American Spending on Yoga, Echinacea and Acupuncture

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According to data released this week tracking Americans’ out-of-pocket spending on health care, each year we fork out some $33.9 billion for “complementary and alternative medicine” — everything ranging from acupuncture and massage therapy to yoga and herbal supplements. The nearly $40 billion in spending represents just 1.5% of overall annual health care costs, which hover around a whopping $2.2 trillion, but 11.2% of all out-of-pocket expenditures.

The analysis, compiled by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, breaks down spending into two main categories: self-care costs and practitioner visits. Each year, Americans spend $22 billion treating themselves by taking classes, buying self-help relaxation guides and herbal supplements, for example, with $14.8 billion of that going toward over-the-counter “natural products” such as Echinacea and fish oil. In some 300 million annual visits to chiropractors, massage therapists and other non-physician caregivers, we spend $11.9 billion, about a quarter of out-of-pocket spending for traditional doctor’s visits. While overall alternative care appointments run an average of $50 each, for certain treatments — acupuncturists or hypnotists, for example — each visit can cost $75 or more.

It isn’t just yogis and herbalists ponying up for ginseng and meditation: according to the study 38% of adults use some type of alternative or complementary care to ease their ailments. Additionally, the data, collected in 2007, shows marked changes in spending from a decade earlier. In 1997 Americans spent $6.6 billion on self remedies; these days we’re spending more than twice that, suggesting that we’re seeking out do-it-yourself options on a more regular basis. In contrast, it seems Americans may be relying less on alternative care providers. In 1997, we spent at least $15.8 billion getting our spines aligned and muscles massaged; 10 years later, annual spending for these types of treatments dropped by about $4 billion. —By Tiffany Sharples


Such detoxification treatments are very good for your health but they can are not affordable for everyone. However, one of the best home detox treatments is getting a massage chair. It is essential that you look up a few massage chair reviews before buying one so that you get the best value for your money.

The money we spend on wellness of health is never wasted. When you invest in yourself, you get a lifetime profit out of it. This is why you must not hesitate to spend on yoga, wellness massages, acupuncture and similar treatments.


It means like we are going back to old times of using herbal and natural medicines.