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Complementary Medicine

For the times they are a-changin'.
Bob Dylan

Each year, millions of people seek some kind of "complementary" or "alternative" treatment, such as acupuncture or herbal medicine, for their health problems. Many North Americans use alternative therapies along with mainstream medical treatments (drugs and/or surgery) to control pain, manage stress, and speed healing.

While complementary treatments are becoming more widely accepted, they are not right for everyone and every situation. Like any other treatment option, alternative treatment should be chosen only after you gather as much reliable information as possible, understand the facts, and consider your personal needs and values. For more information, see Chapter 1, Making Wise Health Decisions.