Americans spend tens of billions of dollars on alternative therapies, usually out-of-pocket. But now, Oxford Health Plans, the nation’s ninth largest managed care company, offers coverage for visits with acupuncturists and chiropractors. Oxford, responding to studies which show stress to be a leading cause of 75% of doctor visits, is now offering reduced premiums to those engaged in stress-reducing yoga and massage therapy.
And medical schools are beginning to see ‘alternatives’ as important for doctors whose patients are helped by them. For example, Columbia University introduced seminars covering meditation and medical hypnosis.
Dr. Nathan Berger, the dean, tells Parade Magazine, that “the premise was that it might be better to start studying the living rather than the dead.” Each student is assigned to give care to a woman through pregnancy and right throught the labor and delivery. The look on a student’s face during a delivery reveals a condition which hopefully will remain with them through the rigors of the coming years.