According to a recent study, nearly 75 percent of American health care workers have utilized some form of alternative medicine. And the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine estimates that 38 percent of the total U.S. population is currently engaging in alternative health practices.
1. Acupuncture: Rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves inserting tiny, thin needles into the skin at strategic points. Modern practitioners of this alternative medicine believe that acupuncture needles can effectively stimulate nerves, tissue and muscles to support the body’s natural response to pain and discomfort.
2. Massage: For relaxation and soothing relief from muscle discomfort, many turn to massage therapy. This practice involves rubbing and manipulating muscles and tissue to release tension and promote blood flow. There are many different types of massage therapy, from relaxing, gentle Swedish massage to intense, deep-tissue massage.
3. Yoga: Another popular alternative health practice, yoga is a popular method of both exercise and relaxation. The National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine estimates that more than 6 percent of adults in the U.S. participate in some form of yoga. Proponents of yoga say that it can help relieve stress and tension, promote flexibility, increase focus and teach self-discipline.
4. Supplements: A recent survey estimated that more than 50 percent of American adults use supplements, including multi-vitamins, minerals, herbs and antioxidants. Supplements are not meant to replace the nutrients found in healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but they can be an excellent way to complement a healthy diet and promote overall well-being.
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