Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine is popular among seniors, but most don’t tell their doctors about it

By By Dennis Thompson Health Day Reporter, health day reporter

(Health Day)

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Many seniors are turning to alternative medicine to help them with the pains of aging — but they don’t necessarily think that’s their doctor’s business.

About 40% of seniors use at least one alternative medicine practice to relieve bodily pain or mental tension, whether it’s chiropractic care, massage therapy, meditation, yoga, or another unconventional option. , according to the University of Michigan National Health Survey. Aging.

But only 18% of those who tried an alternative medicine practice actually discussed it with their healthcare provider.

The findings suggest that primary care physicians should bring up the topic during checkups, said Dr. Rachael Maciasz, a general internal medicine physician at Michigan Medicine who worked with the survey team on the report.

“As research continues to show the importance of the mind-body connection in health, and more rigorous studies are conducted to determine the effects that integration strategies may have on various conditions, it is important for patients and providers to keep the lines of communication open,” Maciasz said in a Press release on the report.

Almost all respondents said they believed the mind had an impact on health, with 82% saying it had a major impact and 14% saying it had a minor impact.

Respondents said they had tried alternative medicine to treat or prevent pain, insomnia, digestive problems, to relax or manage stress, to treat a physical injury, or to help with depression or anxiety .

About 38% of people age 50 and older found alternative medicine very beneficial, while 54% said it was somewhat beneficial.

Those who engage in such practices tend to pay for them out of pocket, the results showed.

Only 15% said their health insurance covered them, 19% said they had no coverage, and two-thirds were unsure of their coverage.

About 84% said they would be likely to try alternative medicine if health insurance covered it. Of those who have stopped using such a practice, more than a quarter cited cost as one of the reasons.

The US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says more about integrative health.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, press release, July 22, 2022

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