38% of the adult population in the USA and more than 12% of children use some form of alternative medicine, and this is according to reliable statistics from NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health). The numbers are even higher than this in other countries. In developing countries where the conventional healthcare system is not well developed, the majority of the population relies on alternative medicine. However, despite the crucial role that this form of medicine plays in the healthcare sector, there is still a myriad of misconceptions and myths surrounding it. Here are some of these misconceptions that you should know about if you want to benefit from this form of medicine.
Millions of people around the world fall victim to con artists and fake doctors offering alternative "super" treatments that eventually never seem to work. However, these are just unscrupulous people looking to make some quick cash, and this does not mean that all alternative medicine does not work. There have been studies over the years on this form of medicine, and most of them prove that certain alternative medications are effective for treatment of various medical conditions.
Although alternative medicine has always been there, people seem to have little knowledge and information about it. Due to this fact, most believe that anything that is natural must be safe; however, this could not be further from the reality. Some natural products are very dangerous, and they increase the risk of kidney and liver toxicity. Due to this, it is vital to do adequate research on any natural product before you buy and use it.
Scientists and conventional - or what people refer to as mainstream - doctors have been doing research on alternative medicine for many years to determine whether it is effective or not. Some practices (like acupuncture, for example) have been proven quite effective in treating different conditions, and they are now almost part of mainstream medicine. Even some types of medication that started off as alternative medicine are now part of the conventional health care. So it is inaccurate to say that it is not part of mainstream medicine since different therapies and treatments are slowly becoming part of standard medical practices.
There is a common belief that doctors and leading medical institutions do not approve of the alternative medicine, and this is the reason why many people will avoid using them. However, this is not true because there are some leading doctors and reputable institutions that recommend certain forms of alternative medicine. In fact, a recent survey shows that more than half of the medical insurance providers will pay for certain kinds of alternative treatments.
However, there is a big problem with alternative medicine methods: no one can guarantee that they won’t do you any harm since hardly any of them have been properly tested to find out their possible side effects and contraindications.