If you were to describe your regular visit to your primary care provider it would probably go something like this: you’ll be sitting in the waiting room or in your car until you get summoned. Once inside, the nurse will do the usual routine check- up and then you go in to see the doctor. The doctor will likely see you for around 10 to 15 minutes.
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These regular check- ups are really important in order to remain healthy. Like the progressive jackpot, you must take part in order to be eligible for the jackpot. However, it could be that you spend more time waiting around to see the doctor than you do actually meeting with them.
Modern medicine is good, but there are people who are seeking more. And for this reason, in the United States, and all over the world Complementary and Alternative Medicine known as CAM is on the rise. Below we look at the different types of CAM treatment available.
Most common types of alternative treatment
There is actually a huge list of treatments that are considered alternative and are considered under the CAM banner. But some of the most common forms include:
Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Naturopathic medicine, Yoga, Massage, Tai Chi, Qigong, Herbalism, Food Counselling and Supplementation.
According to Greg Lane, dean of the graduate faculty at Pacific College of Health and Science and Tara Scott, the medical director of integrative health at Summa Health in Ohio (and also the chief medical officer of Revitalize Academy, the health conditions that complementary medicine can help are as wide-ranging as the mode available. Greg Lane says “Pretty much anything that anyone would see a doctor for they can see a CAM practitioner for.” That covers the following ailments or issues:
- Mood disorders
- Stress and Anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
- Chronic conditions
A report that surfaced in 2020 showed that 62.5 percent of women with breast cancer who were below the age of 40 were involved in some form of alternative therapy. This follows a National Health survey taken in 2017 over a 5- year span, which showed an increase in adults in the United States using chiropractors, doing yoga and meditation.
Why the increase in Complementary and Alternative Medicine? People want more attention from their practitioner
People are seeking more from their doctor. Regular check- ups of vitals are important but doctors seem to be short on time and are pushing to get on to the next patient. Many feel they are not able to get their needs met.
In 2018 a review of 169 studies of people involved in CAM for musculoskeletal issues found that one of the main reasons for them seeking alternative treatment was in order to have more time with the doctor. According to Scott “Patients are not feeling heard. Many complementary practitioners will give out patients an hour.”
Many people, it seems, are losing their trust in traditional physicians and feel more comfortable with a CAM practitioner. It could be that complementary medicine and its practitioners are more relationship focused and people connect more with them for this reason.
Lane thinks the holistic approach could be the reason for this. He says “Physicians are really good at getting microscopic information. They can look at specific viruses. CAM providers put the lens way back, allowing us to look at the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.”
Perhaps traditional medicine hasn’t proved successful
Many people seek alternative treatments when conventional methods have not worked. Scott says that “Doctors put them on medications that didn’t work”. For instance, “They go get a colonoscopy and endoscopy. There are no problems, but they still have symptoms.” He goes on to say that this is often the case with those who are suffering with chronic pain. The doctor is saying that everything looks fine but the patient is still in a lot of pain. If the medication doesn’t get rid of the pain or other symptoms, it is likely that the person will seek out some form of alternative treatment.
People want to find natural remedies
Often the medicines prescribed have unwanted side effects. These may include: Fatigue, gaining weight or losing weight, mood changes, upset stomach, problems with sleep and loss of sex drive. It is often the case that people are looking to avoid these side effects and therefore want to see if alternative treatments can help them manage their condition. The ingredients in Gundry MD energy renew ingredients are designed to help your body get back to a state of feeling re-energized and refreshed. This revolutionary formula may help support clear thinking, youthful energy, and a “humming” metabolism throughout the day.
Often people are interested in an integrative approach
Yoga and meditation can definitely help to lower stress levels and perhaps mean that the person doesn’t need to take medication. However, sometimes this is not the case and CAM is just not enough. For some serious health issues, cancer for instance, it may still be necessary to use biomedical approaches and CAM models are not enough.
Lane argues that “If anybody in healthcare is responsible, including complementary and alternative medical practitioners, they should consider themselves part of a team. You can do things that can help, but prescribing strictly a complementary and alternative medicine modality in place of an oncology visit is irresponsible.”
However, according to Scott “Complementary therapy can be helpful. Does it do anything for long term survival for cancer patients? No, but it could help with quality of life.”
Because there is more discussion about complementary and alternative treatments and it is receiving more attention, more people are becoming interested in trying out the different practices. Lane says that “People are willing to try something that’s recommended by someone they love and trust.”
So, does CAM work?
Much of complementary and alterative medicine is based on research and is evidence based. Lane says that “It’s complementary and alternative to the western biomedicine that we are used to in the United States.” A 2018 study of 20,000 patients found that acupuncture was useful in helping those suffering with osteoarthritis pain and chronic musculoskeletal pain. There was also a study in 2018 that suggested that meditation might lower inflammation.
Still there are mixed results. But according to Lane “One of the biggest misnomers is that it doesn’t work.” But he does go on to say that “Another misnomer is that it cures all.”
For some people CAM can be very successful. For others, maybe not. For this reason, it is always worth a try. Scott says that “The main goal is to help a patient feel better…if it works for you, it works for you.”
CAM definitely has a place in today’s healthcare. It is becoming more popular with people seeking more time and more personal connection with their practitioners. They are also eager to try more natural remedies for their healthcare.