At a symposium held at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), a team of experts discussed the efficacy of CAM for the management of allergic diseases. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment for allergies and other conditions has increased in the United States.
“As the United States has reached the 300 million person mark and with the world population approaching seven billion, only 10 percent and at most to 30 percent of our health care is actually delivered by what we consider conventional or biomedical-oriented practitioners,” said Leonard Bielory, MD, Director of the Asthma & Allergy Research Center at UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School in Newark.
“The remaining 70 to 90 percent ranges from self-care according to folk principles to care given in an organized health care system based on an alternative tradition or practice,” said Bielory.
CAM modalities include: Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), herbals, massage therapy, vitamins/supplements, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic medicine, Ayurveda, energy therapies (qi gong), and mind-body practices (dance, meditation, prayer).
CAM for the treatment of allergic diseases is a topic of importance to the subspecialty of allergy and immunology because one of the most common reasons that patients turn to CAM is for treating allergic diseases.
“There has been a recent surge of interest in TCM in Western countries, as it has shown favorable safety profiles,” said Xiu-Min Li, MD, Director of the Center of Excellence for Chinese Herbal Therapy for Allergy and Asthma funded by NIH. For information on acupuncture treatment for allergies contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.