Since this issue is all about money matters, let’s talk about the importance of investing in your health. Naturopathic medicine not only treats illnesses, but can also help prevent disease, saving you money, time, and energy. Let’s face it; being sick can drain us both physically and financially. A study in 2007 found that over 62 percent of bankruptcy cases in the US were due to medical problems. Many of the most common diseases in the world are related to lifestyle and are actually preventable, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Outlined below are three simple steps we can take to invest in our health and reduce medical costs in the long run.
The first step is to increase our consumption of fresh produce. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) low consumption of fruits and vegetables contributes to 1.7 million (2.8 percent) of deaths worldwide. That’s a significant number! In a statement the WHO has written, “Moreover, insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables is estimated to cause around 14% of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, about 11% of ischaemic heart disease deaths, and about 9% of stroke deaths globally.” I may sound like a broken record, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of these foods! Imagine if 50 percent of our diets were composed of fresh produce? We would likely have more energy, more regular bowel movements, and a clear contribution to achieving a healthy weight while preventing life threatening diseases.
The second step is to incorporate movement into our daily lives. Yes, you read correctly. Moving helps prevent disease. Stationary postures such as sitting or standing for long periods of time are linked to the development of conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, and acute traumas such as heart attacks and strokes. So even if you don’t have time to go to the gym, be active throughout the day.
The third step is to see a naturopathic doctor. Naturopathic medicine uses individualized treatments for each patient, and can be focused on preventing specific conditions. As a naturopath, I take a lot of time with each patient to understand their lifestyle habits, their family and medical history, and everything that may contribute to ill health in the future. This allows me to provide a treatment plan that is customized to each patient’s unique condition. My job is to also help patients implement lifestyle changes, which helps ensure success. Unfortunately, naturopathy is not always covered by insurance. For some people this can be a deterrent to seeking naturopathic care. However, I believe investing in our health can actually help us save money in the long run. Making a visit to a naturopath is money well spent.
In day-to-day life, preventing a problem is considerably easier than fixing it. Our health is no different and if we follow the steps outlined above, it can be as easy as one, two, and three.
This article originally appeared on page 18 of the September 2016 Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact email@example.com.