The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, says in reports released Nov. 8 that more than 30 percent of US adults and about 12 percent of children use “healthcare approaches that are not typically part of conventional medical care or that may have origins outside of usual Western practices.”
Complementary medicine is when these practices are used alongside conventional medicine.
“Many people turn to complementary health approaches, such as yoga and meditation, in order to help with symptom management, such as pain. As well, they turn to these approaches for a general sense of wellbeing,” Richard Nahin, the lead epidemiologist at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and co-author of the reports, wrote in an email.
The reports, which were compiled using data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health Interview Survey, looked at the use of yoga, meditation and chiropractors between 2012 and 2017.
The practice of yoga rose from 3.1 percent of the overall child population in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017 and from 9.5 to 14.3 percent in adults, equating to about 4.9 million children and 35.2 million adults doing yoga in 2017.