By Dr. Gene Clerkin
Recently a woman sent an email in response to a comment I made during our webinar the previous evening. I said that a comprehensive wellness program was affordable if one could budget two or three hundred dollars a month. Her note indicated that she was frustrated because many people cannot afford that, and therefore were being denied access to quality wellness care that works to resolve health challenge rather than just covering them up.
She said, “The system is broken!”
In my response to her, I agreed wholeheartedly, thanked her for her feedback and went on to share some of my thoughts on the subject. Affordable health care has been part of the national conversation for some time.
Many people are concerned about their budget when it comes to out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Especially if they’ve tried things in the past that haven’t worked. Sometimes that concern can be a deterrent toward improving their health.
I thought it would make for an interesting conversation and potentially help some of the budget conscious navigate a more proactive approach to their health.
The first thing we need to do is figure this out is understand how the healthcare system works. And how it doesn’t.
Most people that tune into our webinars have concluded that, to some degree, the mainstream healthcare system is not working for them. Endless medications that focus is on symptom suppression instead of resolving root cause. And while it has its place, it leaves millions suffering the effects of chronic inflammation, hormone imbalances and inadequate nutrition, looking for a more proactive approach.
Since traditional health insurance only pays for disease management, people seeking proactive, wellness and lifestyle-based programs are forced to take on the financial responsibility of managing their own health. As with most everything, we must invest in our health if we want to flourish. Even if we have financial challenges, there are probably some steps we can take to improve our health.
Our investment may be financial or may also lie in a commitment to allocate time and change behavior. I will break down the five basic levels to investing
The first level, for resourceful minded people with limited resources, starts with the basics. Eating well is a requirement for good health and most can stand to make some healthier choices. Those choices may include how we eat or exercise, or even how we focus our attention. We can read books or use the internet to access information and understanding about the choices we make. The downside is that it can take some time and discernment to sift through and decipher all that info. And while self-discipline can be a challenge for many, this plan fits just about any budget.
Another level up for those with a modest budget, could be investing in taking some supplements. Most people (and anyone with chronic health issues) are nutrient deficient. Perhaps some Vitamin D in the winter months when we’re not getting enough sun. Maybe a fish oil if we’re low on Omega 3’s (which build hormone and reduce inflammation). Vitamins, minerals, you know, the things that make our bodies run. The building blocks. Once again, a little research on quality brands, how to read a label, and what vitamin isolates are, and we can navigate this with a somewhat minimal investment.
For some, a little accountability and encouragement along with someone to translate all the conflicting information that comes up on a google search. A lifestyle and wellness coach can be that support person who can provide wisdom and guidance through the process of improving health. Obviously, trained professionals need to be compensated, so it does bring the investment up a bit. But this service can be used sparingly with a willingness to take direction and run with it, making it possible for most budgets.
Sometimes we need clinical support. We need exams, we need labs, we need case management, and we need specific targeted nutritional supplementation. Although these clinical cases require much more support and slightly more in budgetary resources, the return on investment is phenomenal. Luckily, many offices like ours come up with creative payment options to help make this option work even for those with a modest budget.
To me, the moral of the story is this;
No matter what our circumstances we can always take steps to improve our health. And from what I have seen, when people take the steps and start improving, they can find the resources to take the next step.
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