“Mainstream” Doctors and Nurses Often Use Alternative Medicine for Themselves


Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society

If you go to a mainstream doctor with complaints of tiredness, lack of motivation, general malaise, and insomnia, you’ll likely get an anti-depressant. But, if that same doctor has the same symptoms, he or she may actually seek out other options for their own treatment. An interesting study from Health Services Research shows that most doctors and nurses who operate in mainstream medicine actually have more knowledge and appreciation for alternative medicine than they are letting on.

“Mainstream” Doctors and Nurses Often Use Alternative Medicine for Themselves

According to the study, 76 percent of healthcare workers use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This is in contrast to the 63 percent of the general population who use CAD. Based on those numbers, your doctor may be more likely to use things like herbs and meditation than you are. Weird.

Why is this? It likely has to do with the fact that medical professionals are on the front line—they see mainstream medicine– including the proliferation of prescription drug usage– up close and personally. They know the shortfalls of focusing on the disease rather than treating the cause and they know they can do better with CAM.

According to the National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), women are more likely to use CAM, as are those with higher levels of education and higher incomes. (Medical professionals should now be added to their list of CAM-users.)

The NCCAM classifies the following as CAM therapies:

  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurveda
  • Biofeedback
  • Chelation
  • Chiropractic
  • Deep breathing
  • Diet-based therapies
  • Energy healing (Reiki)
  • Imagery and meditation
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Movement therapies
  • Plants and herbal supplementation
  • Tai chi
  • And more…

It is interesting that professionals who are the face of prescription medication are using alternatives. It should speak volumes that they choose to use options other than prescriptions whenever possible.

The average American between the ages of 19 and 64 takes nearly 12 prescription drugs each year. And these drugs aren’t making us any healthier. Our life expectancy is declining faster than other industrialized nations and we’re currently ranked 49th in life expectancy worldwide.

But these statistics begs the question: why do most doctors simply prescribe a drug if they are delving into alternative treatments themselves? Either these stats are inaccurate, and a lesser amount of doctors use alternative medicine, or doctors don’t care to mention their involvement with alternative medicine, and care only about prescribing more pills.

Next time you go in for a doctor’s visit, try asking if he/she uses alternative medicine.

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