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"Alternative" goes Mainstream in Quest for Heath

Chiropractic, herbs, acupuncture and other so-called "alternative treatments" are clearly here to stay. And boomers aren't the only ones embracing them.

Their children--and their parents-are trying everything from aromatherapy to yoga to stay healthy or get well, according to a new survey by Harvard Medical School researchers. The survey found that 68 per cent of adults have used at least one kind of alternative or complementary therapy. Nearly half stuck with one treatment for as long as 20 years.

But that doesn't mean consumers are ditching their medical doctors, according to a companion Harvard survey published in the September, 2001 Annals of Internal Medicine. They are using traditional and alternative treatments in tandem--trying to get well and stay well.

The rapidly growing national alternative medical trend, which had an early start in the Northwest, cuts across gender, race, ethnicity, region and education level. It also cuts across generations. The survey found that 7 in 10 people under age 40 have utilized alternative or complementary care.

(The Oregonian, 9/01/2001 and Annals of Internal Medicine, 9/2001)

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