vary from disease state to the practitioner and even to the person receiving the treatment,” says holistic practitioner Dr. Andrea Pennington. So avoid anything that promises a miracle cure and don’t think something is safe just because it’s labeled “natural.”
Duke University Medical Center released a 2004 survey that showed acupuncture was more effective than the drug Ondansetron in reducing nausea and vomiting following breast surgery.
Major health insurance companies such as Aetna, Cigna, and Independence Blue Cross offer discount programs for some forms of complementary and alternative medicine. American Specialty Health (www.ashcompanies.com), one of the nation’s leading complementary healthcare organizations, provides benefit programs to health plans, employer groups, and insurance carriers that include coverage for unconventional medicine. That’s good news for consumers like Banks, who says taking a holistic approach to healing has given him a new outlook on life.
“I am the thinnest I’ve been since I was 12 years old,” he says. “So to me, holistic medicine can work just as well as conventional medicine, if not better.”