Herbal medicine, holistic care catching on with youths too
CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA, May 27, 2012 -- Herbal medicine, holistic care and alternative medicine are catching on with youths nationwide, according to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AP reporter Mike Stobbe wrote the story this month and noted that "more than one in nine children and teens use herbal supplements or some other form of alternative medicine."
The new national survey is the first time children's use of such treatments as herbal medicine, acupuncture, and meditation has been measured. The report also said adult use of alternative treatments and holistic medicine remains about the same as it was in 2002 - more than one in three.
Dr. Rebecca Ryder, an expert in herbal medicine as well as a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, said the study confirms that a growing trend of individuals are reaching beyond the traditional medical establishment for improved care.
"By combining traditional, holistic and herbal medicine, individuals of all ages can improve their health and live better lives," said Ryder, the co-founder of an integrative medical center for women in Chesapeake, Virginia. "I think the Internet and the sharing of information has accelerated the holistic brand. Now more than ever it is important to have reliable and knowledgeable resources available to offer more legitimate health care options for people."
The most popular herbal medicines among those under age 18 are echinacea for colds and fish oil, sometimes given for attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder. Other herbal medicines were used for chronic pain and sleep disorders.
Study co-author Richard Nahin of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine said because children are generally pretty healthy, the finding that one in nine uses holistic and alternative medicine is "pretty amazing."
Stobbes said the study is based on a 2007 survey of more than 23,000 adults who were speaking about themselves and more than 9,000 adults who were speaking on behalf of a child in their household.
He also reported that children were five times more likely to use alternative and holistic therapies if a parent or other relative did.
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