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Is cost of health care encouraging alternative remedies?

Every doctor’s bill, dental check up, and prescription seems to be more and more expensive with each passing year.  While President Obama did pass a health care reform act to insure more Americans, many are still struggling to afford the care they need.  As the cost of health care rises in the United States, a new study shows more people are seeking alternative therapies to save a few bucks.

The study shows an increasing number of people trying acupuncture.  Originally from Asia, this therapy involves putting needles in pressure points all over the body to relieve pain.   Years ago it was seen as a strange method of treatment, but now the federally regulated practice is becoming more of a mainstream option. 

A National Health Interview Survey showed 3.1 million Americans had turned to acupuncture in 2007.  The results, which were just recently released, show a sharp increase in demand for the procedure compared to years previous.

Acupuncture is said to alleviate many sources of pain, and can also help people with anxiety and depression.  The number of treatments needed often varies depending on each patient, but treatment can last for several weeks or months.

The therapy really caught on in the United States about twenty years ago, and has slowly been gaining popularity.  The treatment is part of a centuries-old practice from China, where it is believed pain throws off your body’s harmony.  To get it back on track small needles are inserted into the body at key points to bring your body back to its natural state.

While some insurance plans don’t cover acupuncture, some patients say it is cheaper than standard Western therapies and medications.  More and more insurance companies are adding the practice to its list of covered services, or at least partially covered, services.