Nearly 12 percent of children and adolescents in the United States use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a new report from the Harvard Medical School.
CAM therapies include acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, energy work, and dietary supplements, among others.
The majority of children utilizing CAM therapies have chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, musculoskeletal conditions, stress, skin conditions, and anxiety. The report, which appears in the February Pediatrics, assesses data from 9, 417 children younger than 18 years of age, collected from the 2007 U.S. National Health Interview Survey.
Key points about CAM use
• Complementary and alternative medicine is a group of health care systems and practices that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.
• Patients should inform their health care providers about any therapies they are currently using or considering. This is to help ensure a coordinated course of care.
• Individuals respond differently to treatments, whether conventional or CAM. How a person responds to a CAM therapy depends on many things, including state of health and how the therapy is used.
The researchers analyzed a wide range of factors among children who used CAM compared to non-users. “CAM use was more common among adolescents, children who live in the West and those that used prescription medications,” says Dr. Gurjeet Birdee, lead researcher and instructor of medicine at Harvard.
The report findings indicate that children whose parents used complementary and alternative medicine were more likely to use CAM therapies.
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Community Clinic offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage therapy for a wide range of health conditions as well as for general wellness. To schedule an appointment call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs ask for Joe Calareso, Admissions Director.