Visitor Center - Advantages to Employees and Enrollees

Visitor Center - FAQs About Complementary Medicine

Facts Regarding Use and Popularity Of Complementary and Integrative Medicine

By enrolling in the C3 program, employees have the advantages of:
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may prove more effective than usual treatment in alleviating chronic low-back pain, according to a new study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers from the Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, and the University of Washington, Seattle, conducted a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in which 342 participants aged 20 to 70 used one of the two mind and body approaches or sought usual care for one year. At 26 and 52 weeks, participants using MBSR and CBT had greater improvement in function and back pain compared to the group that remained in standard care. Though pain intensity and some mental health measures improved in both groups, those using CBT did not see improvement beyond 26 weeks. Those using MBSR, however, continued to see improvement at 52 weeks, leading researchers to conclude MBSR may be an effective treatment for chronic low-back pain. MBSR brings together elements of mindfulness meditation and yoga, whereas CBT is a form of psychotherapy that trains individuals to modify specific thoughts and behaviors. For the study, participants in the group using MBSR and the group using CBT attended a two-hour group session on their respective approach per week for eight weeks and supplemented their treatment with workbooks and CDs for practice at home. The study was led by Daniel Cherkin, Ph.D., a senior scientific investigator at the Group Health Research Institute . “It is vital that we identify effective nonpharmacologic treatment options for 25 million people who suffer from daily pain, in the United States,” said Josephine Briggs, M.D., director of NCCIH. “The results from this research affirm that non-drug/non-opioid therapies, such as meditation, can help manage chronic low-back pain. Physicians and their patients can use this information to inform treatment decisions.”
  • The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) interviewed 31,000 adults and found that 62% used some form of CAM in 2002. When prayer specifically for health reasons was excluded, 36 % of adults use some form of CAM therapy.· The most common forms included prayer, natural products, meditation, chiropractic care, yoga, massage, and diet based therapies. (May 27, 2004 report, Dept of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • It has been estimated that the U.S. public spent between $36 billion and $47 billion on CAM therapies in 1997. Of this amount, between $12 and 19.6 billion was paid out of pocket for the services of professional CAM health care providers such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. That is more than the U.S. public paid out-of-pocket for all hospitalizations in 1997 and about half of the dollars paid out-of-pocket for physician services. (May 27, 2004 report, Dept of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Extrapolations to the U.S. population suggests a 47.3% increase in total visits to alternative medicine practitioners from 427 million in 1990 to 629 million in 1997, thereby exceeding total visits to all U.S. primary care physicians. (JAMA, November 11, 1998)
  • Increases in use and total spending on CAM is attributable to more people using these services, rather than increased visits per patient. (JAMA, November 11, 1998)The results of these studies and numerous other studies demonstrate that alternative health care is not alternative any longer.
  • The budget of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health has grown from $2million in 1993 to $50 million in 1999 to $123 million in 2005 (NIH website)
  • In 2002 over $5 billion spent out-of-pocket on herbal products (May 27, 2004 report, Dept of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Consumer visits to massage therapists is 114 million each year and there are 31.6 million visits to chiropractors each year (American Massage Therapy Assn. Website, (American Chiropractic Assn website,
  • Oxford Health Plan reported that nearly half of its 2,000,000 members used some form of alternative care (Modern Healthcare, Sept. 7, 1998).

For more information about how C3 can help you bring enhanced benefits to your company or organization, toll free 888-862-3223, or email us at and a C3 representative will contact you.


C3 offers savings programs that support the health and well being of enrolled members.

Complementary Care programs are available to public and private employer groups, third party administrators, unions, health plans, insurance companies and associations.


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   P.O. Box 707, Sharpsburg, MD 21782