There is constant political jockeying as to whether Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) works–my research says this, and my study says that.  But beyond the armchair banter, what is striking evidence that CAM is effective?  How about the fact that 3 out of 4 people who know medicine the best, the health care professionals, use it on themselves.  The National Health Statistics Reports, compiled the results from the 2007 Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children survey, which studied a nationally representative sample population of 14,300 people.  Some surprising trends were found:

  • 76% of health care workers used some form of CAM therapy in the preceding year, compared to the national average of 68%
  • 41% of health care workers sought treatment from a CAM practitioner, compared to the national average of 30%
  • Doctors and nurses are 2x more likely to have sought CAM therapy than other health care worker

What does this mean?  Well, it clearly shows that health experts, on average, see CAM as an effective method for improving their health.  The push for evidence based natural therapies is providing sufficient peer reviewed research for their efficacy of use.  Therapies no longer stand on the thin whim of historical findings–they are backed up by solid studies and findings.  This should provide some assurance for people who are skeptical or unsure as to whether CAM therapies are effective.

If 75% of your doctors use non-pharmaceutical medical interventions to prevent illness improve their health, why shouldn’t you?

For more information, check out the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.