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Dublin based health and healing website

Americans spend €27bn on complementary healthcare

Americans spend €27bn on complementary healthcare

Yoga at the sea

Americans spend just under €27 billion a year on complementary healthcare.

The most popular therapies are Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Yoga, Meditation and Massage.

The most popular supplements include fish oils, glucosamine, probiotics, melatonin, Coenzyme Q10 and echinacea.

The figure of €27 billion includes €1.6 billion on alternative healthcare for children, according to a nationwide annual survey.

The study found that individuals spend an average of €383 a year on complementary practitioners and €325 a year on health supplements.

They also spent €227 a year on self-help materials like books and CDs related to alternative health.

Higher income families (earning in excess of €88,000 a year) tend to spend more than those on lower incomes ( less than €22,000 a year) for healthcare like herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic and yoga.

The study found that the spend was

  • €13bn on visits to practitioners like chiropractors, acupuncturists or massage therapists
  • €11bn on natural product supplements
  • €2.3bn on books, CDs and other self help materials.

The amount spent on complementary practitioners was almost 30pc of that spent on conventional doctors.

The amount spent on natural supplements was about 25pc of that spent on prescription drugs.

“With so many Americans using and spending money on complementary health approaches, it is extremely important for us to provide the public with evidence-based information to help inform decisions,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of NCCIH.

“This underscores the importance of conducting rigorous research to know whether the products and practices being used are safe and effective.”

This is the first Federal analysis to include information about the amount spent on complementary healthcare for children.


The study is carried out each year by the by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It shows that:

  • Yoga is used by 9.5pc of the population
  • Chiropractic or osteopathy- 8pc
  • Meditation – 8pc meditate
  • Massage therapy – just under 7pc



In the case of children 3.3pc attend a chiropractor or osteopath, 3pc do yoga, 1pc meditate and just under 1pc have had massage therapy.

The most commonly used supplements are fish oils (7.8pc) followed by Glucosamine (2.6pc), probiotics (1.6pc), melatonin (1.3pc) and Coenzyme Q10 (1.3pc.)

Echinacea, Cranberry pills, Garlic supplements, Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba are also popular.

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