Regional Variation in Use of Complementary Health Approaches by U.S. Adults

Complementary health approaches are defined as “a group of diverse medical and health care interventions, practices, products, or disciplines that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”  They range from practitioner-based approaches, such as chiropractic manipulation and massage therapy, to predominantly self-care approaches, such as nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements, meditation, and yoga. A new report presents estimates of the four most commonly used complementary health approaches among adults aged 18 and over in nine geographic regions, using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey adult alternative medicine supplement.

  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements (17.9%) was greater than any other complementary health approach used by U.S. adults in 2012.
  • The use of practitioner-based chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation was nearly twice as high in the West North Central region as in the United States overall.
  • Use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements was highest in the Mountain, Pacific, and West North Central regions.
  • Use of yoga with deep breathing or meditation was approximately 40% higher in the Pacific and Mountain regions than in the United States overall.

 

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