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Alternative Medicine

January 8, 2007 | Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer
THE fur is flying, not to mention the acupuncture needles, the firewort and the $15,000-a-pound bull gallstones. China's ancient healing arts, as integral to national identity as the Great Wall or steamed dumplings, have become embroiled in the country's struggle to balance tradition and modernity. A relatively obscure professor at a regional university kicked off the controversy in October with an online petition calling for traditional medicine to be stripped from the Chinese Constitution.
October 30, 2006 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
WHENEVER her son's arthritis becomes unbearable, Mery Aguilar heads to a stall in the Seventh of August farmers market, where she buys a big bag of flowers. Then she boils the petals and buds of the borrachero and ruda plants, which grow wild in the Andes, and adds the brew to a hot bath that is her son's only salvation from debilitating pain. "Sometimes," Aguilar said, "grandmothers' secrets are better than the doctors'."
September 25, 2006 | Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
Whether meditating before bed or sipping a kava kava nightcap, more than 1.6 million Americans use some form of alternative medicine when they have trouble sleeping. In analyzing data from 31,000 Americans interviewed for the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, researchers found that nearly one-fifth of adults reported difficulty sleeping in the last 12 months, and of those, about 5% used complementary and alternative medicine to treat their sleeplessness.
August 7, 2006 | Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
WHEN a medical crisis hits, people want to know that someone smart in a white coat can prescribe Prozac to boost their mood, perform heart surgery to open their clogged arteries, or administer chemotherapy, radiation or surgery to cure them of cancer. But growing numbers of Americans are also eager to experiment with alternative therapies. They take herbs to boost their immunity, meditate to calm frayed nerves and seek acupuncture to combat nausea and pain.
June 12, 2006 | Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
LIFESTYLE changes can boost the health and well-being of heart patients, proponents of such programs have long said. Now Medicare has acknowledged that as well. The federal insurance program will now pay for the intensive cardiac rehabilitation plans created by preventive health guru Dr. Dean Ornish and mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Herbert Benson -- the first time the federal government has agreed to reimburse consumers for specific lifestyle intervention programs.
May 1, 2006 | Mary Beckman, Special to The Times
As assistant district attorney in San Francisco, Keith Vines prosecuted one of the largest illicit drug busts the city had ever seen. Then he came down with AIDS wasting syndrome and lost 60 pounds over three years. To stimulate his appetite, he started taking marinol, an FDA-approved drug containing THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. He says he couldn't control the dose of the drug, which must be swallowed. "I would be out of it for four or five hours," he says.
April 3, 2006 | Hilary E. MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
GUMMY VITES. Strawberry Flavored Fish Oil. Super Kids Salve. Gum-omile Oil. Children's Echinacea. Herbs for Kids. Squeezed onto the shelves of your local drugstore, near the baby aspirin and children's Robitussin, is a steadily growing crowd of colorful supplements and herbs specifically for children. To many parents, these products are a safe first-defense against the aches and pains of childhood, ones that can be tried before drugs with their sometimes risky side effects.
February 13, 2006
Thank you for "Life and Death on Fringes of Medicine" (Feb. 4). Unfortunately, it will mostly fall on deaf ears. Many who choose "alternative" medicine live in an alternative universe, believing that doctors have a cure for cancer but won't use it to save people. They are the ones who think 500 calories of carbohydrates will put on more weight than 500 calories of fish, and that a doctor of mathematics knows as much about curing people as a doctor of medicine. People who turn their backs on modern medicine in favor of something else choose to live in a fantasy land.
February 9, 2006 | Chris Dufresne and Shari Roan, Times Staff Writers
American skiers Bode Miller and Erik Schlopy, set to compete in Alpine events at the Turin Olympics, crossed into Mexico to receive alternative therapy for knee injuries from a controversial physician who was barred from practicing in the United States. Miller reportedly was treated within the last year; it was not clear when Schlopy sought treatment.
February 5, 2006 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
In the early evening of March 17, the man Erica McLean had hired to cure her husband of cancer arrived at their ranch in Sunland. David Chuah, a biochemist from Canada, carried a large brown bag brimming with pills, drops and powders, Erica recalls. Clive McLean, 60, was to take them in addition to the other therapies Chuah had prescribed during six months of treatment, she says.
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