Complementary forms of healing and medicine are gaining popularity — here’s what you should know

Alternative medicine has always been part of the healing process for many Canadians, with its usage dating back centuries and across cultures. But these ancient practices are becoming more popular thanks to celebrities and pop culture coverage. And that popularity is increasing due to the stressful times we find ourselves living in.

The term alternative medicine can cover everything from massages to crystal healing, and consists of a variety of treatments and practices not found in standard western medicine. To help identify alternative practices, the Government of Canada describes them as being “holistic” and involving the “patient as an active participant” with a “focus on disease prevention and well-being.”

According to a recent study by the Fraser Institute, 56 per cent of Canadians surveyed in 2016 had used at least one form of alternative healing or medicine over the past 12 months and Alberta is the province with the highest use of alternative practices in Canada.

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