Natural healthcare can get expensive. I know. Because I’ve spent a small fortune on alternative medicine.
Some of this expenditure was necessary. But a lot of it wasn’t.
As preschoolers, my children were sickly. So we did alternative medicine.
That’s because mainstream medicine wasn’t helping.
Consequently, I learned that natural healing works. It’s powerful. It’s real. But it’s not always affordable.
How Can I Afford Alternative Medicine?
I spared no expense with my children. Years later, though, I developed excruciating nerve pain, I decided to go the natural route.
By that time I knew where to spend my money. I knew where not to. I knew that certain kinds of practitioners can quickly put you in the poor house. Others, however, are worth their weight in gold.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to go into debt to feel better.
Lifestyle changes are free. Or they don’t need to cost a lot.
How To Save Money On Natural Healthcare
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.)
Let me say upfront that I’m not a doctor. Instead, I’m a wife and mother. I developed chronic nerve pain. It was horrible. This happened when my kids were young. So raising them in this condition was challenging, to say the least.
Everything you read here is my personal opinion only. It’s not designed as medical advice. Don’t use it to diagnose yourself or to prescribe treatment.
You should work closely with a healthcare professional. He or she can then guide you on how to proceed.
Do Holistic Doctors Take Insurance?
Regular doctors are a good resource. Office visits and diagnostic tests are covered by insurance. So use your doctor to the fullest.
Working with your doctor, you can come up with a workable holistic treatment plan. (People with the financial means may just want to pay for a naturopath. But this article is geared toward people who can’t afford to do that.)
However, some doctors take a dim view of natural medicine.
What if your doctor won’t consider holistic remedies?
How to Afford Natural Healthcare
It might be time to move on. Holistic-minded doctors exist. Even within insurance networks. You just have to find them, and it may take some research.
The mainstream medical system is set up to support drugs and surgery. Your doctor works within this system. But there’s growing awareness that natural medicine is valid.
Chances are, many doctors will be happy to work with patients willing to make positive lifestyle changes.
How To Afford Holistic Healthcare
A lot of natural healthcare is free. This includes avoiding stressful situations (easier said than done) getting fresh air, being in the sunshine and getting gentle exercise. (People should check with their doctor before embarking upon a more vigorous workout routine.)
Eating real food (I’m convinced) is a big part of the reason I’m healthy today. My symptoms have receded. Most days, my pain is manageable. I don’t take medication.
How to Afford a Real Food Diet
Real food can be affordable. A real food diet should cost much more a processed food diet. You just have to shop right. You might be interested in an earlier post I did on How To Afford Organic Food On A Budget.
How Much Does a Homeopath Cost?
Alternative treatments can be expensive. But you can spend your money wisely.
Personally speaking, the best out-of-pocket value is energy medicine.This includes acupuncture, homeopathy and other healing method designed to stimulate your body’s innate healing potential.
Acupuncture can be very affordable. The initial consultation may range from only $75 to $90.
Homeopaths are generally more expensive than acupuncturists. A good ballpark figure is $150 to $325 for an initial homeopathic visit. Follow up treatments are less. Generally, no diagnosis testing is needed. For my family, homeopathy is what worked best. So it was money very well spent.
Can I Afford Holistic Healthcare?
On the other hand, I’ve found naturopathic doctors (ND’s) to be the least cost effective. These doctors are highly trained. But they typically order a lot of expensive tests, generally not covered by insurance. (Unless you happen to live in a handful of states that require coverage for naturopathic coverage.)
If not, costs add up quickly. Actually, if you’re not careful, you can spend a fortune.
Hair Strand Testing Cost
Also some of these tests are questionable. For instance, some naturopaths order hair analysis. This can run about $100 a strand. Sometimes, more than one strand is tested. This may yield information on heavy metal toxicity. Then you’d have to pay (probably a lot) for a solution. The hair strand test is among one of many potential tests.
How Much Does a Naturopathic Doctor Cost?
We spent a king’s ransom on naturopathic doctors. The solutions they came up with helped. But not as much as homeopathy and diet changes.
It would be hard to tell you definitely how much you’ll spend visiting a naturopathic doctor. But I did a quick Google search and here’s what I found. An initial visit will probably run between $250 to $400. Follow up visits are each about $100 to $200.
It’s possible that people with health savings accounts at work can use this money to offset the cost of homeopathic consultations.
Done well, homeopathy is amazing. I think the same is probably true of acupuncture. (Because it’s also energy medicine.) But I don’t have as much experience with acupuncture.
