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Why is your health like a roof?

Part 1/4 of our Comprehensive Cost Guide to Natural Medical Care


roof
Your Health!

Maybe you’ve heard how trying a new diet has changed someone’s life, or know someone who has been helped by holistic medicine. You’re ready to take the next step and seek out assistance with your own health goals. But how does it work? You’re might be worried that you won’t get the help you’re looking for, or have to spend a lot to get it. What should you look for and expect from working with a natural medicine practitioner? Having been patients ourselves as well as practitioners, we’re going to divulge some insider advice about natural medical care costs. We’ll look at how to know whether natural medicine will be useful for you, and when should it be used with conventional medicine. We’ll also discuss what you are paying for when you see a natural medicine practitioner, and what resources you will need to get you the results you want, no matter what your health concern is.


Before we begin, here’s a few questions to ask of yourself to clarify your goals and limitations:

  • What is your purpose in seeking care from a natural medicine practitioner? Is it to resolve a problem, find a different way to approach your health, or get an expert opinion on things you are already doing?

  • How long do you want to work with your practitioner? Is it just until your issue is better, or do you want to build a long-term partnership to work on your health?

  • Are you searching for specific therapies and if you are, why those therapies? Are you be open to other therapies that could achieve the same goals?

  • What resources do you have to commit to the process? i.e. time, effort, $$

Find out if you're ready for natural medicine. Take our Quiz: Are you ready to see a natural medicine practitioner?


Part 1: The Process of Health Improvement, or Why Is Your Health is Like a Roof?


With your goals in mind, let’s step back and look at the process of health improvement in general. At some point if you’re a homeowner you’ve found that there’s a certain commitment to maintaining a home that makes it substantially different from renting. It goes beyond financial; it’s your time, resources, skills, and even your thoughts/worries that change. We accept this as part of homeownership. Think about your body maintenance in the same way. For most of us, we are taught to think of the body as something that works until it doesn’t, when you fix it. But if you neglect your body’s basic needs, there’s a bigger payment if you wait. That small leak in the ceiling becomes an entire roof replacement if you ignore the early signs. And conventional care is great for the roof replacement, but can’t offer much to patch the small leaks or keep your roof solid to begin with. We’re left to our own devices to do this, and not provided with much help from our environment. This is where much of natural medicine comes in, the maintenance or “small leaks” space. In fact, here natural or complementary medicine even excels over conventional care, because many assessments and treatments target this level directly.


If your attitude about health switches like this, you’ll find that there’s a larger need for health maintenance than you might have originally estimated. And it’s this need that is largely NOT part of our current healthcare system. You will have to seek these resources out and do the work yourself. Where you are in the process will largely determine what resources you need. To carry out the roof analogy, here’s suggested resources for what you might need at specific steps in this process.


Big tree

  1. Your roof is solid and relatively new. You’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, have great health habits and want to keep them that way. You have no significant family history of disease and no major health history (no major conditions or traumas). Suggested intervention: keep up to date with health resources and make adjustments to your daily habits as needed. Consult with a conventional or natural medicine practitioner for regular physical exams and labwork, once every year to 2 years. Engage in preventative care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using natural medicine. Consult with a natural medicine practitioner for periodic review of your lifestyle routine and possible changes based on current evidence, once every 6 months to 2 years.

  2. Your roof is solid and relatively new but you have a big tree next to it. You’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, have great health habits and want to keep them that way. But you have either a significant family history of disease and/ or a health history with at least one chronic condition or trauma. Suggested intervention: Consult with a natural medicine practitioner and make adjustments to your daily habits based on their recommendations and advanced lab testing, if needed. Engage in preventative care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using mostly natural medicine and conventional medicine if needed. Consult with a conventional medicine practitioner for follow-up as recommended if using conventional medicine for preventative care. Continue to consult with your natural medicine practitioner for periodic review of your lifestyle routine and possible changes based on current evidence, once every 6 months to 2 years. Engage in maintenance care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using mostly natural medicine. Consult with a conventional or natural medicine practitioner for regular physical exams and labwork, once every year to 2 years.

