Users of natural product dietary supplements and people who practiced yoga were more likely to have reported using the approach for wellness reasons while those who used spinal manipulation were more likely using it as treatment for specific conditions, according to an analysis of data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey.
The analysis of complementary health approaches by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health was published in a report by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The 2012 NHIS asked participants about their use of complementary health approaches and whether they used them to treat a specific health condition or for any of five wellness-related reasons, according to a news release. Participants were also asked whether this use led to any of nine desirable health-related outcomes. The survey results are based on data from 34,525 adults aged 18 and older.
“Though yoga seems to play the biggest role, people who use a variety of complementary health approaches reported better well-being,” Josephine P. Briggs, MD, director of NCCIH, said in a news release. “This may suggest that people perceive more wellness benefit when they are actively involved in their health, for example by practicing yoga. More research is needed to better understand the ways yoga and other approaches impact overall health.”
The analysis provides estimates of selected wellness-related reasons for and outcomes from the use of three complementary health approaches: natural product supplements; yoga; and spinal manipulation.
Yoga users were much more likely than users of other approaches to report specific wellness-related outcomes, such as feeling better emotionally. They also were the most likely to report exercising more, eating better and cutting back on alcohol and cigarettes. While the analysis did not show why yoga users reported greater wellness, more than 70% of yoga users reported a “focus on the whole person — mind, body and spirit” as a reason for practicing yoga.
“General wellness or disease prevention” was the most common wellness-related reason for use of each of the three approaches, according to the release. More than two-thirds of users of all three health approaches reported their use improved their overall health and made them feel better.
Nearly two-thirds of yoga users reported that as a result of practicing yoga they were motivated to exercise more regularly, and 4 in 10 reported they were motivated to eat healthier. More than 80% of yoga users reported reduced stress as a result of practicing yoga.
Although dietary supplement users were twice as likely to report wellness rather than treatment as a reason for taking supplements, fewer than 1 in 4 reported reduced stress, better sleep, or feeling better emotionally as a result of using dietary supplements. More than 60% of those using spinal manipulation reported doing so to treat a specific health condition, and more than 50% did so for general wellness or disease prevention.
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