Alternative medicine is defined loosely as a set of products, practices, and theories that are believed or perceived by their users to have the healing effects of medicine but whose effectiveness has not been clearly established using scientific methods. Example of which is use of acupuncture (sticking needles in the body to influence the flow of a supernatural energy), homeopathy etc.
In our time, traditional medicine has leaped forward. However, many people resort to using just alternative medicine, considering it to be more natural, safe and, often, more effective. For example, the recipes of traditional medicine, as a rule, are based on the use of the healing qualities of plants and other natural remedies. It has long been believed that they help the body to correct failures in its natural defense mechanisms.
Alternative medicine methods may include traditional healing practices such as Indian Ayurveda and Chinese acupuncture; manual therapy (chiropractic, osteopathy) and various types of massage; homeopathy, naturopathy, herbal medicine; relaxation techniques such as meditation and visualization; magnetic therapy; food supplements and various nutritional systems; art and dance therapy, color therapy and aromatherapy, as well as numerous alternative diagnostic methods, such as pulse diagnostics, iris condition, acupuncture diagnostics, etc.
The popularity of alternative medicine is growing steadily. According to statistics, in North America, about 70% of people used this or that type of alternative medicine, and many use it constantly for the treatment and prevention of various diseases. A lot of medicinal herbs are a part of various medicines, and massage and physiotherapy exercises have become common for the rehabilitation of patients after diseases and injuries. Many kinds of medical insurance cover the costs of a massage therapist, chiropractor, treatment with the methods of naturopathy or acupuncture.
Often, people resort to methods of alternative medicine in a critical state, when traditional medicine is powerless. One example of such diseases is cancer. Despite decades and billions of dollars spent on research, effective cancer treatments do not exist yet. This disease is the second largest cause of death in developed countries, and this statistic continues to deteriorate steadily.
According to statistics, every third oncological patient dies during the first year after being diagnosed. The reasons for such fast passing away can be different, but the most common are: diagnoses was too late, long waiting list for treatment, the patient receives the required procedures too late, and lack of funds for alternative treatments.
Obviously, in such a difficult time, the availability of the necessary financial means is simply vital, and there is an insurance policy which can help, it is called Critical Illness.
This insurance coverage is provided when the patient is alive and has been diagnosed with one of the 25 critical diseases, cancer is only one of them. The amount of the insurance policy is paid in one lump sum at a time, and these funds can be used for any purpose: for everyday expenses, paying off debts, paying bills, or purchasing services and drugs that are not paid for by governmental medical programs, such as acupuncture sessions, naturopathic consultations, alternative medicine drugs and much more.
The presence of such financial support increases the chances of dealing with the disease, getting the necessary and timely treatment, and saving life.
It should be mentioned that many methods of alternative medicine are not yet fully researched. Before you start using this or that method, try to get as much information about it as possible. Be sure to let your doctor know about the methods you are using or planning to use. Find out what information he has on alternative medicine and his opinion on this matter. The ideal situation is when your doctor is open to new ideas and is ready to assist you in evaluating the method in which you are interested. But you should be open too, because many methods of alternative medicine are not intended to replace traditional methods of treatment, but can be quite successfully used in addition to them.
Marina Neiman-Fishman, RBC Insurance Life & Living Benefits Advisor