Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Is Being Healthy So Expensive?

I haven't been taking very good care of myself lately - not working out (lets be honest, I never really did), not doing yoga, not taking time for myself, etc....and there has been A LOT of stress around here (see previous post about Chris almost getting laid off and deciding to elope to Vegas). Also, I live in frickin' Idaho. 'Nuf said.

It is also very hard for me to be an effective massage therapist when I am not taking care of myself, and it becomes a vicious cycle - I don't take care of myself and I don't get any clients. Maybe the universe sees clear to send me one or two when I don't have enough money to pay all the bills that month (and you would be surprised to know how many times that has happened), but those clients never re-book. Well, right before we left for Vegas, I had two clients call me within two days of each other. One I am seeing this weekend, and the other I have already seen twice before. They are both for the specialized massage technique that I do, so we spend a long time going over the intake paperwork and the session is just much longer than a "normal" massage.

Anyway, last week when I saw my new client for the second time, she said she had been to get acupuncture, and the woman she saws specializes in the helping the same type of health issues that I do. I didn't have an acupuncturist to be able to refer people to, and her office is on my way home from work, so I decided to make an appointment to check things out.

I went last night and she was great! She has a much lighter needling technique than the guy I used to see in New York and was very knowledgeable. She also has an entire wall full of books in her treatment room that I got to look through while she was going over my intake paperwork. I left with the same light, peaceful feeling that I was used to (I rented space in an acupuncture clinic for my massage practice in NY and getting free acupuncture once a month was part of my "lease"). Problem was, and I am by no means a cheap person - the initial one hour appointment was $145.

Yup, $145. Some of you who know me will say "Well, your initial appointment costs $135." Yes, it does, but it is also for two and a half to three and a half hours and I come to your house. I show you how to do the massage for yourself (which is where the real healing takes place) and I don't tell you that you need to come back twice a week for the next month (at least!) at $80 for each session.

Also, she "strongly" recommended that I start taking some herbs and supplements, which I totally understand are a good thing to do. I am already taking some herbs that are from the massage technique that I do that I know are safe and will accomplish my goals, and are also rather inexpensive - $40 and you have enough to last you an entire year. The stuff she wanted me to take would have ended up costing about $150/month.

Who has this kind of money?? Do I have $1000 a month to spend on this stuff? Um, no. And seriously, does she have people that are spending this kind of money?? Maybe they can give some to me : ) Aren't we a Bailout Nation know? lol

I don't want to come across as being a penny pincher; when it comes to my health I understand that prevention is the most important thing and I would rather pay $150 for herbs if it means I wont have a $10 copay for a potentially harmful drug from the pharmacy. All I am saying is , it was a bit much, and when I made an appointment for two weeks, she really tried to get me in sooner.

What it all boils down to though, is I know that I can't let anyone else be responsible for making me healthy. I can't rely on an acupuncturist or a yoga teacher or a doctor to do "the one thing" that is going to make me whole and healthy. They can help, they can make suggestions, but when it comes down to it, its about me making the time and the decision to be healthy, and working towards that goal. Its all about taking care of myself with my end result in mind and making changes to help me get there. No one can do this for me, no herb is going to be the magic thing I need. All of these things can help me, but in the end, my actions and decisions will matter most.

With that being said - I am not sick or dying or anything like that, just a little off balance so to speak; in need of a little adjustment. I don't want anyone thinking I am out here in Idaho dying of some horrible disease and not telling you.

Now, to end the post on a happy note (and to help me clean out my photo files), here are some pictures of all the socks I knitted for Christmas.

Dad's socks
Brother James' socks

Mom's socks
I also knit a pair for Chris, but I don't have any pictures of them. Oh well...they were cream colored with reinforced heel flaps and toes. He loved them even though they are more a slipper sock than a pair of boot socks like I was hoping they would be.

And, just because I can, here is a picture of Ursa in her new favorite pose - she sleeps like this almost every night and I find it supremely entertaining.

"What? I'm pretty!"

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