ask for what they want.

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