Yoga and meditation, two ancient practices, are now officially the most popular alternative health approaches in the United States, each used by around 35 million adults.
That’s the word from two reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out Thursday, which looked at the changes in the use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors between 2012 and 2017.
In 2017, about 14.3 percent of US adults surveyed by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics said they had done yoga in the past 12 months, while 14.2 percent had meditated, the reports show. That’s up from 2012, when 9 percent were doing yoga and 4 percent meditating.
And it’s not just adults; more kids are doing yoga and meditation too. In 2012, fewer than half a percent of kids had meditated, while now it’s now 5 percent. Yoga for kids grew from 3 percent in 2012 to 8 percent last year.
The report also showed a smaller increase in Americans’ use of chiropractors: It climbed from 9.1 percent in 2012 to 10.3 percent in 2017.
The big growth in yoga and meditation is clearly linked to better availability, with a boom in studios, classes, and apps, some of them free and online.
But as more Americans find they are struggling with mental health issues like anxiety, distraction, and physical issues like chronic pain, they’re seeking therapies that don’t involve pharmaceuticals.