Americans are increasingly moving toward natural and holistic ways of healing their bodies and away from prescription medications and invasive surgery. This was the finding of a 2017 study conducted by Grand View Research.
HealthSource, America’s largest group of clinics specializing in holistic healthcare, has benefited from this change in consumer thinking. The organization finished 2017 strong, gaining 16,000 new patients in the fourth quarter alone, up 11%. Revenue was also up 16%. And now HealthSource is opening clinics faster than any point in time since its founding in 2006, with 50 projected in 2018. It also has forecasted strong growth for both new and existing clinics for the next five years.
The research conducted reviewed consumer preferences and adoption rates for a variety of alternative treatments to address chronic pain. The consumer insight was combined with sales data of the Alternative & Complementary Medicine Market. Using this two-tiered approach, the researchers determined that more and more consumers are switching to natural treatments. Overall, sales for these types of treatments are growing at a rate of 17.61% and will exceed $60.9 billion by 2025 according to the study.
Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) include treatments such as chiropractic, massage, progressive rehabilitation, acupuncture, yoga, magnetic intervention and nutritional supplements. These alternative health treatments are tracked by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which follows scientific research and consumer adoption on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
Why are Americans choosing these treatment options more often? Part of the answer is greater consumer awareness. Poor outcomes with traditional medical treatment has prompted those experiencing chronic pain to research different treatment options. Social media has become a leading source for information gathering, with feedback gained from not only those in the United States, but people from around the world who discovered better treatment solutions.
Another reason for the growth is a change in government support. State medical boards in the U.S. are engaged in assuring that licensees implement CAM therapies as a safe and responsible medicine. Recently, the Federation of State Medical Boards formed a special committee to increase awareness of CAM therapies and devise greater regulation for practitioners who offer these treatments.
One of the biggest reasons for the shift in the United States to holistic treatment options is a change in consumer sentiment around conventional medicine. Millennials as a group are less likely to go to a medical doctor to address back or neck pain. Their focus is on life balance – ensuring that they eat right, exercise right, and reserve the right amount of time in the day to decompress. Instead of surgery or taking pain medicine, they are opting for stretching, massage, yoga and chiropractic adjustments. This matches up with a National Public Radio survey that found 64% of millennials chose to address back pain through natural or alternative treatments.
The opioid crisis has also fueled the movement to natural and holistic treatments for pain. Not only are consumers concerned about the over prescription of addictive pain medications, health organizations and political leaders are as well. States are modifying their workers’ compensation rules, prohibiting surgery as the first option. Ohio just enacted the new regulation, along with restrictions on opioid prescriptions. Colorado, Minnesota and Washington already have restrictions on surgery as a first course of treatment, and other states are considering changing their workers’ compensation regulation as well.
Dr. Chris Tomshack, CEO and founder of HealthSource, expects the changing consumer trends for non-invasive pain treatment to continue. “The opioid crisis has opened the eyes of many Americans that pills and surgery are not necessarily the best way to address pain,” said Tomshack. “Millennials in particular are leery of taking prescriptions, and prefer holistic and homeopathic treatments versus surgery and medications.”
Entrepreneurs and businesses trying to meet the consumers demand for holistic health solutions are realizing success in the service sector. Health clinics are the fastest growing businesses in this segment, and include such services as massage, medical spa treatment, rehabilitation, chiropractic, acupuncture, orthotics, yoga and wellness programs, including weight and fitness centers.
These types of businesses are expanding in all regions of the country. While much of this business segment is fragmented and defined by many small players, national brands and franchises are achieving strong market share growth. HealthSource is a leader in the holistic category with nearly 300 clinics in the United States. The concept requires a low initial investment and generates high margins.
Tomshack’s goal is to grow HealthSource to 1,000 clinics over the next five years. By increasing its nationwide foot-print, he believes HealthSource clinics can deliver better outcomes and savings for people suffering from all sorts of pain. The company’s system-wide revenue reached $125 million last year.
HealthSource traditionally appealed to chiropractors, which make up about 90 percent of the owner base. This has changed as a result of the growth in holistic health services. The majority of new franchisees are business owners. And Healthsource has made it easy for these new type of owners to enter the industry. HealthSource’s support team handles much of the startup process, from site selection and clinic layout to marketing plans and employee training.
The process is so automated that it’s gotten to the point where a truck filled with everything the franchisee needs can simply back up to a vanilla storefront and empty out a crew that will install everything, from light bulbs and electrical sockets to sinks.
“We created a concept that automates the health treatment business, but maintains personalized patient care,” said Tomshack. “Every patient and every pain point is different. Nutritional supplements, massage, chiropractic, progressive rehabilitation, orthotics and other treatments complete the life-balance package today’s consumers expect, and deserve. This is the standard clinics must meet to succeed.”
Learn more about the forecasted growth of holistic healthcare and HealthSource at hsfranchising.com.