Americans spend more than a 10th of their out-of-pocket health care dollars on alternative medicine, according to the first national estimate of such spending in more than a decade.

Chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and herbal remedies are commanding significant consumer dollars as people seek high-touch care in a high-tech society, the report released recently by the government shows.

Altogether, consumers spent an estimated $34 billion on those and other alternative remedies in 2007, the report found.

…That includes a wide range of services from meditation and yoga to herbal supplements, such as echinacea and ginseng. Vitamins and minerals are not included in this report but will be addressed in a future one.

Pain was the main reason people tried massage, chiropractic care and other alternative therapies.

Associated Press; Atlanta, Georgia; August 5, 2009
http://www.mercurynews.com

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