Here are the top five excuses I hear for not using Complimentary or Alternative Medicine (CAM).
- “My pain/rash/condition requires serious and strong medicine that will work right away.”
Patients seeking affordable care are treated for a variety of health conditions, using therapies that are non-invasive, safe, and effective.
- “I’m pretty healthy. I’ll just continue to see my doctor on occasion to make sure I’m on track.”
Patients seeking care with an emphasis on prevention (not merely on screening for pre-existing conditions), regular visits can help stem the increasing incidence of chronic disease. A small expenditure toward health maintenance can help alleviate the, significant costs toward disease management to be prevented later.
- “My serious illness is stressful enough, the last thing I need is to experiment with some new system of care.” Patients require vital supplemental care when being treated by a medical doctor for a serious condition. For example; CAM can help allay the severe side effects of prescribed chemo medication and can provide support for better healing. A Canadian study done recently showed that this valuable care accounts for only 2% of the cost of treatments.
- “I would rather travel to a large medical center to get care that I am comfortable with and know my provider, even if I have to travel far for services.”
CAM practitioners can meet the growing shortage of healthcare providers in rural areas. Their services are available worldwide.
- “I am an ordinary person and only trust the authority of conventional medicine – anything that is called “alternative” is used less often than the “conventional”, so I don’t trust it.”
CAM practitioners spend a great deal of time listening to their patients, attending to their emotional, mental, and spiritual needs as well as to their physical symptoms. Many CAM providers are certified under state or regional registration boards. In most areas, they are required to meet training and residency practice to receive a license to practice.
The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine CAM, is so widespread throughout Canada, that there is an Alternative Medicine Examiners Council and examination board. National training and registration requirements are published.
….and a few other reasons for not using (CAM), just off the top of my head.
- “The Chinese have taken over our manufacturing, I refuse to surrender my medical care to foreign domination of my health care as well.”
In China, we are seeing effective integration of Western Medicine (WM) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).If we promote more open acceptance and support, CAM will promote innovation between WM technology and CAM through partnerships in practice.
- “I won’t consider CAM until my insurance company recognizes it as a reimbursable service.”
CAM will provide support for wellness and create a more competitive medical marketplace serving to drive costs down, while allowing more choice, thus more ‘affordable’ care. Some CAM services are currently covered by insurance companies as well as the” affordable care act”.
- “I don’t know how to find the right CAM health provider for my problem.” CAM can give relief to patients where symptoms aren’t fully controlled by conventional medicine allowing patients choose an alternative. CAM can sometimes find a remedy for conditions that have been illusive to traditional diagnosis.
- “I take medicines when I suffer, I want to get over the pain as soon as possible.”
CAM offers many non-pharmaceutical avenues for dealing with physical and emotional pain. By expanding these alternatives we will diminish the prescription opioid drugs that have become a gateway experience to heroin. Turning to these alternatives, has the potential to diminish opioid use.
- “My insurance will pay for my rehab, I cannot afford to pay for anything else, especially an unproven and unapproved – Alternative.”
CAM can make up a component of an integrated healing & treatment plan for patients dealing with addiction. The key is to explore possibilities for access to CAM with your doctor or insurance provider.
- “My doctor does not recognize CAM as a therapy that will work for me.” CAM offers a pathway for patients who prefer to use treatments that are more natural. CAM returns the control and responsibility for one’s own health and well-being back to the consumer. CAM therapies are attractive because they philosophically congruent with many patients’ values, worldview, spiritual/religious philosophy, or beliefs regarding the nature and meaning of health and illness.
Did you know… that approximately 38% of American adults are currently using natural or alternative medicine – or natural healthcare? The rest of us may not know what it means – or we may not trust it. I believe that complementary and alternative medicine can play a vital, cost-effective role in the healthcare system.