March/April 2007 Alternative Health
Staying Healthy with Alternative Medicine
More than half of Americans try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) because they believe it will improve their health when used in combination with conventional medical treatments, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
What is CAM?
The most popular form of CAM are biologically based practices that use substances found in nature, such as herbs, special diets or vitamins. CAM also includes manipulative and body-based practices such as chiropractic care and massage therapy, whole medical systems such as naturopathy, acupuncture and homeopathy, mind-body medicine such as yoga and meditation, and energy medicine such as Reiki and qi gong.
In the Northwest, natural living and alternative care is a way of life. While many businesses are cutting back on alternative health benefits, companies such as Norm Thompson and the Oregon Trucking Association embrace natural treatments by offering CAM Plus, a discount program from Complementary Healthcare Plans (CHP).
“These benefits often are less expensive and are critical to the overall health of the individual,” says Jeff Akers, vice president of sales and marketing at CHP.
CAM Plus members receive a 20 percent discount on services for chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and massage therapy from CHP’s provider network. Active Northwesterners can take advantage of discounts at fitness clubs, yoga and Pilates studios, ski resorts and cultural attractions. The Cancer Nutrition Centers of America offers CAM Plus members discounts on wellness dietary supplements. Members also save on prescription and non-prescription medications from Wellpartner, a mail order pharmacy.
“We believe consumers are more engaged in their healthcare and want to be proactive in health,” says Akers. “They are more astute and information savvy.”
CAM Plus is available through employer plans and directly to individual consumers. Visit www.chpplans.us for details.
– Vicky Thompson