Who says you have to choose between traditional medicine and alternative therapies? Now, more than ever, many Canadians want both. So, they’re choosing to add wellness-based treatments to their traditional medical routines, even while at home1 Why is this? It’s because Canadians increasingly recognize the importance of alternative therapies and have seen proven results by incorporating different health care routines into their lifestyles.
Let’s start with some definitions.
Traditional medicine is symptoms-based. Traditional medicine treats the patient to alleviate symptoms.
Alternative therapies are cause-based. Alternative or complementary therapies seek to treat the root cause rather than just symptoms.
Alternative therapy spending is in the billions.
In 2016, Canadians spent $6.5 billion on complementary alternative treatments.2 Examples of these include massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy, dietitian, physiotherapy and psychology.3 And over the past four years, this amount has no doubt increased.
Here are some popular alternative therapies and how individuals are making use of them while at home:
Registered massage therapy works with soft tissue to alleviate muscle pain and tension and improve circulation and relaxation. Individuals are booking physiotherapy sessions over Skype with Phizo and they’re learning self-administered massage techniques.
Chiropractic seeks to improve spinal alignment through adjustments to address muscle and mobility-related complaints. Chiropractor practices have now started to re-open, however, some people are still electing to see their chiropractor through virtual appointments for updates that don’t require direct involvement from their chiro.
Physiotherapy improves fitness, strength, and healing with various exercises and movements. Again, booking physiotherapy via Phizo has become the choice of many.
Dietitians help people establish healthy eating habits and achieve specific health-related goals. Virtual appointments with dietitians will likely become the new normal as these appointments can easily be conducted virtually.
Naturopaths specialize in activating the body’s own natural powers of healing. Like dietitians, appointments with naturopaths have now gone online, and many will likely stay there.
Psychologists help to uncover and address the issues that cause people to think, behave, or feel a certain way. Mental health issues have been on the rise in Canada and staying at home for such a long period of time has only increased the need for individuals to seek help. One popular option is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with BEACON: virtual one-to-one guided registered therapy sessions.
Alternative therapies aren’t often covered.
One thing to note about alternative therapies is that they are often not covered by government health plans. And unfortunately, without an individual health insurance plan, many people can’t afford them.
That’s where a plan such as CAA Health and Dental Insurance can be a solution for anyone wanting to incorporate wellness-based approaches into their health routine. In addition to coverage for items such as prescription drugs, dental care, and eyeglasses, these plans also cover extended health care services, which include many of the above alternative therapies. This could save you hundreds of dollars a year while allowing you to add complementary therapies to your family’s health regimen. And during COVID-19 and beyond, you can use these online services from CAA Health and Dental Insurance for your alternative therapy needs.
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1Evidence-Based Medicine and the Growing Popularity of Complementary and Alternative Treatments
2Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Canada
3Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Canada, Industry Snapshot