An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but an increasing number of Americans are using more than sweet fruits to avoid seeing a physician. Alternative health practices are on the rise, and an estimated third of the American population now seek out nontraditional methods for health and wellness treatments. The rising cost of health care and issues with health insurance coverage are two contributing factors, but individuals also are experiencing benefits such as improved health and recovery, enhanced mental clarity and pain relief. Here are three alternative treatments that are surging in popularity.



Traditional Chinese medicine is at the forefront of the alternative health movement in America, and nowhere is that more evident than with acupuncture. The practice, which involves inserting needles into the skin at pressure points to relieve pain, has been practiced for at least 2,000 years, and it might even date back twice as long. Its use has become so widespread that it is now even employed by many veterinary clinics.

Herbal Medicine

It should be no surprise Americans are turning to the healing power of nature. Plant-based medicine has been around since the beginning of human existence, and the active ingredients in many common pharmaceuticals today use or are based on plants.

The featured flora of the moment is cannabis. Medical cannabis, or marijuana, is used to treat a wide spectrum of conditions including depression, anxiety, arthritis, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, neurological disorders and many others. With a prescription, patients can purchase from medical marijuana st augustine fl dispensaries or those more local to the individual.


Yoga combines meditation, exercise and breathing techniques to increase the health and wellbeing of the practitioner, which today includes more than 20 million Americans. Improved strength and balance, increased flexibility, heightened energy, heart health and weight reduction are just a few of its benefits.

You won’t hear many people cracking wise about alternative health practices these days. The joke is on those who have yet to experience the many health benefits.

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