NIH: U.S. Shoppers Spend $30.2B on Complementary Health

alternative medicine

Bethesda, MD—New analysis from the National Institutes of Health suggests Americans aren’t shying away from spending their money on complementary health techniques.

According to nationwide survey findings by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. shoppers spend $30.2 billion on complementary health approaches. The group includes under this umbrella herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic, yoga and other healthcare practices. The $30.2 billion figure (including $28.3 billion on adults and $1.9 billion on children) represents 9.2% of all out-of-pocket spending by Americans on healthcare and 1.1% of total healthcare spending.

Specifically, $14.7 billion was spent on visits to chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and other complementary practitioners; that amount is about 30% of all out-of-pocket spending on conventional physicians.

In addition, Americans spent $12.8 billion on natural product supplements, which NIH says is about 25% of what was spent on out-of-pocket on prescription drugs. Self-care methods were about $2.7 billion.

Of note, the more a family’s income, it spent on complementary approaches.