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

Elizabeth Renter
January 22nd, 2013
Updated 01/25/2013 at 3:54 am
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acupunctureback1 265x165 “Mainstream” Doctors and Nurses Often Use Alternative Medicine for ThemselvesIf 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.

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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  • Albertson

    alternative medicine is really helpful and that's really what I can always make a difference and everything will be what I would be done.

  • hannah

    My dentist uses natural cures for herself.


    Because doctors have to work according to standards.they cannot prescribe herbs or other stuff,only suggest people if they wish, but if you want to be a medical doctor then you have to respect the regulations imposed by the government.

  • Anonymous

    Doctor mercola……witch doctor…. you are a fraud and a skunk sir…..

    folks, do not buy products from this site….they get rich you get poor (your health too) they will help you remove that troublesome lump in your wallet….. don't be STUPID!!! read the disclaimer!!!!

    • Paul Fassa

      Where did you see Dr. Mercola's name on Elizabeth Renter's article? Moreover, where did you see any of Mercola's products? Are you a Big Pharma shill who has lost his focus and commented on a wrong article after some psychotropic meds?