Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once said: “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Natural living is the best way to put those sage words into action. All around us is a natural bounty of food, herbs and minerals that can improve our health, and prevent disease.
For example, half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help manage blood sugar, garlic can lower blood pressure, and fresh fruits and vegetables provide the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to remain strong and healthy.
However, as effective as natural remedies are, sometimes they are not enough on their own.
For example, while cinnamon and a healthy diet certainly help blood sugar levels, a person with type 1 diabetes doesn’t make insulin at all, and still needs to take medication.
This is why it is important to have a family doctor, and have regular checkups to help detect, treat, and prevent many illnesses.
Finding a Family Doctor
On the surface it may seem that going to the doctor is at odds with living a natural lifestyle. After all, most doctors rely on Big Pharma to treat illnesses and actually frown upon natural remedies.
The truth is that there are doctors out there who believe in a more holistic approach to health care; the key is in finding them.
There are several national organizations for natural physicians and integrative medicine including The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and The American Association of Integrative Medicine. You can also look to doctors of Osteopathic Medicine who tend to focus more on treating the whole person rather than individual symptoms.
You can often find osteopathic physicians, or DOs, working out of the same offices as MDs.
Worst case scenario, you can have a standard MD as your family doctor, and also work with an alternative practitioner to create an integrative health plan that works for you and your family.
However, you not only need a family physician, you also need a way to pay for your care. This is why it’s also important to have good health insurance.
Finding an Obamacare Plan
In 2012 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) became law in the United States. One major provision of the law was that all Americans who could afford insurance had to be enrolled into some kind of healthcare plan by 2014, or face a financial penalty.
Additionally, insurance companies were required to offer affordable plans either privately or through the state and federal marketplaces, and that all plans had to offer the same basic benefits. This meant that whether you bought a plan directly from USHealth Group, or signed up for a subsidized plan on the marketplace, you would have the same quality of coverage.
However, not all plans have the same provider lists. If you have a specific physician that you would like to work with, you might be better off purchasing a plan through an insurance broker who can help you determine which plan is more likely to cover a specific provider.
For example, a broker with USHealth Group insurance, who you can connect with on LinkedIn, navigates through provider lists and the list of covered services to help you determine which plans cover alternative treatments like chiropractic care. Whereas if you go through the marketplace you would have to figure that information out on your own.
However, even if a particular alternative provider is not covered on any of the available plans, having healthcare coverage means that you can have coverage for any mainstream medical care that you would need, thereby having more money to put toward alternative treatments.
Ultimately, alternative and conventional medical care can work well together complement each other and improve your overall health.