Consumers are fueling the growth of alternative medicine. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association approximately 42% of Americans are spending more than 34 billion dollars on complementary and alternative therapies each year.
The author of the study, Dr. David Eisenberg, Director of the Center for Alternative Medicine and Research at Beth Israel and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School claims that, “One out of every two individuals between the ages of 30-55 use alternative therapies.” What this growing base of consumers seems to prefer is the safe, non-invasive nature of alternative therapies, the affordable cost of treatments, and the emphasis on preventing illness while maintaining optimal health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the main healthcare modality for over 20 percent of the world’s population and is the fastest growing primary healthcare in the United States. Statistics indicate this consistent growth pattern will continue as TCM is increasingly sought by Americans who have experienced its healing benefits.
The World Health Organization (WHO) published findings stating that acupuncture can be effectively used to treat over 43 conditions. The prestigious Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Hospital, Sutter Hospital and leading cancer centers have busy acupuncture departments, and the Cleveland Clinic prescribes TCM herbs. Insurance providers are taking note, offering improved coverage for alternative therapies such as chiropractic, massage and acupuncture.
According to the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, growth in the acupuncture profession is providing graduates with a multitude of career opportunities around the world. TCM practitioners can choose to establish a private or group practice, work in an integrative medical center, cancer center or hospital, or become involved in TCM education, publishing or research.
Currently, there are over 12,000 students enrolled in over 60 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) colleges with more than 37,000 licensed acupuncturists practicing throughout the United States. This is a growing profession!