We just need a different way and approach to do the mending.
Back in January (which seems like another time and place all together), I was teaching a series of Functional Medicine and nutrition classes to a group of yoga trainees. One of the students commented on the Functional Medicine approach, “this stuff is really important and most people don’t know about it. So how is someone supposed to learn all this information and get help without spending a ton of money?” A really good question and one that the Functional Medicine (FM) community has only recently begun talking about. As much as I love and believe in FM and its value in changing lives, it can be pricey.
So, I’ve been quietly considering how to make Functional Medicine (FM) accessible to more people. Right now, just an initial consult with a FM doctor can cost between $500 and $600. Add on 1-2 functional tests, follow-ups, and supplementation and we can get into the thousands of dollars pretty quickly, just not attainable for most people. BTW-as a nutritionist, I am half the cost of an MD-just thought I’d let you know.
Western medicine is very expensive too but the costs are not as obvious if we’re fortunate to have employer insurance or Medicare. We cannot collectively continue to sustain the cost of sick care (it is NOT health care) using our current paradigm. It’s predicted that Medicare fund will be bankrupt by the year 2026.
Western medicine usually only has time to diagnose and treat symptoms with a Rx pad which does nothing to get to the root of the problem and ultimately leads to more medication down the road. It may seem affordable at first but even with insurance, if you do the math for the cost of annual deductibles and prescriptions with co-pays over the years it really adds up.
Maybe even more costly is the depreciation in quality of life. Just look around us. Even in affluent areas, many people in their 70’s are on 2-3 medications and don’t look that good nor feel very well. And while this is common, it is not normal. We’ve just accepted it as the norm because we really don’t know any different. And that breaks my heart.
Functional medicine works very differently and takes the time to explore the root cause of a disease and getting to know a person inside and out, and yes, time is money. So that leaves this type of medicine and healing available only to those who have the means to pay for it.
UNLESS we change how we do things. What if we have something called group visits? We give out the same information to 10-12 people at the same time and then have time for patients to share what’s going on for them: what’s working, what isn’t, what’s really hard, celebrating successes! Creating a space for community and support, plus education.
There’s a movement in the Functional Medicine community that’s actually started implementing these types of group visits and I’m very excited to be launching a beta program in October.
Here are some of the particulars:
- 10 week online program-(Yes, we will navigate Thanksgiving-no problem!)
- Program is geared towards those with diabetes but anyone is welcomed (including PCOS and Weight loss resistance)
- 1 ½ hours/week. First 30 minutes is education. Last 60 minutes is group time, led by me
- There will be assignments
- There will be learning material
- There will be recipes
- There will be community-you do not need to do this alone.
- There will be laughter
- There will be immense improvement in how you look and feel
- Space is limited to 12 participants who want to change their lives
- Cost is $15/week ($150) due at time of registration. (The rate will increase a bit once the beta program has been test driven)
If you are interested in participating, please let me know. You will be contacted in a few weeks when registration opens. If you know of anyone who could benefit and is interested and searching for something different from what they’re currently being offered, please forward this to them.
So this is what I’ve been up to and I’m excited! And I would love for you to get excited with me! We can change the landscape of medicine, of healing and the quality of life for so many. It just takes a little bit of bravery, willingness, commitment, and trust. FM does work. In a community setting it works even better—