The $30 Billion Market for Alternative Medicine

Americans are spending $30.2 billion a year on alternative and complementary medicines and procedures. Almost half the amount, $14.7 billion, was spent on alternative procedures like acupuncture, homeopathy, energy healing, hypnosis, massage therapy and others.

$12.8 billion was spent on natural product supplements (excluding vitamin and mineral diet supplements), along with $2.7 billion for self-care books and educational materials.

Looked at in terms of overall U.S. healthcare spending, the $12.8 billion spent on natural product supplements is 24 percent of the $54 billion Americans spend out of pocket on prescription drugs, and the $14.7 billion spent in visits to alternative practitioners is almost a third of the out-of-pocket expenditures for visits to conventional physicians.

Some other alternative practitioners that Americans are seeking their health care from are naturopaths, chelation therapists, mind-body experts, and traditional healers.

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