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Corporate Wellness Programs Open Doors to Integrative Therapies

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) website lists over 600 specific alternative therapies. According to Ken Pelletier, PhD, MD (Professor of Public Health, University of Arizona School of Medicine), “When I hear someone in a workplace wellness program say alternative therapies don’t work, I ask: ‘Which therapies, for what conditions, in what populations, and in what situations?’ It really depends on what you are talking about. Then there are people who say, ‘If it’s natural, it must be OK.’ But look at that list of over 600 therapies. A significant number carry a very real potential to do harm.”

Ken has extensively reviewed complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) studies from around the world. “Because of where I work, my research must conform to a standard of best possible evidence as seen in randomized clinical trials. But there are a number of potentially important therapies and interventions that simply don’t lend themselves to that type of analysis.”

Often such studies lack the necessary documentation but still see excellent outcomes. Ken cautions corporate wellness practitioners against discounting such studies and recommends analyzing them using a 3-pronged triage-type approach:

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