Americans Spend $30 Billion a Year on Alternative Medicine | NBC 10 Philadelphia
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Americans Spend $30 Billion a Year on Alternative Medicine

Less-affluent people spend a higher proportion of their income on these treatments

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    FILE Photo - Americans seem to believe in alternative medicine, shelling out more than $30 billion in 2012 alone for treatments ranging from acupuncture to homeopathy, federal researchers reported on Wednesday.

    Americans spend a substantial part of out-of-pocket health care costs on alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic care and natural supplements, even though there is little evidence some of these approaches work, NBC News reported.

    Federal researchers reported Wednesday that Americans shelled out more than $30 billion in 2012 alone for some sort of alternative or complementary treatment — an average of $500 per person.

    The team at the National Center for Health Statistics says the findings is "an indication that users believe enough in the value of these approaches to pay for them."

    Though studies have shown acupuncture can help in many ways, including with pregnancy-related nausea, other popular treatments have little or no science to back them up, including homeopathy, naturopathy, guided imagery, energy healing and traditional healers.