The Doctors column: Alternative medicine that works
April 23, 2012
You opt to pop echinacea pills when you have a cold, but will it really help? Many Americans think so. Surveys show that almost 40 percent of adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. Herbal and natural products top the most popular therapies, and meditation and yoga are also high on the list.
But new research has found that echinacea does not significantly decrease the duration and severity of a cold. Scientists are continuing to study such treatments. Here is some of the latest news:
Yoga for heart health: Research shows yoga can reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Now scientists say it may significantly cut the number of episodes of atrial fibrillation, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting.
Chiropractic therapy for low back pain: A review of 270 studies found that spinal manipulation works just as well as pain medication for reducing the intensity of low back pain. Practitioners apply a controlled force to a joint of the spine, pushing it beyond its normal range of motion to improve physical functioning. Besides chiropractors, physical therapists, osteopaths and some conventional medical doctors practice spinal manipulation as well.
The Doctors is an Emmy-winning daytime TV show with pediatrician Jim Sears, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson, ER physician Travis Stork, and plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon. Check http://www.thedoctorstv.com for local listings.