Americans Using Complimentary and Alternative Medicine with Increasing Frequency

Article ID: 556635

Released: 24-Sep-2009 4:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB)

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Newswise — Americans spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) each year, according to a recently-released 2007 National Health Interview Survey. CAM includes such things as acupuncture, biofeedback and neurofeedback, chiropractic, herbal supplements, meditation, and various forms of relaxation therapy that are not routinely considered to be part of conventional medicine. CAM accounts for approximately 11.2 percent of total out-of-pocket expenditures (conventional out-of-pocket: $286.6 billion and CAM out-of-pocket: $33.9 billion) on health care in the United States each year. The survey found that approximately 38 percent of adults use some form of CAM every year and spent approximately $12 billion on an estimated 354 million yearly visits to CAM practitioners such as acupuncture therapists, biofeedback and neurofeedback trainers, chiropractors and massage therapists. In comparison to the last time this data was collected in 2002, the number of adults using CAM mind-body therapies has increased. Biofeedback, guided imagery, meditation , deep breathing exercises and yoga all saw increased usage; there were no changes in the frequency of use of hypnosis and Qi gong; and there were decreases in the use of progressive muscle relaxation, tai chi, and, especially, energy healing therapies. It is clear from this data that Americans are utilizing CAM treatments—and psychophysiological interventions (i.e., treatments that affect both the mind and the body such as biofeedback and various forms of relaxation therapies)—with increasing frequency.

Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin RL. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007. National health statistics reports; no 12. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2008. http://nccam.nih.gov/news/2008/nhsr12.pdf

Barnes PM, Powell-Griner E, McFann K, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults: United States, 2002. Advance data from vital and health statistics; no 343. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2004.


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