Although alternative medicine has been popular in Europe for over 80 years, the past 20 years have brought about a boom in alternative medicine usage in Canada. The famous Eisenberg studies of 1990 and 1997 illustrated that more than twice as many people were visiting alternative medicine practitioners as compared to those using allopathic medicine. Although statistics vary from one study to the next, it is estimated that the alternative medicine usage amounts to 30 billion dollars per year. The two most widely used and fastest growing of these alternative therapies are acupuncture and chiropractic.
Why the sudden interest in alternative therapies? Yesterday’s baby boomers are today’s senior citizens, and they insist upon taking health care choices into their own hands. Canadians have become disenchanted with allopathic approaches that strictly adhere to medications and surgical procedures for everything that walks into the door. Many Canadians now perceive allopathic medicine as expensive, sometimes dangerous, and not always effective. One more factor to consider is that medicine, as we once knew it, is changing at warp speed. Statistics show us that much of what we thought was the truth have changed, evolved, or has been proven to be wrong. One half of all medical knowledge to date is less, than. 10 years old. Alternative medicine is not a trend or a fad but instead is changing the face of medicine at an ever-growing rapid pace.
How does this impact our local Kelowna chiropractors? In my opinion, very positively! Studies show that Canadians are now willing to pay more out-of-pocket expenses to alternative medicine providers than to the traditional allopathic medical providers. There is a growing awareness that some alternative therapies, like chiropractic, are less expensive, more easily accessible, and. in some cases, more effective than allopathic counterparts. Repeatedly, chiropractic has been shown to be the safest of all the alternative therapies with the most scientific documentation regarding efficacy. At this time, two-thirds of private insurance companies offer chiropractic services to their insured. The alternative medicine movement has highlighted chiropractic’s leadership role as the largest of the alternative therapies. I believe that the alternative medicine movement has paved the road to greater chiropractic accessibility and utilization.