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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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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