During the last decade the number of Americans who report practising yoga has nearly doubled to 21 million while the use of other natural therapies, like supplements and meditation, has remained relatively consistent, a new survey from the National Institutes of Health shows.
The study, released Tuesday, looked at several forms of unconventional medicine, which tend to be used by children and adults who have health problems. Among supplements, there was one exception to the trend: Fish oil held the same top spot in prevalence as it did when the survey was last conducted five years ago but jumped significantly in use since.
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“[The survey] helps us understand why Americans turn to these approaches for symptoms management and promotion of health,” Dr. Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH, said in a call with reporters.
She was not surprised by the yoga finding, though she noted that its rise was striking and that people often use it for pain management. The reason for the sharp increase in its popularity was not assessed