Way More Americans Use These Holistic Practices As Medicine

mbg Contributor By Caroline Muggia
mbg Contributor
Caroline Muggia is a writer, environmental advocate, and registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College.

Photo by Jessica Sharmin

We've long considered yoga and meditation as powerful, holistic practices, but it's exciting to know we're not alone.

Americans are increasingly turning to yoga, meditation, and chiropractors as complementary medicine to traditional Western medicine for wellness, a new report finds.

The report, released by the Centers for Disease Control with prevention data from the National Health Interview Survey, compared the practices of adults over a 12-month period in 2012 and again in 2017. Yoga was the most widely used and increased from 9.5 percent to 14.3 percent. Meditation more than tripled with from 4.1 percent to 14.2 percent.

It's not surprising (at least to us) that people are more commonly practicing yoga, as research suggests it can offer relief from asthma, arthritis, and back pain and increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which could improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Same goes for meditation, as research on the benefits include reduced inflammation and stress, pain relief, and slower cognitive decline.

There is more work to be done on making complementary medicine practices more accessible and mainstream, as women were twice as likely to use yoga, meditation, and chiropractors as men, and non-Hispanic white adults were more likely than Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks to use the practices.

It can be daunting to know where to begin when incorporating holistic medicine practices into your life, but as the numbers point out, the chances are high a friend or family member will join you!

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