What Is Alternative Health?
The terms alternative health, alternative medicine, health and wellness, and the wellness industry are sometimes used interchangeably but other times are used to describe overlapping but not identical groupings. The main focus of each, though, is an approach to human well-being that takes into account mind, body, and spirit using practices not found in a typical doctor’s office.
These treatments are often from traditional practices, like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and herbal supplements. Some are more recent, like chiropractic and pilates. The purpose of each is to look at a person as a living whole, not just as a list of symptoms to be resolved.
Raleigh’s Alternative Health Boom
It seems self-evident that people know when they feel ill and when they feel well and will pursue treatments that help them feel better. Logically, it would seem then, that if people opt to participate in certain treatments, they are seeing benefits from them. The growing popularity of alternative treatments seems to signal that the public is seeing great benefits from them.
The global wellness industry went from $3.36 trillion to $3.72 trillion from 2013 to 2015. That’s a growth of 10.6% during a time when the world’s GDP shrank. In the United States alone, over half of residents polled say they have used at least one of the various alternative health practices. During the same period, 2013-2015, the American alternative health industry grew from $34 billion to $40.32 billion.
The Future of the Alternative Health Industry
The trend is clear. People are increasingly turning to alternative practices to supplement or even replace other medical care. You should always find a physician you trust and follow their direction, but there are clear benefits to alternative methods, as well.
The reason people are turning to these practices is that they bring people peace of mind and a more healthy life. Yoga and meditation create a mind-body connection that improves overall health for both. Eating healthily and taking supplements give your body the nutrition it needs to keep all the core functions operating. Chiropractic treatment maintains spinal alignment so your nervous system remains in the optimal state. All of this maintains health rather than just healing illness.
The future of alternative health practices looks very bright as more and more experience their benefits. The word is spreading and they are becoming simply a part of a holistic approach to health, not just an alternative.