Americans Spend 34 Billion Dollars on Alternative Medicine

Recent studies conducted by the federally funded National Health Statistics Report have revealed that Americans spend up to 34 billion dollars per year on complementary alternative medicine (CAM). The first national estimate of such spending discovered that more than one tenth of American’s out of pocket health care dollars goes towards CAM. The term CAM encompasses Oriental medicine, Asian body therapy, herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and other variations of Oriental medicine. According to new research, CAM accounts for approximately 1.5 percent of total health care expenditures.


Currently in the United States, about 38 percent of adults are using CAM for health and to treat a variety of issues. Most commonly, this report shows that people actively seek out acupuncture and massage to manage chronic pain. Of the 34 billion dollars people spent for CAM services, an estimated 22 billion dollars was spent on self-care costs such as herbs and nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products like fish oil and Echinacea. Visits to acupuncturists, massage therapists, and chiropractors was attributed to more than half of the money spent on self-care – about 11.9 billion dollars. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine’s three clinics (located in San Diego, New York, and Chicago) have seen a rise in patients.

With the low cost of alternative medicine combined with the progressive concept of preventative health care (ensuring one’s wellbeing now is a safeguard to future medical expenses), as well as the increasing number of uninsured individuals, Complementary and alternative medicine has never made more sense and been more accessible to the public as it is now. Pacific College Clinics can provide a myriad of treatments including acupuncture, herbal remedies, moxibustion, tui na massage, Chinese cupping, and Shiatsu. These modalities can be used for numerous conditions from migraines and chronic pain to respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.

For more information on the increasing use of CAM, please call Pacific College at 800-729-0941 ext 107 or visit us at

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