As someone who may be effected by possible upcoming changes in our healthcare system, the Washington Post article in my Google newsfeed today caught my eye. It's really not just that the new administration may make changes that could effect millions of people that made me look at this article, but also that I'm trying to start a business that will help us all realize that we don't have to be so dependent on our current healthcare and insurance industries to relieve some of our chronic conditions. I suppose that might be what the new administration is trying to say by dumping the Affordable Care Act, but alas, they are not talking about prevention to avoid high healthcare and insurance costs or programs which teach people how to avoid those costs to begin with.
This Washington Post article is such an eye opener about just how much we are spending in the industry on health conditions that CAN be preventable and in many cases managed through diet and exercise. The thing is that having someone else do the work for us (procedures, surgeries, pharmaceuticals, etc) is WAY easier than doing the hard work ourselves and if someone else is paying for it - all the better, right? But the thing is we're ALL paying for it, whether through government programs OR through our escalating coverage costs through private work plans. I remember when I was in my mid-twenties and some of my chronic conditions started rearing their ugly heads. I had really good insurance through my employer. I thought nothing of going to the doctor every couple of months (thinking that I really wasn't paying for it). Getting tested for this and tested for that. Getting this prescription and that prescription...fast forward twenty-something years and I'm self employed with terrible health insurance. I had to re-think my approach to dealing with all of my chronic conditions (which seemed to be multiplying with age).
In walks functional medicine. Digging deep with a practitioner to figure out the core issues that might have been causing all my misery over the years was the easy part (and the most expensive but still far less than what I've spent over the last twenty years). Doing the work to naturally rid myself of these conditions was the hard part. But considering I came out the other side of the treatment and commitment almost 100% chronic pain and condition free has inspired me to re-think our healthcare industry. For sure there are treatments and meds that save lives and relieve pain - if I hadn't gotten an appendectomy several years ago, I would not be typing here today! But in reading the Washington Post article it's right there in black and white that we really CAN be controlling these out of control healthcare costs if we are actually willing to bite the bullet and do the hard work. To lose the weight, to become more fit and to alleviate some of those chronic conditions naturally and ultimately at a much lower cost AND to not be so dependent on treatments and prescriptions can save all of us literally TRILLIONS of dollars.
The Healing Farm and The Healing Farm | Retreats concept is all about prevention. I want to inspire other people struggling with one, two or multiple chronic conditions, auto-immune diseases, obesity and all that comes with it, to try the preventative route. Start with an elimination diet to reduce inflammation in your body. This may help with not just your physical chronic conditions, but also your emotional state as well. Two books that I used and will always recommend are: "The Paleo Cure" by Chris Kresser (what my Healing Farm Retreat's meal plan and concept is based on) and Dr. Kelly Brogan's book "A Mind of your Own". If you are still suffering after your elimination diet, then it might be time to see a functional medicine practitioner to get some blood work done. This is the expensive part and is probably not covered in your insurance plan (something that needs to change!), but if it reveals a host of underlying issues (in my case a parasite living in my system and deficiencies in some key vitamins) think of how much money in co-pays and prescription costs you may save in the long term by figuring it out in one fell swoop and then tackling the cures naturally!
As I said, we've gotten so used to depending on our healthcare and insurance system to cure our multiple ills - but it's at a huge cost for our country. Envision healing centers throughout the country that are affordable and all about preventative measures and natural healing. It could do us all a world of good both in our bodies and in our pocketbooks!
The Healing Farm - Cultivating Practical Health!