There is an undeniable, growing interest in alternative and complementary healthcare methods across the globe.  As the demand for non-allopathic approaches to health and wellness continue to grow, so does the need for an organization like ACHP to unite, promote, and support all of the various methods and modalities out there today.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a significant amount of the population on a global scale regularly use alternative and complementary modalities in tandem with their primary healthcare:

  • 80% of the population in most Asian and African countries
  • 75% of the population in most European countries
  • As high as 42% in the United States (Jamison, Breman, Measham, et al., eds. 2006).

In the United States, visits to alternative therapy providers exceeded the number of visits to all primary care physicians in 1990 (Eisenberg, et al., 1998), and has accelerated dramatically since 2007, with increased usage across all major ethic groups:

  • 18.1% increase among Caucasians
  • 17.2% increase among Asians
  • 6.6% increase among African Americans
  • 1% increase among Hispanics (Su, 2011).

As of 2007, the National Center for Health Statistics, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimated that:

  • over 38% of adults (83 million persons) and
  • over 11% of children (8.5 million children) under the age of 18 were using one or more types of alternative/complementary healthcare interventions (Nahin, Barnes, Strussman, and Bloom, 2009)

These trends suggest that the alternative and complementary healthcare field is likely to have considerable influence on the current and future state of healthcare.



Eisenberg D. M., Davis R. B., Ettner S. G., Appel S. Trends in Alternative Medicine Use in the United States, 1990–1997: Results of a Follow-Up National Survey. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998;28(18):1569–75.

Jamison, DT, Breman JG, Measham, AR, et al., eds. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition. Washington (DC): World Bank; 2006.

Nahin, R., Barnes, P., Strussman, B., & Bloom, B. (2009). Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007. National Health Statistics Reports, 18, 1-15.

Su, D. (2011). Trends in the use of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States: 2002-2007. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 22, 295-309.