In 2013, a Gallup poll found that Americans reported cost as the most pressing issue in health care. Some people may assume that holistic health care is more expensive than traditional health care, but the opposite is actually true. Because holistic health providers focus on whole-person, using collaborative and preventative approaches, it tends to be more cost effective, as we explore more fully below.
Let’s begin with definitions. Holistic health care, also known as complementary care or natural medicine, considers the entire being—body, spirit, mind, and emotions—in defining health. Portland natural medicine practitioners help patients reclaim balance in their lives. The core idea is that disease is caused by imbalance. That imbalance may be emotional, spiritual, or physical, or a combination of all three, so natural medicine practitioners work with teams of other professionals to provide ongoing treatment for all aspects of each patient. Massage, chiropractic work, acupuncture, herbal treatments, and other preventative treatments are primary tools of natural medicine, but standard and symptom based approaches are also used when appropriate and indicated. The bottom line is that our clinic can offer her or his patients a broader range of wellness tools.
Here are a few more critical beliefs of natural medicine:
• Patients are people, not diseases.
• Every person has the innate ability to heal provided with the right environment and circumstances.
• Healing happens best with a team of providers, using a variety of tactics, with the patient and doctor working together.
• Lifestyle changes and self-care are important factors in health. Holistic medicine patients are encouraged to take an active role in their own well-being.
Natural medicine can be more cost effective because:
1. Natural medicine presents a wide range of treatment choices.
2. Natural medicine cuts costs for prescription drugs, as holistic doctors emphasize personal choices, herbal treatments, and self-care solutions over taking drugs.
3. Natural medicine provides disease prevention. This avoids many expensive procedures.
4. Natural Medicine prevents progression to the point hospital visits are needed and therefore, reduces the exposure to hospital diseases. Up to one-third of American patients contract an additional disease during hospital stays.
5. Natural Medicine cuts overall healthcare costs by reducing malpractice insurance rates. Natural approaches are generally very safe.
6. Natural Medicine minimizes overall medical billing costs. Per-patient billing can be lower in natural medicine. In todays medical climate this becomes to you because more and more cost is being passed down from insurance provider to patient
Many of the most costly diseases in America are preventable. Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, mental illnesses, cancer, and pulmonary conditions cost the U.S. $1.3 trillion every year, when we take into account loss of productivity. By recruiting the patient to contribute to the healing process, and by offering ongoing preventative care, natural medicine seriously reduces costs. Complementary and Alternative Medicine users were 64% more likely to say that their health had improved over the previous year, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
When patients present to a natural health clinic suggestions for natural, less costly solutions are presented as successful first line therapies. Chronic pain, like lower back pain, provides the perfect example. Rather than surgery or providing anti-inflammatory drugs, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Pain Society (APS) suggest yoga, acupuncture, massage, and functional restoration for low back pain. These meta-analyses from the ACP and APS found that these natural treatments comprise the safest, most cost-effective way to treat low back pain.
By preventing health problems, treating the causes of disease, and including a broad array of health care approaches, natural medicine provides positive health outcomes at a lower cost.