2014: The Year Alternative Therapies Go Mainstream! (We Hope)

We follow the health sections of mainstream media sources such as The New York Times, CNN and WebMD, and lately we’ve been seeing more and more stories related to Complementary Alternative Medicine.  It’s exciting to see this adoption of holistic remedies by conventional health practitioners and hope that it continues to become more commonplace as we enter 2014.  Here are a few of the latest articles:

Acupuncture Goes Mainstream

WebMD: Acupuncture, which has been practiced for millennia in China, is a small part of her own practice. But she makes frequent referrals to the clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. There, acupuncture, which uses needles to stimulate specific parts of the body, is increasingly popular for problems like chronic pain, allergies, and asthma. Five thousand patients underwent acupuncture at the facility in 2009, up from 3,600 in 2007.

Light Therapy for Depression

The New York Times: Antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil are widely used to treat depression, but a much less costly alternative called bright light therapy, in which a patient sits under an artificial light for a set period of time each day, is not. Light therapy is typically recommended for seasonal affective disorder, the “winter blues” brought on by shorter days and limited sun. Some psychiatrists prescribe it for this condition, often as a last resort when patients fail to respond to drugs.

Green Tea May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

WebMD: Regular consumption of green tea may offer protection against Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and may also slow growth of cancer cells, new research indicates. Green tea, an ancient Chinese remedy, has been shown to have protective properties in undigested, freshly brewed forms. But a research team at Newcastle University in the U.K. set out to determine whether the protective substances remained active after digestion. And in the study, they did.

Remedies: Garlic for Athlete’s Foot

The New York Times: “Garlic has long been considered a powerful natural antifungal,” said Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, chief of pediatric integrative medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and a pediatrician at the Whole Child Center in nearby Oradell. Dr. Rosen pointed out that studies have found garlic effective against a number of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida and other common pathogens.

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