Are you familiar with trends in alternative medicine? Let’s start with the 1830s—cholera spread across America and doctors had little power against it. It is believed that more than 150,000 Americans died during the two pandemics between 1832 and 1849. Another 50,000 died in the fourth pandemic of 1866. Doctors fought cholera with three widely used treatments of the time: bloodletting (cutting open a vein or applying leeches), opium (stress relief and relaxation), and calomel (chalky medicine which acts as a ‘purging’ laxative).
As cholera spread, Americans began to turn to practitioners of new alternative medicine: homeopathy. Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like”—substances that cause illness can also be the cure if highly diluted. People noticed they had a better chance of surviving cholera with homeopathy. As a result, homeopathy became very popular in the 19th century.
By the 1970s, however, homeopathy was near extinction. Twentieth century medicine, such as antibiotics and open heart surgery, made it almost obsolete. A series of incidents, including the thalidomide tragedy of 1960s, ultimately caused a loss of faith in mainstream medicine.
Today, nearly 40 percent of Americans use alternative or complementary medicine as part of their health care. These include acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis, and yoga. To learn about the benefits of these alternative forms of medicine, as well as how the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) may make use of them—check out the infographic below by InsuranceQuotes.com.
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