A new Consumer Reports survey of more than 45,000 people finds that three out of four Americans are turning to alternative therapies to improve their health. The survey, in their upcoming September issue says readers are increasingly turning to chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, yoga and other alternative therapies for discomfort from conditions such as back pain, neck pain and osteoarthritis.
What’s even more interesting is that the survey also shows alternative therapies are being used successfully to help with a range of conditions including anxiety, allergies, headache and migraines, depression, and insomnia. In addition, the report indicates that medical doctors are more open to alternative therapies than most people assume.
Some responses from the survey:
- Chiropractic outperformed all other alternative therapies, with top ranks for neck pain, back pain, headaches, and allergies.
- Chiropractic care outperformed prescription medication for neck and back pain.
- One in four respondents undergoing chiropractic treatment for any condition said their chiropractor was more interested and insightful than their medical doctors.
- Meditation and yoga proved effective for treating anxiety and depression, almost equaling the effectiveness of prescription drugs.
- Yoga did about as well as meditation for insomnia but it significantly outperformed meditation for headaches and migraine and especially for back pain.
- For back pain, yoga, deep-tissue massage and Pilates all performed about as well as prescription medication.
- Meditation was helpful to almost a third of those few who tried it.
- For respiratory problems such as cold, flu and allergies, the survey found that very small numbers of readers tried chiropractic care. However, those who did reported promising results. Although only 2 percent of cold, flu or allergy sufferers sought chiropractic care, more than 40 percent said it helped a lot.
- Of alternative treatments used for general health, mainstream vitamins and minerals were the most widely used, with 73 percent of respondents taking them.
- For some conditions, people choose alternative treatments to avoid the side effects of conventional medications.
- Readers are becoming better at keeping their doctors in the loop about their use of alternative therapies. For instance, 81 percent of people who sought chiropractic care, usually for back or neck pain, said their doctors knew about it.
- Smaller numbers of readers said their doctors had pointed them to an alternative therapy in the first place. Only 21 percent who saw a chiropractor were recommended by an M.D.
This report is a great unbiased look at how American’s today are choosing to regain their health – and with 38 million of us choosing Natural Health every year – the tide is slowly beginning to turn. We still have lots of work to do, but as the study shows – even when alternative therapies can only match prescription drugs effectiveness for certain conditions, at least you’re not left with an array of weird side effects.