Survey Results: Supplements, Diet, and Exercise Top the List of “Alternative” Therapies!

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top 10Our readers’ Top Ten integrative therapies list shows that we’re not as “alternative” as the mainstream would portray us.

In a previous issue, we discussed the Mayo Clinic’s “Top Ten Alternative Therapies,” and we countered with our own Top Ten. (If you would like to review those selections, here’s a link to the original article, or see the table below.) We then asked for your own choices. Today we present our readers’ favorite integrative treatments—250 of you commented, so we were able to get a fine sampling.

We found a remarkable degree of agreement between your choices and ours, and had we listed a Top Fifteen or Twenty, we would have been in complete agreement.

It should be noted that some of these groupings are perhaps a bit arbitrary—some of you would undoubtedly group things differently or insist that some of the following not be listed together. Such is the difficulty of looking for consensus and consistency among 250 unique health advocates!

Your Top Ten, in descending order of popularity, are:

1. Dietary supplements—vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, and herbs (including herbs from Traditional Chinese Medicine)
2. Diet and nutrition (emphasis on organic, hormone-free, pesticide-free foods; whole grains and vegetables; staying away from sugar and processed foods, and limiting “diary” and caffeine; more raw foods in the diet)
3. Exercise (cardio, resistance weight training, and mind–body exercise such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong)
4. Chiropractic and specialized osteopathy
5. Acupuncture and acupressure
6. Homeopathy and Bach Flower Essence therapy
7. Massage, Chinese bodywork, Rolfing, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy, visceral manipulation, Bowen Treatment, and reflexology
8. Energy therapy (Reiki, healing touch, energy medicine, etc.)
9. Body detoxification (through chelation, or through sauna or special dietary methods)
10.
Meditation; spirituality (including shamanic and Sufi healing practices)

Other treatment modalities you mentioned frequently include

  • Avoiding doctors and drugs; naturopathy; education about natural health
  • Avoiding toxins/chemicals; environmental medicine
  • Natural Hormone Replacement (NHR) therapy
  • Testing for food and other allergies; annual blood level testing
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Oxygen and ozone therapies
  • Social interaction (being with friends and loved ones, laughter, etc.)
  • Sun exposure and being outdoors
  • Aromatherapy; use of essential oils
  • Drinking plenty of good water
  • Ayurveda
  • Light therapy; music/sound therapy
  • Sleep
  • Biological dentistry
  • Cold or low-level laser therapy
  • Thermography for breast examination pre-screening

In the table below, boldface entries indicate a Top Ten selection, though some selections needed to be combined or made separate to harmonize with items from others’ lists.

Pulse readers
(in order of preference)

ANH-USA Mayo Clinic
Dietary supplements—vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, and herbs (including herbs from Traditional Chinese Medicine) Emphasis on dietary supplements; key nutraceuticals like vitamins B, D, and C, fish oil, resveratrol, and CoQ10Herbs for a great many health issues, including the treatment of allergies and prostate health

More acid, in most cases, for stomach problems, not acid blockers; the use of probiotics for stomach and colon health

Diet and nutrition (emphasis on organic, hormone-free, pesticide-free foods; whole grains and vegetables; staying away from sugar and processed foods, and limiting “dairy” and caffeine; more raw foods in the diet) Emphasis on healthy food
Exercise (cardio, resistance weight training, and mind–body exercise such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong) Emphasis on exercise Tai Chi

Yoga

Chiropractic and specialized osteopathy Spinal manipulation
Acupuncture and acupressure Acupuncture Acupuncture
Massage, Chinese bodywork, Rolfing, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy, visceral manipulation, Bowen Treatment, and reflexology Therapeutic massage Massage
Homeopathy and Bach Flower Essence therapy
Energy therapy (Reiki, healing touch, energy medicine, etc.)
Body detoxification (through chelation, or through sauna or special dietary methods)
Meditation Meditation
Spirituality (including shamanic and Sufi healing practices) Spirituality
Avoiding doctors and drugs; naturopathy; education about natural health General avoidance of prescription drugs

General avoidance of antibiotics; use of effective and largely forgotten bacteriocidal agents, which do not lead to drug-resistant bugs

Avoiding toxins/chemicals; environmental medicine
Natural Hormone Replacement (NHR) therapy Natural Hormone Replacement (NHR) therapy
Testing for food and other allergies Identification and elimination of food allergies
Annual blood level testing Annual multifactor blood testing (which is different from and more extensive than conventional tests), including tests for heavy metal and chemical exposure, and omega 3 and vitamin D levels
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Oxygen and ozone therapies
Social interaction (being with friends and loved ones, laughter, etc.)
Sun exposure and being outdoors
Aromatherapy; use of essential oils
Drinking plenty of good water
Ayurveda
Light therapy; music/sound therapy Music therapy
Sleep
Biological dentistry
Cold or low-level laser therapy
Thermography for breast examination pre-screening
Avoidance of harmful heart surgery (research suggests that far too much heart surgery is counterproductive) and other unnecessary elective surgery; avoidance of many conventional cancer treatments
Guided imagery
Hypnosis
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  • Fuller

    …little confused here. How is it that NCCAM says energy medicine is used by less than 1% of the population? Considering that Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki are used in a number of hospitals around the country under protocols that number does not equate. Additionally there are a number Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) practitioner certified and practicing around the country. Healing Touch and Therapeutic used to be the domain of nurses alone but that is no longer the case. Many states however, require one to be either a massage therapist or a nurse to practice these modalities. I’m not sure of the numbers of EEM practitioners otherwise I was elaborate on that modality. Patients need to be encouraged to reveal this information otherwise they are in jeopardy of not having it at their disposal. Practitioners pay large sums of money for training and we have to know it is worth our time and expense. Nurses are also research these modalities. NCCAM is one of the avenues that we use to seek research funding.

  • TRUTHANDLIGHT

    You don’t mention “non GMO – non Genetically Modified – foods under the “diet/nutrition/healthy food section.. Didn’t the 250 – at least some of us – mention this important distinction? Genetically modified foods have been slipping into our food supply formore than the past 30 years – soy, corn, wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, all the derivatives from those crops….and more! And interestlingly enough, food allergies (to many of those same foods!!), celiac disease, autism and ADHD have risen significantly the past 30 years.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment!

  • re ‘limiting “diary” and caffeine’ – we do really need to spread the word of severe finger strain resulting from excessive diary entries. Just take a break and have a glass of milk.

    Graham

  • Kelli

    A lot of the things on that list shouldn’t even be considered alternative. Exercise? No wonder the US is so fat and ill. We consider exercise alternative. I guess that just goes to show you how easily something can be discredited.

  • I think it’s important for the general public to be aware of vitamins and minerals that are not bio-available. It’s all well and good to take vitamins on a daily basis. Just be sure they are actually breaking down in your body, and not passing through unabsorbed. Look for vitamins that are chelated. If you don’t know whether your vitamins are chelated or not, pick up the phone and call the company. Don’t waste your money on vitamins that do nothing but suck the money out of your wallet.

  • Hippocrates said “do no harm” and “let food be thy medicine”.
    Modern (allopathic) medicine has gone in the opposite of that direction.
    Instead of honoring Hippocrates and the origins of “medicine”
    they teach control of the body and relying on pharmaceuticals
    and surgery. They have become profiteers and strayed from being the
    true healers they can be. The only way natural to the body is alternative,
    and using nutrition and prevention as the keys with alternative
    practitioners as adjuncts. Fresh air, sunshine,
    and healthy food and lifestyle…namaste’, rachel