As the Investment Guide at SelfGrowth.com, you probably wouldn’t expect to see an article talking about your health, but health care costs can impact a person’s financial plan more than any other single item.

Yet how many of us are formally investing in our wellness? Is wellness a category in your budget? I believe it should be. Especially since wellness costs are seldom covered by insurance.

I believe that many alternative health providers, from energy healers to acupuncturists, to naturopaths, are providing as good, if not better, health care to their patients as traditional western doctors, and often with better results.

I’m speaking to this issue from my own experience. I was recently diagnosed with diverticulitis after suffering a number of episodes of fairly severe abdominal pain. Until the last episode, I chalked these episodes up to the flu, but this last time it was far too severe to be dismissed without seeing a doctor.

After waiting three days just to get in to see the doctor, and then waiting another five days for a CT scan, I was not feeling overly optimistic about our health care system. Then, after a reaction to the barium dye they used during the CT scan, and absolutely no follow up after my diagnosis, I was left on my own to figure out how to manage this condition.

While not life threatening, I couldn’t understand why there was no written directive on what to do after the diagnosis. I did some research and found the most common advice was to eat more fiber while feeling good and avoid fiber when having an episode of pain.

Frankly, I didn’t want another episode of pain so I felt there must be more I could do. After seeking the advice of an energy healer I had worked with in the past, he recommended a naturopath in the area. The naturopath tested me for all kinds of deficiencies in my body’s systems and came up with a plan to bring my entire body back into optimal health. It seems, if all the systems are working right, the digestive system would take care of itself. So that is the road I am on as we speak.

After a total of six hours on two different occasions with the naturopath I have spent $250. After a visit to the doctor and a CT scan, my insurance company spent over $2500 and I still got a bill for $134 for things the insurance company didn’t pay for.

And, since I started working with the naturopath, I have had NO pain. None. In fact, when I first saw him, I walked into his office in pain, and after just one set of treatments, walked out with none. That was not the case with “Dr. I’m Too Busy to see you today, and now that I know what’s wrong with you, eat more fiber.”
And I won’t even go into all the side effects I had from the antibiotics that were prescribed by the doctor.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if I was experiencing severe chest pains, I’d call for an ambulance. But I have a friend who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 48 and by following a strict vegan diet he is off all insulin and medications and his doctor says it looks as though he never had diabetes. She was astounded.

I’m suggesting that we open our minds to alternatives. Western practitioners have been a blessing but they do not have all the answers.

So, rather than forego working with alternative care providers, I suggest you start a “wellness fund.” In addition to setting aside money for mortgage payments, car payments, utility bills, and vacations, etc., why not invest money in your own wellness?

Consider setting aside money for alternative practitioners, massage therapists (great for reducing stress), supplements, homeopathic treatments, and study of these alternative practices. And consider investing in better nutrition – buying organic when you can and from local providers as often as possible.

The more you take charge of your own self-care, the better care you will get when you need it.

I truly believe if we spent just a little of our money on wellness we’d be far healthier and less dependant on western medicine and insurance companies. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?

Author's Bio: 

Janet Tyler Johnson is author of the book "Finding Financial Fulfillment, for a Life Filled with Money and Meaning" and is a Certified Financial Planner(R) professional with over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to opening her own fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm in 2005 she was in charge of the financial planning and investment management division of the country's 12 largest CPA firm. You can learn more about Janet and the services she offers at http://www.jataj.com.

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