Why Choose a Career in Natural Medicine?
According to world-renowned economist Paul Zane Pilzer, the wellness and self-improvement market is expected to reach one trillion dollars in 2010. These millions of people spending billions of dollars to further their wellness represent a new and growing economic sector. Today, for example, this sector spends over $70 billion annually on vitamins and food supplements. These “baby boomers” from the ages of 40 to 60 represent the first generation in history that refuses to blindly accept the aging process. They are also a powerful economic force; they represent only 28 percent of our population—yet this group and their spending represents 50 percent of our economy.
In 2000, wellness in America was already a $200 billion industry. Only a handful of years later, it had already doubled to become a $400 billion business. By the year 2010, as Mr. Pilzer stated, it will have become the next trillion-dollar industry. In the last decade, many of the people who had achieved new wealth made their fortunes in computers. In the first decades of this millennium, many more will be making their fortunes in wellness.
Is there a demand for alternative health practitioners?
Consider this: Twenty years ago, most of us had never even heard of acupuncture; but now, this “alternative” therapy and others like it have become mainstream. The alternative health market is growing—at a brisk rate of 7.9% a year. In fact, nearly half of all Americans are now using alternative therapies, and they’re spending a great deal of money—a whopping $30 billion a year—for treatments like acupuncture, yoga, massage and homeopathic therapies. And the market is still growing.
Traditional healthcare is largely centered on products and services provided reactively to people after they contract an illness, ranging from a common cold to cancerous tumors. Traditional medicine seeks to either treat symptoms or eliminate disease. Complementary and Alternataive Medicine (CAM) is more centered on products and services provided proactively to healthy people—that is, those without an existing disease—to make them feel even healthier and look better, to slow the effects of aging, or to prevent diseases from developing in the first place. Dissatisfaction with the current state of health care is on the rise, driving more and more people to seek safe and effective alternatives.
Does the US government recognize complementary and alternative medicine?
It would seem the federal government is serious about alternative healthcare. So much so that in 1998 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) added a new branch called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. NCCAM’s current annual budget is $125 million.
NCCAM, along with the National Center for Health Statistics (part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released new findings on Americans’ use of complementary and alternative medicine. The December 2008 study revealed that in 2007 approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and over and approximately 12 percent of children use some form of CAM. Adults in the United States spent $33.9 billion out of pocket on visits to CAM practitioners and purchases. One third of the total out-of-pocket costs that adults spent was on practitioner visits, which translates to $11.9 billion. Put another way, 38.1 million adults made an estimated 354.2 million visits to practitioners of CAM.
Share and Comment
Write a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *