In countries where basic health care is a right, and supplied free by the government (paid for by your taxes), natural health may appear to come at a price. But only if you compare it against the cost (or lack) of the consultation plus the prescription.

If you have to pay for your health care consultations and full price for your prescriptions, most if not all natural medicine is highly cost effective.

But you can’t just compare the cost of the consultations plus the prescriptions. For a truly accurate assessment of cost comparison, you must also take into consideration the overall efficiency of the consultation – ie how good or effective is the prescription.

As a body, natural health practitioners tend to look at your overall health care, including diet, relationship issues, work environment as well as individualising you as a person, to find those ‘specially for you’ remedies. So the consultation tends to be quite long – usually upwards of half an hour, depending on the modality.

Straight away you can see what value you’re receiving. The practitioner is truly interested in you and wants to find out your particular ‘achilles heel’. Rarely will a natural medicine therapist treat you dismissively, giving you just a few minutes to hear your story. After all, how can you pour out a life into a few minutes?

Natural medicine tends to work far better when the cause is addressed. It’s no good treating the effect, as that tends to make it worse, with more furious attacks later. Take anaphylactic shock, which can occur from a variety of causes. Lets take an allergy to bee stings to illustrate my point.

Those allergic to bee stings can suffer seriously, with swelling going far beyond the sting site, possibly even to your throat making breathing difficult, taking days or even weeks to reduce the swelling and pain. If you’re used to taking antihistamine, you know full well, that each time you have a sting, the condition worsens.

If, on the other hand, you treat the bee sting with a homeopathic remedy such as Ledum or Apis, you will not only resolve the problem more easily and quickly, but each time you are bitten, the reaction will lessen, until it becomes what is considered normal.

So when you are weighing up the cost of natural health versus western medicine, take into consideration the long term view.

As a natural medicine practitioner, I know I don’t get the right remedy 100% of the time. That used to bother me. I used to be concerned that I was wasting my patient’s hard earned cash if I didn’t deliver.

Now I realise that it’s not just me at fault. Apart from the fact I’m human and so do make mistakes, if the patient isn’t forthcoming, I can’t do much.

But what I really admire about natural medicine is that when I do make a mistake, it doesn’t have any real impact on you, the patient. I didn’t take the wrong kidney out, or give you too large a dose of a dangerous drug which pushed you close to or over the edge.

And when you consider the cost of surgery, you can have many, many natural medicine consultations to the same value. Somewhere within them, one natural health practitioner or another will be able to help you.

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