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Call it what you will, but interest in natural, holistic, positive, healthy, conscious and ethical living is enjoying unprecedented and exponential growth worldwide.

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Setting the scene:

A $228.9 billion marketplace exists in the U.S. for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living according to the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Journal.

The people attracted to this market - and type of lifestyle - have been collectively referred to as Cultural Creatives.

This is no longer a fringe interest! And it's more than a hobby or passing phase:

In their landmark book The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson describe the emergence of this new culture, which now accounts for approximately 30 percent of the adults in the U.S. - roughly 63 million people.

In the European Union that figure is probably over 80 million people.

According to their website www.culturalcreatives.org, the Cultural Creatives care deeply about:

  • Ecology and saving the planet
  • Relationships, peace and social justice
  • Self actualisation, spirituality and self-expression

"Surprisingly," says the site, "they are both inner-directed and socially concerned, they're activists, volunteers and contributors to good causes more than other Americans."

"Cultural Creatives are astonished to find out how many share both their values and their way of life. Once they realize their numbers, their impact on American life promises to be enormous, shaping a new agenda for the twenty-first century."

Holistic Local is 'home' to, and a social networking space, for Cultural Creatives and anyone interested in living a more natural, holistic, positive, healthy, conscious and ethical way of life.

Other useful statistics:

USA

Complementary and alternative medicine is a $30 billion industry
More than 60% of health plans now include complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services as a covered benefit or offer affinity programs in which members receive discounts to CAM providers in a given network. (Source)

Over 70 percent of adults aged 50 or older use some type of alternative therapy, such as herbal medicine, meditation, or seeing a chiropractor, according to new study findings. (April 2005) (Source)

UK

25/01/2005 - More than two thirds of British people believe that complementary therapies, including nutrition and herbal medicine, can be as valid as conventional treatment, found a survey out this week

Britons spend an estimated £130 million a year on alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and reflexology, and that is expected to rise by £70 million over the next four years. (Source)

Australia

Australians now spend an estimated $2.3 billion a year ($1.7 billion USD) on alternative medicines and therapies, according to a major new study conducted by the University of Adelaide.

Allowing for inflation, there has been a 120% increase in the cost of alternative therapies between 1993 and 2000

The most recent survey shows a significant increase in the use of alternative therapies, with 44% of men and 60% of women using alternative medicines, and 20% of men and 26% of women now consulting alternative practitioners. (Source)

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