Women are much more likely to seek care from any healthcare practitioner and are more likely to follow more preventative health measures. It isn't a surprise then, that they utilize complementary and alternative medicine more often than men. Interestingly, women who identify as feminist are much more likely to utilize alternative healing modalities which is thought to be because they appreciate self-empowerment. The need for personal connection and relationship with health care providers may be a motivating factor as well. The rampant perception that conventional medicine has become dehumanizing and ultimately disregards individual needs leaves many people feeling alienated, particularly women.
Visits with nurse practitioners are on average doubled in length those provided by physicians. Nurse practitioners devote more time to education and counseling the client, which builds trust and relationship. Consumers have expressed they feel more often their questions and concerns are acknowledged when cared for by advanced practice nurses and that they are less likely to feel marginalized by their health care experience. Nurses have long been the most trusted professional, above ministers, school teachers, firemen, and physicians. Nurse-practitioners have consistently demonstrated outcomes at least as good, if not better than their physician colleagues in primary care, while maintaining higher consumer satisfaction and lower cost. Complementary medicine takes this a step further in that the individual client's experience, or their subjective report, is a necessary component in creating a treatment plan. We are partners. Decision-making is mutual. Therefore, integrative clinicians may be more compatible with a woman's emotional and psychological needs in the health care relationship.
Functional medicine draws another clientele entirely in that this mindset is one that digs beneath the symptoms and desire to ease suffering, but to also identify the underlying cause of dis-ease and correct this at the roots so complete healing is available. This isn't the focus of conventional medicine where pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic testing reigns supreme. The functional medicine client is eager to invest in their healthcare and make necessary lifestyle changes to optimize their health.