As outlined in our previous post: “The Top 10 Reasons We All Knew Our Healthcare System Was Broken”, it’s no secret our American healthcare system is in dire straits.
Insurance premiums and deductibles are at an all-time high, chronic disease is rampant and the cost of medications are unaffordable for those who need them most.
With all this (and more), coupled with the ultra-confusing government healthcare laws and ever-changing expert health advice out there—how can a well-meaning person get healthy (and stay healthy) without breaking the bank?
The answer: it’s time to take back your power.
How? By becoming an active, savvy participant in your own health creation, which in turn will free you from over-reliance on a broken healthcare system.
If this sounds easier said than done (after all, there are as many “proven ways” to get healthy and save money as there are healthcare laws) consider this simple yet effective starting point: follow the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare costs in this order…
Take Back Your Power With The ABCs of Getting Healthy While Saving on Healthcare Costs
There are few ingredients more powerful to creating healthy habits than making a pact with another person such as your doctor, a Health Coach or an accountability buddy.
Studies have shown those who enter into agreements about improving their diet, exercise or other lifestyle factors with another person have remarkably higher outcomes than those who don’t[i],[ii].
What does this have to do with saving on healthcare costs?
The Centers for Disease Control estimates chronic diseases,like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions are the most common, most preventable and most costly conditions[iii].
In other words: chronic disease is bankrupting our healthcare system.
The good news is, these diseases are largely preventable through specific lifestyle changes.
What agreements do you need to make about changing your health and lifestyle?
Perhaps you wish to cut back on sugar to lose weight, switch to a high-deductible insurance plan and put that extra money towards preventative care or spend more time outdoors for stress relief.
Whatever your goals, they will be more attainable when agreed upon and conquered with your doctor, Health Coach or friend.
Now that you understand the importance of lifestyle in preventing and treating chronic disease thus saving you money on healthcare costs, let’s look at the basics of how you can create lasting health.
Here’s a quick run-down of the 7 basics of self-health creation, courtesy of kNew Health’s medical director, Jeffrey Gladd, MD and Director of Health Coaches, Tracy Harrison, MS:
#1: Optimize your food and nutrition by eating real whole foods, buying organic as much as possible and avoiding packaged and processed foods.
#2: Avoid toxins and enhance detoxification—by following the advice above on food, and by increasing your intake of detoxifying vegetables like leafy greens, brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), cultured foods and healthy fats like avocados, olive oil and coconut oil.
Avoid environmental toxins by investing in
an air purifier and using non-toxic personal care and cleaning products.
#3: Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water per day and avoiding sodas, energy drinks and too much coffee.
#4: Remember to breathe by focusing on deep belly breathing. If raise your shoulders when you breathe, you’re not breathing deep enough. And if you’re not breathing deep enough, you’re not getting enough oxygen. Instead, focus on filling your belly with air and breathing deeply in and out.
#5: Exercise and move by aiming for 20-30 minutes of enjoyable exercise per day. This keeps your heart healthy, increases oxygen, helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces stress and keeps your blood sugar more balanced.
#6: Make sleep and restoration a priority by ensuring you get 7.5-9 hours of sleep per night, and taking time out for stress-relieving activities such as exercise, walking, spending time with friends, meditation or listening to music
#7: Connect through community. Studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation are now a leading cause of mortality in affluent countries[iv]; which means your social life really counts. Make it a point to meet up face-to-face with friends, volunteer and spend quality time with family members regularly.
To learn more about the 7 basics of health creation, check out our free report: “The Top 10 Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs in the Trump Era (and beyond)”.
With your foundation of self-health in place, now is a good time to consider who can help you implement these 7 strategies, and/or help you overcome an existing condition.
You could turn to your general physician, but chances that will be costly…especially if you have a high deductible plan.
Smart doctors know this, which is why the most progressive MDs employ certified Health Coaches to serve their patients.
What is a Health Coach?
A Health Coach generally focuses on positive psychology and helping people hit their goals, and may have additional training in nutrition and lifestyle. Health coaches either run their own practices, or work with doctors to serve their patients at a more affordable rate.
At kNew Health, our medically-supervised Health Coaches are all certified in functional medicine which allows them to help you get to the root cause of your ailments by empowering you toward implementing the fundamentals of health creation (as listed above).
A good Health Coach acts as a mentor, practitioner and health partner to inspire you back to health and help you maintain that health long-term.
Notice employing the services of a doctor is fourth on this list, not first. That’s because a doctor will often be the most expensive route back to health. Of course, if you’re experiencing a serious health issue or medical emergency seek medical attention immediately.
However, if you’re dealing with a condition that’s manageable, you can save a lot of money by starting with the ABCs.
And if you’re not getting better through agreements, honoring the basics and coaching, it’s time to seek out a doctor.
At kNew Health, we believe the majority of acute and chronic ailments can be solved through the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare.
However, every person is an individual, and every individual will require the care of a doctor at some point. If your inner-knowing tells you it’s time to see a doctor, then by all means listen and reach out to us.
We have an extensive world-wide community of vetted functional medicine doctors and practitioners we would be happy to refer you to.
Despite that Emergency Rooms visits are at an all-time high—including increased visits for chronic disease, per The American College of Emergency Physicians[v], the Emergency Room should be the last resort on your list…unless you have a true medical emergency, of course.
The is truer for those in socialized countries than the United States (since Americans tend to avoid ERs more due to their high costs), but the advice stands for Americans too.
Not only is a trip to the ER and hospital admittance expensive (not to mention the increased risk of contracting an infection), but a chronic-disease-related trip to the ER may have been prevented had the ABCs been followed early on (injuries, true emergencies and freak accidents excluded, of course).
The Therapeutic Order
If the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare sound familiar, that’s because they follow what’s known as “the therapeutic order”. Wherein you always turn to the least expensive least invasive solution first and the most expensive most invasive solution as a last-resort.
Though this may seem like a no-brainer, this commonsense approach has been lost within our current healthcare system that nearly always employs a drug-based approach FIRST…which is neither safe nor cheap.
It’s time for a new standard of care that puts the patient FIRST and honors the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare costs.
You can download a printable list of the ABCs of Getting Healthy While Saving on Healthcare by clicking here, and thanks for reading!
-The kNew Health Team