The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    CAM use in the US

    The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) reports that approximately 38% of adults and 12% of children use some form of CAM.

    First, the details.

    • The findings are from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an annual survey of Americans regarding their health- and illness-related experiences.
    • 23,393 adults aged at least 18 years of age and 9,417 children younger than 18 years were surveyed.

    And, the results.

    • CAM use among adults is greater among women and those with higher education and incomes.
    • Nonvitamin, nonmineral natural products are the most commonly used CAM among adults.
    • The most popular natural products are fish oil/omega 3, glucosamine, echinacea, and flaxseed.
    • CAM use has increased for several therapies
      • Deep breathing exercises
      • Meditation
      • Massage therapy
      • Yoga
    • American adults are most likely to use CAM for musculoskeletal problems such as back, neck, or joint pain.
    • CAM for head or chest colds decreased from 2002 to 2007.

    CAM included in the survey.

    • Acupuncture
    • Ayurveda
    • Biofeedback
    • Chelation therapy
    • Chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation
    • Deep breathing exercises
    • Diet-based therapies
    • Energy healing therapy/Reiki
    • Guided imagery
    • Homeopathic treatment
    • Hypnosis
    • Massage
    • Meditation
    • Movement therapies: Alexander technique, feldenkreis, pilates, trager psychophysical integration
    • Natural products
    • Naturopathy
    • Progressive relaxation
    • Qi gong
    • Tai chi
    • Traditional healers
    • Yoga

    The bottom line?
    Religion and spirituality were not among the CAM options surveyed. If they had, the percentages would have been higher, as they were in 2002.

    12/11/08 20:30 JR

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