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Covering the Cost of Alternative Therapies

13 years, 5 months ago

905  0
Posted on Jun 02, 2005, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Americans spend billions of dollars on treatments every year. Most of it comes from their own pockets. Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care and herbal supplements. If you've ever had any of these treatments, chances are you have had to pay. But, a unique Chicago group is helping convince insurance companies to let people choose holistic doctors or chiropractors as primary care providers.

Americans spend billions of dollars on treatments every year. Most of it comes from their own pockets. Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care and herbal supplements. If you've ever had any of these treatments, chances are you have had to pay. But, a unique Chicago group is helping convince insurance companies to let people choose holistic doctors or chiropractors as primary care providers.

Eleven years ago, Jim Zechman woke up nearly deaf in one ear. After months of expensive tests, doctors had no answers. Three years later, a friend suggested a specialized massage therapist.

"He worked on me for about an hour in that region, and it was all of a sudden like a burning sensation in my ear, and then I could actually hear drainage in the area, and , 'Pop!'," said Jim Zechman, Alternative Medicine Integrating Group.

Instantly, Jim could hear. A $70 visit to a massage therapist gave him what thousands of dollars in modern medicine could not.

"There's a much better way of going about treating patients, offering them solutions on a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical basis," said Zechman.

Zechman started a group that encouraged Illinois' largest insurance company to let people choose holistic doctors, or chiropractors, as primary care providers. his company plans to roll the program out across the country.


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