The use of alternative medicine is growing.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, more than 30% of Americans now say they use a form of non-conventional healing such as herbs or yoga.
One reason for this growth is access to information, says Blake Storey, co-owner of Chattanooga Holistic Medicine, which specializes in Chinese medicine, among other natural therapies. When he first opened the practice in 2016, Storey had one patient. In 2019, he had more than a thousand.
“Dr. Google has a big influence on people’s knowledge,” Storey says.
Prior to the internet age, ailments and illnesses were diagnosed and treated through a “doctor-patient pipeline,” says Storey. But now, a person can type symptoms into a search bar, add the word “natural,” and connect to a myriad of alternative forms of medicine — from acupuncture to zang fu organ theory.