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What ails us 

With most health care and medicine outrageously expensive, people increasingly are looking outside the mainstream for other ways to treat their aches, pains and illnesses.

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Ira Sparer
Briargate

Letter carrier

What's your view of mainstream Western medical care? It's narrow-minded and too centered on medicine and pill-popping. Most health insurance won't cover alternative approaches like acupuncture.

Have you tried non-traditional medical care? My son has a mild form of ADHD, but I'm adamant about not medicating him at 10 years old. I've been reading about homeopathic treatments I'd like to pursue, but I'd have to do it out-of-pocket, so we probably won't.

Can you learn about health problems by looking online? There's a ton of information out there, but at what point do you have enough to make a sound decision?

What would you change about your health? I don't sleep well. It gets pretty miserable, going for days without a good night's sleep.


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Steve Doyle
Hillside

Home-based artisan

How do you view mainstream Western medicine? It's way too expensive and dogmatic.

Have you experimented with non-traditional medicine? I've done homeopathic treatments a few times, and I've used a chiropractor for muscle cramping in my neck.

How did you fare? I improved, but I'm not sure whether it was due to the treatments or the calcium-magnesium tablets I was given.

Is searching the Internet a good way to understand health problems? You can learn some that way, but the danger is that every time you see your symptom, you think that [illness] is what you have.


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Carin Kirkegaard
Castle Rock

Journalist

How do you view mainstream Western medicine? Mostly favorable, but it's not the be-all and end-all. When I injured my back two summers ago, mainstream medical treatment didn't help, but acupuncture and muscle activation therapy did.

Do things like prayer and religious ritual improve health? Probably not for me, but I don't discount it for those who believe that way. The power of faith, belief and suggestion is huge.

Can you understand your health problems via Internet research? It's a starting point, I suppose, but I certainly wouldn't believe everything I see online.

What's the worst health problem you've experienced? A herniated disc in my spine.

What would you change about your health? I wish I could quit grinding my teeth at night.

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