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Doctors Going Alternative?


 Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s For All!

For years, Dr. Ali Keshavarzian ignored “alternative” therapies because his Western-trained brain wanted more evidence that they actually worked.

But Keshavarzian also knew conventional medicine often needed some assistance. And when he learned his patients were seeking out natural products, acupuncture, meditation and massage, he took a deep breath and dived in.

Ten years later, Keshavarzian straddles both worlds, using Western treatments along with a variety of alternative approaches, a combination known as complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. “CAM is looking at a patient as a human being, rather than a disease,” said Keshavarzian, a gastroenterologist at Rush University Medical Center. “Instead of treating ‘ulcerative colitis,’ I treat ‘Mr. Jones.’ “

From my point of view, as a promoter and for lack of a better word “believer” in alternative medicines, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM, is my first line of defense.  I recommend everyone use it and I am confident in its effectiveness!  However, I realize, that my own perceptions are not necessarily held by a large population of people. 

So, the intention of this blog was to spread the word and educate people as well as share information and sources that people may otherwise be unaware of and/or still unsure about.

I just found the above article in the Chicago Tribune reporting on the prevalence of CAM users, doctors included.  As the health paradigm continues to shift more and more towards preventative medicine and people begin to realize that there is something much more to CAM than a couple of needles, some incense and a bag of herbs, we may just see a shift in the overall health of our nation. 

According to a national survey done by the National Institute of Health recently published this December, the number of people who use some form of CAM rose to 38%, as well as 12% for children.  Personally I only see these numbers rising, which is good for you and good for me! 

This is good news for me, as in another three years when I’ve graduated and am looking to set up a medical practice of my own, I know there will be a definite market out there for me to treat.  And… this is good news for you as we are in the process of improving health care and maybe in the process even saving a little money, as well as improving your health!

“Studies show that $2.5 trillion is being spent in a system that is not improving the overall health of our citizens,” according to the institute. “Incidents of chronic disease are on a sharp rise and by 2023 will cost our nation $4.3 trillion.”

Proponents say CAM, which is also called “integrative medicine,” is a cost-effective solution.

Also, if you are someone who deals with one of the “five chronic conditions” help may be found in the form of some CAM and I encourage you take me up on my offer and try it out!

Five chronic conditions—mood disorders, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure—account for more than half of all U.S. health expenditures, according to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, which advises the federal government on health issues. But these are the disorders that conventional medicine struggles to treat, according to the institute.

CAM is making its mark in the US and I urge you to try it if you haven’t already… it is a fascinating field and there is much we can learn from the different facets that make up what is CAM; acupuncture, herbs, massage, chiropractic, meditation practices and so much more.  

Here’s to your Health in 2009! 

Sources:  The Chicago Tribune, Jan. 14, 2009National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Dec. 2008

  1. Nancy
    January 16, 2009 at 11:55 p

    Here is to your health as well!!! Happy 2009

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