Alternative Healthcare

Inside the November 11th, 1998 publication of the Journal in the American Medical Association, (JAMA), David Eisenberg, M.D. published his long awaited follow-up study about the usage of "Alternative Medicine" in the US. Many years earlier, Dr. Eisenberg published his initial study that rocked the medical community along with his findings with the quantity of individuals who were going to what he termed "Alternative Providers".

Inside the medical profession, every other health care profession was referred to as an alternative. However, the numbers in the Eisenberg study quickly indicated that chiropractic along with other non-medical types of health care aren't "alternative" within the public's eye.

This new study, conducted in 1997, illustrated some astounding facts and figures.

* Americans spent $27 billion out-of-pocket for alternative therapies in 1997.
* Four out of 10 people used alternative healthcare in 1997.
* Visits to alternative medical service providers (mostly chiropractors) increased by almost 50% from 1990.
* The amount of visits to alternative health care providers (629 million) exceeded visits to medical providers (only 386 million) visits in 1997 alone.
* Under 40% of patients tell their medical doctors that they seek alternative therapies.

Researchers also discovered that 42% of the alternative care was for existing illness while 58% was adopted for prevention and wellness. These numbers look great to the chiropractic profession, that has built its health care delivery future on wellness. "Many people initially go into the chiropractor's office for a health issue. However, many then stay there for the wellness benefits chiropractic has to offer", says Robert Braile, D.C. President of the International Chiropractor Association.
Study shows more and more people are using "alternative" health care.

Based on a write-up inside the May 20 publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), lots more people are turning toward what JAMA terms "Alternative Medicine". Traditionally, chiropractors don't use the phrase "Alternative Medicine" when talking about the profession of chiropractic, since chiropractic is a drugless natural way of health. But it's interesting to notice the way the medical profession views chiropractic along with other health approaches they term "alternative".

The content says, "Research in both the United States and abroad shows that significant amounts of individuals are associated with various kinds of alternative medicine. However, the reasons for such use are, at the moment, poorly understood. Together with being more educated and reporting poorer health status, nearly all alternative medicine users seem to be doing so not so much as a result of being dissatisfied with conventional medicine but largely because they find these health care alternatives to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations toward health and life." According to John A. Astin, Ph.D., a researcher at Stanford University's School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California who surveyed 1,035 randomly selected people, "Alternative medicine users tend to hold a philosophical orientation toward health that can be described as holistic and are more likely to have had some type of transformational experience that changed their world view in a significant way."

Back to Articles List