Alternative medicine may no longer be truly alternative shows a recent Consumer Reports survey of more than 34,000 readers. The report revealed that Chiropractic was ranked ahead of all conventional treatments, including prescription drugs, by readers with back pain. Deep-tissue massage was found to be especially effective in treating osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. While readers suffering from back pain deemed acupuncture and acupressure less effective than chiropractic and massage, one-fourth of readers who had tried these therapies said they helped them feel much better. Of all the hands-on alternative therapies, acupuncture was found to have the most scientific support.
AdvertisementReaders also reported good results for exercise, not only for conditions such as back pain, but also for allergies and other respiratory ills, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, insomnia, and prostate problems.Rresults were also consistent with a broad range of clinical studies of treatments for all of the above conditions except allergies and respiratory ailments. However it was seen that some well-known, heavily promoted herbal treatments such as echinacea, St. John's wort, saw palmetto, melatonin, and glucosamine and chondroitin didn't work as well for readers. Thus readers report that alternative treatments were far less effective than prescription drugs for eight conditions: anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insomnia, prostate problems, and respiratory problems.