Holistic Health Advocacy Starts with You — Stay Informed

Aug 29, 2013 10:45:00 AM | holistic health Holistic Health Advocacy Starts with You — Stay Informed

Interested in a holistic health? ACHS.edu will help to keep you informed in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. Keep reading!

Holistic health practitionerAre you drawn to study or use holistic healthcare? It seems like everyone is talking about holistic or alternative healthcare these days. The U.S. healthcare system is beginning the process of looking at the impact of integrative or complementary and alternative medicine, and incorporating concepts of wellness, prevention, and natural medicine into the healthcare model.

If you are one of those folks who are drawn to an education and a career in holistic health approaches to wellness, it helps to keep informed in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

Whether you are a graduate, returning, or freshman student of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), we encourage you to stay informed and find opportunities to use your expertise to voice your opinion through writing, teaching, activism, and education.

Not yet a student here at ACHS? Don't worry! There are many ways to connect with us—the ACHS Health and Wellness Blog, Facebook, Twitter, ACHStv, and Pinterest to name a few—and benefit from our mission and objective: "To provide leadership in holistic health education through comprehensive professional online and on-campus education ... and ... foster competence, professionalism and cooperation in holistic healthcare, and preserve and share knowledge in natural medicine." We will help you stay up with all these changes!

Whatever your career path, the knowledge of what is happening in the world of holistic health news, policy, and research will enhance your ability to effectively participate in healthcare reform and transformation and ensure you are an informed user and practitioner, such as a holistic health practitioner (HHP).

Here are some updated facts that could impact you:

Healthcare Law Timeline—Impact of the Affordability Care Act—Obamacare:


  • Health insurance plans must cover more preventive services.        
  • Medicare covers more wellness and preventive care.


  • Insurance companies can’t put annual dollar limits on health coverage. 
  • Insurance companies can no longer deny anyone health coverage because of a pre-existing condition.


Section 2706 (Non-Discrimination inHealthcare)—is widely discussed in the alternative medicine community because it requires that insurance companies "shall not discriminate" against any health provider with a state-recognized license (Scott, 2013).

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CAM Statistics

5  The five most searched-for herbs that brought people to NCCAM’s Web site in 2012 are: evening primrose oil, St. John’s wort, fenugreek, echinacea, and aloe vera (NCCAM, 2013).

8  In 2013, eight states have Health Freedom laws (including Minnesota, California, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico) (National Health Freedom Coalition, 2012).

17 Number of US states that have passed licensing or regulation laws for naturopathic doctors (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, 2013).

50 Number of US states where the practice of chiropractic is licensed and regulated (ACA).

44 Number of US states that currently have Acupuncture practice acts (NCCAOM).

50% Overall healthcare costs cut in the first year for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield heart patients who chose to adopt a healthy lifestyle instead of receiving a bypass or angioplasty (Oakes, 2013).

56 Medical School members in the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM).

42 Forty-two percent of hospitals offered some form of alternative therapies to their patients, according to a 2010 survey of 5,800 facilities. When asked why, almost all responded "patient demand" (MacKinnon, 2012).

All of these facts and figures are encouraging, but how exciting is this last fact—42% of hospitals offer some form of alternative therapies, and it is all because folks like you and me, the "patients," are demanding alternative therapies. That is all of us! So, "your mission should you choose to accept it" is to check in with the National Health Freedom Coalition in your state now and see how you can get involved. Let us know what they said or what you plan to do to get involved and stay informed! We love your feedback.

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ACA. (n.d.). Retrieved Aug 20, 2013 from American Chiropracters Association: http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=15&T2ID=205

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. (2013, August 20). AANP. Retrieved from American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: http://naturopathic.org/content.asp?pl=16&sl=57&contentid=57

CAHCIM. (n.d.). Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. Retrieved Aug 20, 2013 from Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine: http://www.imconsortium.org/prod/groups/ahc/@pub/@ahc/@cahcim/documents/asset/ahc_asset_441178.pdf

MacKinnon, M. (2012, June 15). Conference: Military willing to explore integrative medicine. The Portland Physician Scribe, 30(12):6-8.

National Health Freedom Coalition. (2012). Health Freedom Laws Passed. Retrieved August 2013 from National Health Freedom Coalition: http://www.nationalhealthfreedom.org/InfoCenter/laws_passed.html

NCCAM. (2013, Jan). NCCAM's 5 Most Searched-For Herbs of 2012. Retrieved Aug 20, 2013 from National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/topsupplements-science

NCCAOM. (n.d.). State Licensure Requirements. Retrieved Aug 20 2013, from National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine: http://www.nccaom.org/regulatory-affairs/state-licensure-map

Oakes, K. V. (2013, May 30). Can Wellness Cure? UCSF. Retrieved from http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/05/105701/can-wellness-cure

Scott, A. (2013, March 29). Obamacare to cover acupuncture, alternative medicine.

Susan Yirku

Written By: Susan Yirku

Susan joined ACHS to work in Compliance and Special Projects in February 2013. A dedicated student and patient advocate, Sue has always got her fingers into some healthcare reform project. Whether she is working on public policy, educational quality, or access to holistic care for underserved communities, she is dedicated to mentoring emerging CAM professionals and the amazing students that are drawn to them. Her other passion is holistic global health projects. She has particular ties to Haiti, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Nepali nonprofits. Susan has a degree in Collaborative Leadership from Marylhurst University in Portland, OR, and has held a series of leadership positions that include Associate VP College Relations, National College of Natural Medicine; President, Institute for Natural Medicine; and founding Executive Director for Accredited Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges. Sue enjoys lively debate and blogging provides a great forum for discussion.