Excerpted from “Alternative Health” by Brian Howard
Alternative health may one day become a misnomer, as more Americans seek care outside of traditional allopathic methods, i.e., drugs and surgery. The alternative health field is large and multi-faceted, encompassing chiropractic, yoga, homeopathy, herbal remedies, dietary supplements, acupuncture, massage therapy and more.
Alternative health principles—prevention, natural remedies and treating the whole body rather than individual parts—have existed throughout the world for centuries, yet have only gained a foothold with mainstream health institutions in America in the last 20 years. There may be no better indicator of the mushrooming prominence of alternative health in this country than the fact that employer insurance plans are becoming increasingly receptive to covering alternative methods of care.
According to the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, approximately one-fifth of companies offered benefits covering alternative treatments other than chiropractic (which is the most widely accepted form of alternative care, and was covered by 86 percent of employers surveyed). And those numbers were compiled three years ago.
According LOHAS Journal, the “lifestyles of health and sustainability” market—which includes alternative health, as well as environmental, social justice and sustainable living issues—spends in the neighborhood of $230 billion per year on products in this field. Read more…