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A personal wellness program should include a lead


practitioner that acts as a gatekeeper and coordinates a plan of care that meets the individual’s needs.


tests, plus colonoscopies.” Loquasto is not in favor of mammograms because of the radiation exposure associated with them, but supports routine breast screen- ing using ultrasound or thermography.


Self-Diagnosis


Intuitive listening and observant self- knowledge are crucial parts of any


wellness plan. Most people are aware when something doesn’t feel right in their body.


“Libido is a great barometer of health,” suggests Dr. Diana Hoppe, an obstetrician, gynecologist and hormone specialist in San Diego, California. “If you’re not interested in sex, it’s probably a sign that you need to do some inves-


tigating.” Reasons for such a decline of interest are wide-ranging says Hoppe. “For men and women, it might be due to hormonal changes, lack of self- esteem, medications, stress, relationship issues, job, family life or lack of sleep. It means that somewhere, things are out of balance,” she says.


Funding a Plan A personal multifaceted wellness pro- gram can be expensive, but there are ways to minimize the cost. “In the new world of high insurance deductibles, people get more for their money from an alternative doctor, especially one knowledgeable in a variety of healing therapies, than a conventional one,” Loquasto advises. Costs for tests may also be lower; plus patients are not expected to pay $150 or more just to walk in the door. A current trend has medical doc- tors and chiropractors participating in “umbrella” practices and wellness centers, where several types of practi- tioners collaborate in one facility. They find that sometimes insurance will pay for certain complementary services, including massage and nutrition edu- cation, when doctors or chiropractors prescribe them.


Maintaining wellness in an envi-


ronment filled with chemical, biological and mental toxins is a substantial, yet worthy, investment. It’s far better than the costly alternative of dealing with regular bouts of sickness or escalating disease. In that light, maintenance looks affordable: an ayurvedic diagnostic session starts at around $100, a consul- tation with a licensed naturopath at $75 and acupuncture at $100; a massage typically costs about $80 an hour. While insurance is unlikely to pay for treatments outside the realm of conventional medicine and sometimes, chiropractic, “The cost of these preven- tive therapies will be much less than the cost of treatment for a serious disease,” advises Loquasto. “You’re worth it.”


Kathleen Barnes is author of more than a dozen natural health books. Her latest is The Calcium Lie II: What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know with Dr. Robert Thompson. Connect at KathleenBarnes.com.


14 Hudson County NAHudson.com


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