We all know this don’t we? It takes longer and costs more to fix a problem than it does to prevent it. So why don’t we prioritise preventative health care more? Perhaps because we’re not taught to..
Chinese Medicine is all for preventative medicine. There’s even a Chinese proverb for it: “Dig a well before you are thirsty”. Imagine starting to dig a well when you’re already thirsty.. Makes sense right? If we wait until we are sick before we seek treatment, how much more effort, time & cost is it going to take?
We all know how disruptive falling ill can be. We might need time off work, we can’t attend (or struggle to enjoy) social functions, time with family, projects get put on hold. It’s expensive to get sick. The same goes for car repairs. We all know how disruptive an unexpected car repair is; the trip to the garage, making alternative transport arrangements, the cost, the hassle, need I go on? We all know that regular services and tune ups for our vehicle is wise, finding and solving small problems before they become bigger problems. Ofcourse the human body is much more complex than a mechanical system. But can you see the analogy?
How much easier and cheaper would it be if we had regular check-ups & tune-ups for our health, rather than waiting for symptoms to appear? This goes for dentistry, Western medicine, chiropractic AND Chinese Medicine. In Ancient China, medical physicians were paid ONLY when the village was well, NOT when people fell ill. So Chinese Medicine has a well honed system for detecting imbalances and restoring health & vitality, before symptoms appear. In modern life, this can be as simple as a check-up every 3 months if you’re generally well and look after yourself. If your lifestyle or general health isn’t so great then monthly maintenance may be necessary. Whichever way, maintenance care costs a lot less time & money than curative care. When you fall sick, you need much more intervention.
Have you ever had the experience of a Chinese Medicine practitioner checking your pulse and tongue and being able to tell you what is going with your health with amazing accuracy? Many of the patients that come to see us at Freedom Chinese Medicine have. It’s fascinating and helpful to have this information. Whether it be how your digestion, nervous system are functioning, whether your coming down with something or are pregnant, a Chinese Medicine practitioner can be a font of information, which can help you stay well.
And then there’s the benefits of regular treatment. Check out this graph from a large German study shows how regular acupuncture sessions can improve your physical functioning, vitality, mental health and more:
Does regular acupuncture treatment really cost more than conventional treatment?
No. The costs are clear-cut: acupuncturists don’t employ fancy technical products. We do not order a large number of diagnostic tests. And the number of sessions taken to achieve the results are modest. On average, 10 acupuncture sessions were necessary to achieve treatment effects with stability over four years, which translates to a rough estimate of AUD$580 per patient, with no hidden costs for expensive drugs. To treat a migraine patient suffering 2 attacks a month over the course of one year, using an effective triptane would cost at least the same in one year, taking only the drug costs into account and without including the cost of visits to the doctor and the cost of diagnostics. Thus, here we have a potential for cost-saving warranting further and more intricate exploration.²
So Wellness Care with Chinese Medicine is well worth it. All it may take is a check-up and tune up once a month if you’re generally well or even once every 3 months if you have a very healthy lifestyle. What are you waiting for? Click here to book now.
Dr Elaine Hickman
B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac. (Beijing)
Elaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China. She has over 20 years experience in treating many health problems. Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable. Elaine’s acupuncture treatments are gentle, powerful, amazingly relaxing and incorporate Japanese & Chinese techniques, as well as Medical Qi Gong if appropriate. Elaine has a particular interest in Gynaecology, Fertility, Obstetrics, Family Medicine, Wellness promotion and Mental Health.
She runs a private practice in Ivanhoe and is the trusted family physician of many. Elaine is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She completed a Bachelor of Health Science – TCM, specialising in Acupuncture, and a hospital internship in China in 1998. Elaine is the Principal Practitioner at Freedom Chinese Medicine, managing a dedicated team of practitioners & staff, and supervises many TCM students in clinical training. Elaine’s passion for Chinese Medicine has her regularly furthering her education, Qi Gong training and sharing knowledge.
Longer term clinical and economic benefits of offering acupuncture to patients with chronic low back pain assessed as suitable for primary care management
K.J. Thomas1, M. Fitter2, J. Brazier3, H. MacPherson2, M. Campbell4, J.P. Nicholl1, M. Roman5