An increasing number of people who find themselves in need of
health care or pain relief may be straying away from standard
Factors that have contributed to a rising interest in
“alternative medicine” include dissatisfaction with doctors,
hospitals, insurance companies and the ever-increasing notion that
one must take antibiotics and drugs, said Mark Kelley, an
acupuncturist at Kelley Healing Arts Center, 209 E. Swallow
Some people see it as a way to feel at peace with their body and
in charge of their own life by using natural products, instead of
using antibiotics, Kelley said.
Carol Cole, the vitamin manager at Vitamin Cottage Natural
Grocers, 4318 S. College Ave., believes people are becoming
disenchanted with modern Western medicine. Vitamin Cottage has been
open for five years and maintains steady business, Cole said.
“(People are) getting fed up with doctors and want to go back to
the basic things like good nutrition and respecting one’s body,”
Cole said. “Business is great.”
Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats, as well as more traditional
stores such as King Soopers and Rite Aid, also sell herbal and
Chiropractics is another area of healing arts concerned with the
human health and disease process, said Kenna Venecamp of Fort
Collins Chiropractic, 1217 E. Elizabeth St. According to Venecamp,
15 percent of the United States uses chiropractic care.
“More and more people are buying into the idea of being in
charge of their own life,” said Venecamp, who has been a
chiropractor for 16 years.
Venecamp said chiropractics works because it lets people get in
touch with their bodies without taking pills.
The Fort Collins Yellow Pages lists more than 90 chiropractors.
People will keep coming back because it is the oldest organized
form of alternative medicine, Venecamp said.
Acupuncture is another age-old form of alternative medicine.
According to the American Chiropractic Association’s Web site,
www.amerchiro.org, the Chinese invented acupuncture more than 1,000
years ago. The Chinese mapped out specific points all over the body
where needles can be inserted to treat specific health
The goal of acupuncture is to have the body in constant balance,
Kelley said. If the body’s balance is thrown off, the mind and body
must work together to restore it.
“Acupuncture has entered into the mainstream world of health,”
Kelley said. “It has taken awhile for acupuncture to be accepted
because people and doctors alike do not want to give up on Western
While Colorado has a large number of practitioners, Kelley said
it is not necessarily a nationwide trend.
“In Boulder, for instance, there are 125 acupuncturists while,
in some parts of the Midwest, there are barely any,” Kelley
Acupuncture can be used to treat an assortment of problems such
as body pain, alcohol, tobacco and drug addiction as well as stress
Since the early 1990s massage therapy has increased. The number
of massage therapists in Fort Collins has nearly doubled since
1994, said Laura Koch, a massage therapist at Rocky Mountain
Therapeutics, 612 S. College Ave.
“(Massage therapy) accesses things manually that a pill cannot,”
Koch believes massage therapy should be a patient’s first option
instead of his or her last, and she hopes in the future massage
therapy will be used before a patient chooses surgery or drugs.
Koch hopes that as alternative medicine becomes more available,
it will become more accepted and respected.