  3. Your roof is solid but is no longer new. You’re in your 40s, 50s, or 60s and still have great health habits. But you are starting to notice changes due to aging, and may have a significant family history of disease and/ or a health history with at least one chronic condition or trauma. Suggested intervention: Consult with a natural medicine practitioner and make adjustments to your daily habits based on their recommendations and advanced lab testing, if needed. Engage in early-intervention ongoing care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using mostly natural medicine and conventional medicine if needed. Continue to consult with your natural medicine practitioner for periodic review of your lifestyle routine and possible changes based on current evidence, once every 6 months to 1 year. Engage in maintenance care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using mostly natural medicine. Consult with a conventional medicine practitioner for follow-up as recommended if using conventional medicine for early-intervention care. Consult with a conventional or natural medicine practitioner for regular physical exams and labwork, once every year.

  4. Your roof has just sustained damage from a storm, but was fine before that. You’re any age with an acute health issues. Your symptoms fit an acute condition like an injury or surgery, but prior to this you did not have any major health issues. They are impacting your daily lifestyle and preventing full functioning. Your family and personal medical history does not relate to this condition. Suggested intervention: Consult with a conventional medicine practitioner, first for emergent or serious conditions, and as needed for more minor conditions. Consult with a natural medicine practitioner and make adjustments to your daily habits based on their recommendations and advanced lab testing, if needed. Engage in active care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using natural medicine and conventional medicine as appropriate for your condition and circumstances. Consult with a conventional medicine practitioner for follow-up as recommended if using conventional medicine for active care. After the condition has resolved, follow recommendations as given for other levels as above or below.


stucco building
stucco building


5. Your roof has developed any number of small holes in it over time. You’re any age with some chronic health issues. Your symptoms may fit an early-stage diagnosis or not yet fit a diagnosis but show a tendency towards a disease. Your symptoms are impacting your daily lifestyle and preventing full functioning. You may also have a significant family history of disease and/ or a health history with at least one chronic condition or trauma. Suggested intervention: Consult with a natural medicine practitioner and make adjustments to your daily habits based on their recommendations and advanced lab testing, if needed. Engage in active care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using mostly natural medicine and conventional medicine if needed. Continue to consult with your natural medicine practitioner for periodic review of your lifestyle routine and possible changes based on current evidence, once every 3 months to 1 year. Engage in maintenance care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using mostly natural medicine. Consult with a conventional medicine practitioner for follow-up as recommended if using conventional medicine for active care. Consult with a conventional or natural medicine practitioner for regular physical exams and labwork, once every year.

6. Your roof has a major hole in it. You’re any age with significant health issues. Your symptoms have been diagnosed as one or more disease(s). Your symptoms have a major impact on your daily lifestyle and prevent full functioning. You may also have a significant family history of disease and/ or a health history with at least one chronic condition or trauma. Suggested intervention: Consult with a natural medicine practitioner and make adjustments to your daily habits based on their recommendations and advanced lab testing, if needed. Engage in active care as recommended by your practitioner(s), using natural medicine and conventional medicine as appropriate for your condition and circumstances. Consult with a conventional medicine practitioner for follow-up as recommended. Continue to consult with your natural medicine practitioner for periodic review of your lifestyle routine and possible changes based on current evidence, once every 3 months to 1 year. Consult with a conventional or natural medicine practitioner for regular physical exams and labwork, once every year.


Keep in mind that like any other major goal in life, working on your health is a commitment. But that’s only part of the picture. If you want to see changes in your health, you need to match the stage of health you are in, or the “level of repair” you need, with your stage of engagement. For example, if you have major issues (scenario #6), then you will only be able to change your health narrative with a high level of engagement in the process. This will ensure you can make the commitment to your own health to address it properly.


Stayed tuned for Part 2 when we'll let’s discuss How Your Health is Like a Bank Account!