Alternative Medicine

Consumers from other cultures and the chronically ill are also frequent users of CAM services at the Mind, Body and Spirit Balance Center.

CAM use in the U.S. has grown rapidly in the last 13 years, to an estimated 82.4 billion in expenditures in 2003. For some health problems, patients use CAM therapies more than they use conventional therapies. CAM use is growing as a result of many consumers' concerns about the adverse effects of drugs. For these patients, CAM offers a less invasive and gentler way of avoiding and managing disease than allopathic medicine. The Mind, Body and Spirit Balance Center focus on the total patient experience on physical, mental, and spiritual.

CAM customers also tend to be in middle-income brackets: 80 have incomes greater than 35,000. Higher levels of education and poorer overall health are also key predictors of consumers' use of CAM in the U.S. About 50 to 66 percent of the nation's health insurers are offering some form of CAM coverage. Growth in CAM coverage is attributable to four factors: consumer demand, legitimacy, market share, and healthcare cost containment.

Patients who use CAM are not necessarily anti-scientific or opposed to conventional medicine, nor do they represent



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