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In a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers, forty-six thousand people were asked to rate standard and alternative, or what are sometimes called complementary, therapies for common medical problems. The magazine says that this is "the largest and most detailed study of alternative-medicine use in North America that we're aware of ..."

The study establishes that more patients are now telling their doctors that they want to look into alternative treatment, when medical care doesn't meet their needs. It quotes Dr. Howard Beckman, a clinical professor of medicine and family medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, as saying, "In trying to help my patients, I want to have as diverse a number of therapeutic options as possible. ... Complementary therapies offer a whole new way for patients to take a more active role in their care and improve their condition."

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