Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Physicians Can Benefit from Adding CAM to Their Practices

The American Academy of Family Physicians released a new article on their website earlier this month, "New Report Details Billions Americans Spend on Complementary Alternative Medicine," which explores growing use of CAM in the U.S. and by family physicians.

According to the article, "U.S. adults spent a total of $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on CAM products, classes and materials and on visits to CAM professionals in 2007. Ten years earlier, that out-of-pocket figure was estimated at $27 billion."

Therefore, family physicians can benefit from incorporating CAM into their practices in many ways. For example, the AAFP article explains how "family physicians can build in discussions of CAM during face-to-face office visits for specific complaints [...] by suggesting, for example, nasal irrigation for allergies and respiratory problems; yoga relaxation breathing for insomnia and anxiety; yin yoga for back, hip and flexibility problems; journaling for grief, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma; and meditation and prayer for hypertension, stress and depression.

In addition, "New Report Details Billions Americans Spend on Complementary Alternative Medicine," includes information about CAM remedies that the AAFP feels have been proven effective in studies. Examples listed in the article include:
  • glucosamine sulfate for osteoarthritis;
  • saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia;
  • topical tea tree oil for acne;
  • turmeric for prevention of Alzheimer's disease and as an anti-inflammatory;
  • melatonin for insomnia;
  • fish oil for heart disease; and
  • ginkgo biloba for vascular dementias and claudication.
>> If you're interested in learning more about CAM for personal or professional use, visit the American College of Healthcare Sciences website at

>> To read the full-length article, visit the American Academy of Family Physician website at or CLICK HERE

No comments: