Chinese Alternative MedicineMany patients who can no longer afford health care are flocking to local acupuncture clinics for free Chinese medicine treatments, reports New America Media. This year, the number of walk-ins at the ACTCM Auricular Clinic, funded by American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has nearly doubled. During one four-hour session in September, a record 71 patients walked into the clinic, says a superviser. Since the economic downturn, clientele has shifted from low-income families, students and homeless people to middle-class, white and unemployed patients. According to a clinic survey, nearly half of the patients who visit the clinic are uninsured and nearly all of the patients earned a monthly income of less than $2,400. A regular check-up with a Chinese medicine practitioner can cost between $40 and $60, and each packet of Chinese medicine is approximately $5.

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