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Stanford Medicine

Complementary Medicine, NIH

New NIH series offers consumer-friendly tips on complementary health practices

Previous research has found that Americans’ use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is on the rise. In responding to the growing popularity of such treatments and therapies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a new series of monthly health tips to provide consumers with easy-to-read information on complementary health practices.

The series, titled Time to Talk Tips, is an educational campaign to encourage patients and their health care providers to openly discuss the use of complementary health practices. The effort is being managed by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). According to an NIH release:

… the series highlights specific health topics, such as the safe use of dietary supplements, natural products used for the flu and colds, and mind and body approaches used to manage symptoms of a variety of conditions. The series will include simple tips, such as: Taking vitamin C regularly does not reduce the likelihood of getting a cold but may improve some cold symptoms, and some dietary supplements may interact with medications (prescription or over-the-counter) or other dietary supplements.

The tips accompany topics found in the NCCAM Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter for health care providers that addresses the state of science on complementary health practices for a variety of health conditions. These same topics will also be discussed in monthly Twitter chats (@NCCAM), allowing the public to interact with the center, ask questions, and receive answers in real time.

Previously: Report highlights how integrative medicine is used in the U.S., More patients turning to hypnosis to help ease symptoms, Older adults increasingly turning to complementary medicine and Americans’ use of complementary medicine on the rise
Photo by Vivian Chen

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