Sandra Chaloux

| 12/17/2015

How many Americans use Alternative Medicine?

How many Americans use Alternative Medicine?

The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducts an annual interview survey with tens of thousands of Americans about their health and illness-related experiences. In 2012, NIH’s Center for Complementary & Integrative Health asked over 34,500 American adults about their use of alternative and complementary health approaches and their reasons for using them. The three specific alternative & complementary approaches that they evaluated in this survey include: the use of dietary supplements, yoga, and spinal manipulation.

NIH’s survey report, released earlier this year, indicates that one third of American adults are using alternative medicine.

I am guessing that the actual percentage of American adults using alternative medicine and therapies is much higher, if you consider all the other types of alternative and complementary therapies that are available.

Why People Use Alternative Medicine –NIH Survey Findings

According to the NIH survey, pain is one of the leading reasons Americans turn to complementary health approaches such as yoga, massage, and meditation—which may help manage pain and other symptoms that are not consistently addressed by prescription drugs and other conventional treatments.

NIH’s study indicates that Americans are experiencing a great deal of pain.

An estimated 23.4 million adults (10.3 percent) experience a lot of pain.

An estimated 126 million adults (55.7 percent) reported some type of pain in the 3 months prior to the survey

According to this NIH study, people also use alternative medicine for the following reasons:

  • General wellness
  • Disease prevention
  • To Improve overall health
  • It Made them feel better
  • To reduce stress
  • To be motivated to exercise more regularly
  • To be motivated to eat healthier
  • To feel better emotionally
  • To treat a condition
  • To sleep better

NIH Survey Source:

We’d like to get to know more about your interests and needs so that we can create the most useful content and workshops. Please share your comments below about the alternative medicine and therapies you have tried and your reasons for using them. Also tell us about the alternative therapies or services that you would like to learn more about.


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