Monday, February 23, 2009

Database spotlight: Alt Healthwatch!

Our library subscribes to several databases which I love because they're so helpful to students when they're working on a paper. In fact, all of our databases are helpful in that way. Yet there are a few databases which are dear to my heart because I use them for research in my everyday life. One of these is Alt Healthwatch.

According to an article in The Washington Post, 38% of adults use alternative medicine. We're talking acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic, cross-cultural therapies, herbalism, homeopathy, naturopathy, nutrition, etc. And while I'm not one of those who wants to toss modern medicine out the window entirely, I like to investigate alternative healing techniques. Often a friend or a family member will come to me with certain health concerns or with a question about some new therapy they've heard about. When they do that, the first place I look is Alt Healthwatch.

According to EBSCO, the host for Alt Healthwatch, the database focuses on the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. Through Alt Healthwatch, we have access to full-text articles from more than 180 international (and often peer-reviewed) journals and reports. Alt HealthWatch aims to provide in-depth coverage across the full spectrum of subject areas covered by complementary and alternative medicine. I used it just this morning to help a beekeeper friend research the health benefits of honey!

Of course, I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, and I wouldn't suggest anyone rely upon any database as a substitute for professional medical treatment. However, if you're like I am, and you like to have access to as much information as possible when it comes to your own health and wellness, you might like to give Alt Healthwatch a try.

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