Ways to cut the costs for alternative therapies

Complementary and alternative medicine is increasing in popularity and effectiveness, but it's still quite expensive. With these tricks, you could spend less for your treatments and still get the help you need.

Ways to cut the costs for alternative therapies

More acupuncture sessions, more savings

Acupuncture has now become a well-accepted mode of therapy in Canada. Individual sessions can run from $45 to $75 per hour, but rates are reduced if you commit to a series of treatments. Some doctors are also trained in acupuncture.

Getting in at the ground floor

Licenced naturopaths may charge between $140 and $200 for an initial consultation. The clinics at some naturopathy schools often offer highly reduced rates, sometimes as much as 75% off.

Cracking through chiropractic care

  • Numerous studies have shown that chiropractic care can help certain musculoskeletal disorders and conditions, such as repetitive strain injury, whiplash, sports injuries and accidents.
  • Chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic exercise, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.
  • Chiropractic care is covered by some provincial health plans and most employee benefits plans partially cover services.
  • Walk-in clinics associated with the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto charge 50% of average rates.

Aromatherapy for less

  • While you may not want the expense of going to an aromatherapist, you can benefit from using aromatherapy oils at home.
  • Essential oils can enhance mood. For example, lavender and neroli aid relaxation, while bergamot and grapefruit are energizing.
  • Other essential oils can help certain conditions.
  • Though oils can be expensive, the Internet provides some bargains.
  • Some oils can be harmful if used during pregnancy, so avoid aromatherapy if you're pregnant.

Over-the-counter herbalism

A consultation with a medical herbalist can range from $60 to $120 for the initial session and from $30 to $80 for subsequent visits. Herbalists may help certain chronic complaints, but for minor ailments, you'll find remedies and knowledgeable staff in health food stores.

Complementary and alternative treatments are now widely used and, in some cases, are covered by provincial health care plans or employee benefit plans. To save money without sacrificing quality, check what's covered by your health plans and take advantage of programs that offer discounts.

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