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Latest survey on complementary health approaches shows dramatic increase in popularity among U.S. adults

by Mar 26, 2024

Home » News » Latest survey on complementary health approaches shows dramatic increase in popularity among U.S. adults

A January research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals a dramatic increase in the popularity of complementary and alternative medicine including the fields of naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and chiropractic medicine. 

The latest survey shows an overall increase in the use of complementary health approaches (CHA) among U.S. adults from 19.2% in 2002 to well over a third (36.7 %) of the population or approximately 122.3 million adults in 2022. 

“These numbers speak volumes, underscoring the growing trust and interest in holistic healing modalities,” said National University of Health Sciences President Joseph Stiefel, MS, EdD., DC. 

The survey looked at the use of seven complementary health approaches including chiropractic care, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, along with yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and guided imagery/progressive muscle relaxation. 

The use of acupuncture more than doubled from 1% of U.S. adults in 2002 to 2.2% in 2022, amounting to over 7.3 million U.S. adults. The use of chiropractic increased, as well, from 7.5% of U.S. adults in 2002 to 11% in 2022, representing nearly 37 million U.S. adults. Over this 20-year period, the use of naturopathic medicine quadrupled from .3% to 1.3% of U.S. adults, encompassing about 4.4 million U.S. adults. 

The survey showed that U.S. adults are using complementary approaches for the treatment of pain more than ever before. Among adult acupuncture patients, the use of acupuncture for pain management increased from about 55% in 2002 to about 72% in 2022 while, among adult chiropractic patients, the use of chiropractic for pain management increased from about 78% in 2002 to about 85% in 2022. For adult naturopathic medicine patients, the use of naturopathic medicine for pain increased from about 31% in 2002 to about 48% in 2022. 

In today’s opioid landscape, U.S. adults continue to value complementary medicine and non-drug approaches to treat their pain and other health concerns. 

“It’s increasingly evident that integrative medicine will play an important role for the solution of health care in this country,” Dr. Stiefel said. “And that’s why National University of Health Sciences has been part of the healthcare landscape for more than 118 years, paving the way for a more holistic, comprehensive, and personalized approach to health. 

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