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Get complementary medicine working for you – safely!

Seeking out a stream of complementary medicine? Do your homework and make sure you make a safe choice.

When researching different types of complementary medicine, one of the most important things to do is to use your judgment carefully. Run everything you read and hear through a common-sense filter in your head. If something sounds too good to be true, it unfortunately probably is.

Even though the internet provides a wealth of information, not all of it is accurate, substantiated or even current, so be wary. In 2003, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study revealing that of 433 websites evaluated for complementary health care claims, the majority made unproven or misleading claims. This is not to say you should automatically discredit all of what you read, but remember to weigh things out in your mind. Check the source or sponsor of information you read on the internet, and make sure that it is coming from an unbiased, well-reputed source. If the site is trying to sell you something (e.g., a "miracle" cure or an expensive health product), be skeptical. Cross-check information against a variety of sources to assess different standpoints, and double-check with a health care practitioner to be sure.

Once you’ve established what area of therapy you’re interested in, again proceed with caution and get information. Friends, family, and colleagues may be able to provide valuable feedback or referrals based on personal experience. Check to see if there is a relevant national professional association (e.g., The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors) that regulates practitioners and use them to identify an expert or clinic in your area, or to verify the credentials of someone you have in mind. As well, different provinces may have varying licensing regulations – for example, some provinces license naturopaths, and some don’t. Find out what requirements exist where you live and ensure that your specialist is properly accredited.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Integrative-Medicine-the-ABCs

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