There’s a new trend in health care that’s gaining popularity. Millions of Canadians are seeking out alternative therapies like massage, chiropractic and more and adding them to their traditional medical routine.1
Traditional medicine is symptoms-based. Traditional medicine treats the patient to alleviate symptoms once they present or are discovered in diagnostic or screening tests. In the past, many traditional practitioners have been resistant to alternative therapies, but that’s changing as more Canadians seek out wellness-based therapies. In 2016 alone, Canadians spent $6.5 billion on complementary alternative treatments.2
Alternative therapies are cause-based. Alternative or complementary therapies on the other hand, seek to treat the root cause rather than just symptoms. Examples of alternative therapies include massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy, dietitian, physiotherapy and psychology.3
What types of alternative therapies are there?
- Registered massage therapy manipulates soft tissue to alleviate muscle pain and tension and improve circulation and relaxation
- Chiropractic focuses on improving spinal alignment through adjustments, to address muscle and mobility-related complaints
- Physiotherapy improves fitness, strength and healing with various exercises and movements
- Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique in which fine needles are inserted into the skin for the purpose of relieving pain
- Dietitians work with people to help them establish healthy eating habits and achieve specific health-related goals
- Naturopaths and osteopaths focus on activating the body’s own natural powers of healing
- Psychologists work with patients to uncover and address the issues that cause people to think, behave or feel a certain way
- Speech therapists offer training to correct communication impediments such as stuttering, lisping and more
Because alternative therapies may not be covered by government health plans, they can be costly. Many people who don’t have an individual health insurance plan can’t afford them.
CAA Health and Dental Insurance Plans can be a solution for anyone incorporating wellness-based approaches into their health regimen. In addition to coverage for items such as prescription drugs, dental care and eyeglasses, these plans can also provide coverage for 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 try or add complementary therapies to your family’s health routine.
1 Evidence-Based Medicine and the Growing Popularity of Complementary and Alternative Treatments. https://ubcmj.med.ubc.ca/ubcmj-volume-7-issue-1/evidence-based-medicine-and-the-growing-popularity-of-complementary-and-alternative-treatments/evidence-based-medicine-and-the-growing-popularity-of-complementary-and-alternative-treatments/
2 Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Canada. https://sba.ubc.ca/blog/industry-overview-complementary-and-alternative-medicine-canada
3 Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Canada, Industry Snapshot. https://sba.ubc.ca/blog/industry-overview-complementary-and-alternative-medicine-canada
4 Why aging brings aches and pains. https://www.webmd.com/men/features/aging-real-pain-neck
5 Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. http://search.ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca/ccohs/jsp/search/ccohs.jsp?QueryText=computer+injuries&MaxDocs=500&ResultStart=1&SortSpec=Score+desc&hTab=0&wb-srch-sub