In my last post, 6 Steps to a Satisfied Retirement, I questioned myself about the ability to be able to “retire”. As Merriam-Webster defines, “To withdraw from one’s occupation, business, or office; stop working.” Granted, I am not talking about completely retiring from my occupation. But rather to seek out the self-employment option.
My main reason for wondering if I could retire: health care insurance. I treat it like gold. I pay about $150 month for medical insurance for the kids and me (or $1,800/year; excluding co-pays). If they get sick, I simply take them to the doctor’s office for some medication and wha-la! they are better.
But I sometimes wonder about the option of seeking out alternative health care approaches over paying expensive insurance premiums. I mean popping a pill every time something aches cannot always be the answer, right? Especially with all the righteous side effects you hear about on TV.
Here are some alternative health care methods to consider (for a full list, click here):
Acupuncture – involves the insertion of extremely thin needles in your skin at strategic points on your body. Traditional Chinese theory explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance. (my aunt swears by this to get rid of those headaches!)
Yoga – Yoga is a practical aid. It is a system of exercises based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with their environment. Definitely gets rid of a back ache.
Chiropractic – A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous system coordinates all of the body’s functions, and that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function. Chiropractic employs manipulation and adjustment of body structures, such as the spinal column, so that pressure on nerves coming from the spinal cord due to displacement of a vertebral body may be relieved. Also consider massage therapy.
Hypnosis – is a mental state (state theory) or imaginative role-enactment (non-state theory) usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions. Used commonly for assisting one to get over phobias or to quit smoking.
Natural Medicine – (aka – Naturopathy) is an alternative medical system that focuses on natural remedies and the body’s vital ability to heal and maintain itself. Naturopathic philosophy favors a holistic approach and comprises many different treatment modalities of varying degrees of acceptance by the medical community; diet and lifestyle advice may be substantially similar to that offered by non-naturopaths, and acupuncture may help reduce pain in some cases. (Or there is Natural Remedies like peeing in the ear to heal an ear ache – ewww!!!)
Tai Chi – The ancient art uses gentle flowing movements to reduce the stress of today’s busy lifestyles and improve health.
Aromatherapy – A form of alternative and complimentary medicine based on the use of very concentrated “essential” oils from the flowers, leaves, bark, branches, rind or roots of plants with purported healing properties. There are many benefits to using aromatherapy.
Doula – Hiring a doula to aid in the birthing process. A doula is an assistant who provides various forms of non-medical and non-midwifery support (physical and emotional) in the childbirth process.
Chinese food therapy is a practice of healing using natural foods instead of medications. We all know the chicken soup remedy for the common cold. And lemon & honey in our tea for a sore throat. Cinnamon, peppermint, or ginger ale for an upset stomach.
What I am getting at is… we all hear that daily exercise, eating organic foods, and having a good social life are keys points to living a healthy lifestyle. Yet most of us don’t invest in the holistic approach, although such practice(s) been around for thousands of years.
Could you feel comfortable in investing (both financially & physically) in nature’s intent (that has been around for thousands of years) rather than paying out for expensive health care premiums?
And should you get sick, could you take yourself to an alternative medicine doctor (like a naturopath or a chiropractor) when you are feeling out of sorts?
Note: I am still on the brink of debate about this one. I truly believe in alternative health care approaches and am aware that they can be budget friendly. However, if something like my kids break a bone or something then my only option is to pay out of pocket expenses for the hospital. Now, if I thought how many times I’ve utilized the hospital for an emergency situation.. it’s enough to count on one hand. I assume maybe I could go with this option if I make sure to have a medical emergency fund in place.
(picture credit: Integrated Supplements)