Appeal of alternative medicine growing
November 24, 1996
Web posted at: 11:50 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Rhonda Rowland
(CNN) -- Alternative medicine appears to be an alternative
being tried by more patients.
One in three people claimed to have used nontraditional
medicine at least once during the previous year, in a study
published in 1993 by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Now there are not only clinics and stores devoted to
alternative medicine, but even that hallmark of conventional
medicine: a convention devoted to it. The Whole Life Expo
recently featured the range of natural treatments.
"I help people die laughing so that if they have fulfilled
what their life is about, they literally can die with a smile
on their face," said Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of "How to
Live Between Office Visits."
As a kind of litmus test, CNN asked several alternative
practitioners how they would treat that bane of doctors
everywhere: the common cold.
"When a person is anxious or depressed, their susceptibility
is greater, so I'm interested in what's going on in their
lives," said Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, author of "Close to the
"I'd say the same thing," Siegel said. "'Why are you sick
now?' You know, 'What's going on in your life?'"
Kachinas Kutenai, an Apache medicine woman, had more specific
advice. "I would give enenasian, increase vitamin C and
garlic or kyalic."
Dr. Thomas Lyons, a traditional surgeon, said he thinks the
related process of questioning will benefit medicine overall.
"The public is beginning to become educated, so they're
beginning to ask questions," Lyons said. "Asking questions
means looking at alternative therapies. I think that can only
lead to better health of all of us."
Those who practice nontraditional medicine say they do not
want to replace conventional medicine, but add to it. And
like mainstream medical practitioners, they warn against
healers or products that promise a quick cure.
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