Alternative Health is Booming


It’s hard to believe about $30 billion dollars is spent by people in the US every year on alternative medicine.  This is only a mere fraction of about 1% of what Americans spend every year on conventional health care.

The National Health Interview Survey conducted in 2012 revealed information that involved 44,743 individuals aged 4 and above.  The next thought is, why would people in America spend that much money on what one prominent drug company referred to as, “eclectic” and “unconventional” health approaches instead of mainstream medicine.  Practitioners such as yoga instructors and chiropractors, natural supplements such as glucosamine and self-help materials such as books and CDs, are included in the alternative health care.  A study included a wide range of alternative health care expressions as: homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture chiropractic, Ayurveda, chelation, supplements, special diets, massage, mind-body therapies such as yoga, hypnosis and energy healing.  

In 2012 a family with less than $25,000 income spent $435 a year and those with incomes of at least $100,000 spent around $580 on alternative medicine.  Even more interestingly is the fact that those making only $25,000 a year spends what little they have paying out of pocket for alternative health care.  Doesn’t that tell us something?  It’s all because they believe in it!  Richard Nahin, Ph.D. from the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and co-author of a study, said the amount of money spent in the US by people who disregard their lack of health care insurance coverage in pursuit of alternative health modalities, shows they have a greater amount of trust in them than conventional medicine.

A total of 225,000 Americans per year have died as a result of their medical treatments such as:

  • 12,000 deaths per year due to unnecessary surgery
  • 7,000 deaths per year due to medication errors in hospitals
  • 20,000 deaths per year due to other errors in hospitals
  • 80,000 deaths per year due to infections in hospitals
  • 106,000 deaths per year due to negative effects of drugs

The figures at that time made iatrogenic deaths third in line behind heart disease and cancer. CNN reported in 2015 that the leading cause of unintentional death the previous year was from drug overdoses.  When the data becomes to bogged down with potentially damaging information, it’s easier to just hide the statistics.  It isn’t surprising, but death certificates do not have a box at the bottom for coroners to designate “medical error” as a cause of death.  If a doctor does record it was a medical error, it’s still not included in the CDC’s mortality statistics.

More conventional doctors are opting for alternative medicine and are seeking it for themselves and families, rather than to take conventional routes.  Seniors are especially at risk for medication-related problems due to physiological changes of aging, higher incidence of multiple chronic diseases and conditions and greater consumption of prescription and over-the-counter medications.  ASPC reveals that seniors 65-69 take around 14 prescriptions per year and those 80-84 about 18 per year.  Medication-related problems cost $177.4 billion a year among seniors.

The natural alternatives are a wise choice for optimal health.  The very best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to take control of your own health.  Taking a prescription from a doctor isn’t the wisest thing to do without asking questions and researching the medication you are being given for side effects, etc.  Look at the natural remedies and alternative solutions before starting a new prescription.  Learn about the genetically modified organisms (GMOs), cancer, supplementation, aging and technology for yourself.  Get in the best shape ever by going natural!

-Dr Fredda Branyon