What To Do When You Can’t Afford Alternative Medicine
Usually, for a fraction of what you’d spend with a naturopath, you can see a homeopath. He or she will prescribe remedies based upon your symptoms. The remedies can potentially relieve your compliant. (If heavy metals are an issue, it’s possible the right remedy would potentially help your body release these toxins.) Personally, I think homeopathy is an excellent investment.
In a perfect world, though, everyone would have a naturopath for primary healthcare. He or she would then refer you to energy medicine practitioners, as needed.
The focus would be on getting you well again, not prescribing lots of drugs. Everything would be covered by insurance. But we don’t live in a perfect world. So we have to get creative.
How To Afford Holistic Healthcare If You Don’t Have Insurance
One solution is to learn what naturopaths tell their patients. Then, implement this advice, while working with your regular doctor.
I wish everyone could see a naturopath. But I know it’s not possible. I’ve decided not to see one myself. Because I’m already doing the usual recommended lifestyle changes.
How to Afford Alternative Medicine
Nowadays, I spend my money on energy medicine. For me, this means homeopathy and good chiropractic care.
Generally speaking, naturopaths will tell you to avoid certain foods, and additives. (I already know this.)
For instance, aspartame will be high on the hit list. This artificial sweetener has been linked to a number of health issues. It also went through a controversial FDA approval process. (I avoid aspartame in all forms.)
How To Pay For Holistic Healthcare
Many holistic healers advise eating genetically modified ingredients. That’s because our food supply is filled with GMO’s. Genetically modified feed causes cancer in lab animals.
You may hear to stop using table salt and switch to pink Himalayan salt. This is a natural pure salt that contains 84 minerals, including the trace minerals we don’t get enough of.
Sodium Fluoride and Health
You’ll also be told to avoid certain toxins, such as sodium fluoride. This is added to many municipal water supplies. Fluoride interferes with our thyroid function. There’s widespread belief among alternative healers that many people have sluggish thyroid glands.
Because I want to avoid fluoride, I buy natural toothpaste without fluoride for my family. Nature’s Gate toothpaste is the brand we use.
If you visit a naturopathic doctor, may hear about parabens. These are preservatives that are added to many cosmetics. It’s possible to find brands that don’t contain parabens. I believe switching out your regular beauty products for non-toxic alternatives is one of the best things you can do for your health.
How Can I Afford Holistic Healthcare?
Holistic healthcare can get pricey. Especially if you see a naturopath. But you can do the necessary lifestyle changes while seeing your regular doctor.
Then you can save your money for energy medicine (homeopathy, acupuncture and chiropractic care). Energy medicine practitioners are relatively affordable. Plus, they usually don’t order expensive tests.
It may be possible to find a naturopath who also does homeopathy. But he or she may still order costly tests. Homeopathy can be done without tests. Because it’s based upon symptoms.
Do Holistic Healthcare Practitioners Take Sliding Scale Payments?
I’ve found energy medicine practitioners to be exceptionally kind. They’ll often work on a sliding scale basis.
For instance, one acupuncturist in a neighboring town works on a sliding scale basis. She only charges $20 to $30 a session, depending upon ability to pay. She lets you determine the rate.
What makes energy medicine so cost efficient is that the solution is part of the initial treatment. It’s a one-step process. You usually receive a remedy at that first homeopathic visit. Treatment is treatment done without lab tests. (The same with acupuncture and chiropractic care.)
Alternative Medicine Healthcare Costs
On the other hand, you may see a naturopath for an initial consultation. Tests may be ordered. Then you visit again to review the results. Then you proceed with an often expensive treatment plan. Regular followup visits are often required.
Even with energy medicine, multiple visits are needed. But the path to healing is generally more direct.
Unfortunately, many homeopaths don’t advertise. It’s strictly word-of-mouth. So you may have trouble locating a practitioner. A good place to get the inside track is at your local health food store. Also, good chiropractors often know of good homeopaths.
Alternative Therapies Covered By Insurance
The big downside of alternative medicine is that it’s usually not covered by insurance. Or coverage is very limited. Some plans allow you to see certain practitioners within the network. But you still pay most of the cost. Occasionally, you may find a good naturopathic doctor within your insurance network. Consider yourself fortunate.
Alternative Medicine and Health Insurance
I’m lucky to live in a state that requires chiropractic coverage. I was able to see a chiropractor without a referral. He did help a little but then a bad adjustment caused other problems, which were resolved with homeopathy. So I guess I’m lucky I didn’t have to pay out of pocket for the treatments. Just the co-pay.
Why Is Alternative Medicine Not Covered By Health Insurance?
I run a private Facebook group for people with fibromyalgia. One topic that comes up, over and over, is how to afford natural healthcare. So I thought I’d share as much information as I could, on how to navigate the system. Without going into debt.
I also designed an easy-to-follow online course on natural pain management. But it could be used by anyone with a chronic health problem.
This course is meant for people to share with their regular doctor. It describes what I did to get better, using natural medicine. It’s based upon decades of personal experience. It includes natural therapies you’ve probably never even heard of. The course consists of 26 videos and 16 text articles. It’s priced low, and it’s designed to save money by encouraging people to work within their insurance network. For more information, click on the image below.
Should Alternative Medicine Be Covered By Insurance?
I believe insurance should definitely cover alternative medicine. Better yet, I think everyone should be able to go to their regular doctor and receive sound holistic health advice. Unfortunately, this isn’t a reality. At least right now.
Generally speaking, little attention is paid to wellness. I’ve seen hospital patients being given diet soda to drink along with a meal. Diet soda contains aspartame. Holistic practitioners believe aspartame is toxic.
Natural Health Lifestyle Changes
Many conventional doctors don’t consider lifestyle. Nor do they explain that clean eating is usually a necessary prerequisite to feeling better. Our bodies need real food, preferably organic. A lot of regular doctors seem oblivious to the fact that genetically modified foods are controversial.
Over the last few decades, genetically modified ingredients have crept into our food supply. People eating fast fast invariably consume GMO’s, which cause cancer in animals. (I’ve decided not to buy any food that contains GMO’s.)
But avoiding GMO’s is something I learned on my own. I didn’t have to visit a naturopathic doctor to implement this common-sense advice.
Holistic Health Affording It
A lot of people are under the impression they can’t afford to eat well. They shy away from real food. They think it’s too expensive. But you can shop carefully. Also, cutting processed foods out of your budget frees up money for real food.
I’m able to afford a mostly organic food diet by shopping at Aldi. This discount grocery store that carries a growing selection of healthy and organic food. You have to pick and choose. Some of the items are unhealthy. But I’m thankful I have an Aldi market close enough to shop there weekly.
Holistic Health How Do You Afford It?
At one time, I spent way too much on natural food. I shopped at a high-end grocery store. Now I shop for perishables at Aldi.
Oftentimes, I order non-perishable items at Vitacost, a large online health food store. Everything is deeply reduced. Plus, they have weekly sales.
Alternative Medicine Diet Changes
I don’t think I’d be feeling well today if I didn’t change my diet. Certain foods such as wheat and dairy trigger my pain. So does sugar. Many alternative health experts tell their patients to give up wheat, and eat gluten-free foods. If you’re considering that, you might want to read my earlier post, Is Wheat Bad for Everyone?
I’ve used natural healing methods, such as homeopathy. But I don’t think I’d be well if I continued eating foods that fuel inflammation. One suggestion (while working with your regular doctor) is to see what foods increase your pain.
Then try eliminating these foods. Once you do that, it might be a good time to see an energy medicine practitioner.
What If You Can’t Afford Organic Food?
Organic fruits and vegetables are definitely more expensive than regular produce. But evidence shows they’re more nutritious. Also, USDA-certified organic means no chemical fertilizers or GMO’s.
Also, some chemical pesticides are toxic. Environmental toxins can promote inflammation. So if you’re fighting a chronic illness, eating organic is the way to go. I’ll even go so far as to say that if this is the case, you can’t afford not to eat organic food. I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this. But I need to speak the truth.
I also wrote an earlier post on How To Afford Organic Food On a Budget. It’s not easy. But I know it’s possible to eat mostly organic food and not go broke while doing so.
Where to Find Affordable Essential Oils
Essential oils have been really helpful. I use them for so many things. I add them to my natural cleaning solutions. I use them for natural pain control. Instead of taking OTC medication, I use a special essential oil formula called Cooling Waters Anti-Inflammatory blend. It’s sold buy a company called Natures Fusions, which isn’t a multilevel marketing company.
Many of my other oils I buy from Plant Therapy, which also doesn’t engage in MLM sales techniques. Plant Therapy essential oils are 100 percent pure and very affordable. Finding a great but relatively inexpensive essential oil supplier is another way I’ve found to save money on holistic health.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or herbal or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.