For some people, finances feel like a restriction to their ability to heal. And certainly, it can be challenging.
Here are a few ideas for healing on a low budget.
1. Focus on food rather than supplements. Since 95% of people don't eat enough vegetables (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics), that's a good place to start. Fruit and vegetables are foundational for obtaining the nutrition we need. By adding in more fruit and veg, you will be crowding out less desirable foods. We often find free food in our neighbourhood- citrus is abundance at the moment- ask a neighbour if you can harvest a bucket of fruit from their tree if it is abundant.
2. Superfoods can help buffer nutritional deficits in the diet....and they don't have to be expensive ones from Peru. Berries, broccoli, any sprouts (easily done at home), kale (easily grown), flaxseeds, yoghurt, sauerkraut, olive oil, apples, oats, lentils, canned sustainable wild salmon or tuna, any raw nuts, honey, potatoes, bananas, cabbage and seaweeds. These are all superfoods minus the marketing hype.
3. Rotate your supplements, so if you have half a dozen you want to take or have been prescribed, rotate them, or take them at half the dosage, or at whatever rate you can afford. There are some nutrients, like zinc and magnesium, that most people are short in because they are poor in our soils, and they are worth taking. I don't recommend taking cheap versions of a quality product though, because it just won't be absorbed. Then it's really a waste of money.
4. Grow some herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, coriander, some leafy greens like kale. You can pick up punnets at Bunnings for $2 and easily grow in pots or in the garden.
5. Herbs are meant to be the peoples' medicine, but they have become an expensive international trade. So, focus on the cheaper ones. For your nervous system, oatstraw and nettle infusions are great and cheap. So is lavender- pick fresh flowers for free and add to a chamomile tea. And ashwagandha is a good adrenal and nervous system tonic available inexpensively in powder form at Indian food stores. So is triphala, a bowel tonic and systemic detoxifier. Dandelion coffee is a great liver detoxifier. Using herbs in more basic forms- powders, teas, or fresh if available- is much cheaper than expensive extracts in tablets, or even liquid tinctures.
6. If you do have a bottle of herbal extract made up for you personally, ask if you can do drop dosing instead of the normal high doses. It is very effective for many people and the bottle then lasts for ages.
7. Dive into meditation as a daily practice. It has so many healing benefits, traditionally and proved in many studies, that it is really an essential life skill. Detaching from the busy mind is essential for healing, for balance, and giving oneself time to allow the old to pass and the new to come in. There are free apps like Insight Timer where you can learn, or plenty of you tubes. I recommend Tara Brach.
8. Self care and nurturing doesn't need trips to Bali, retreats, massages, or expensive therapies. Yes, sometimes these things are amazing but with some resourcefulness, healing can be found in ordinary day to life. Cold showers and warm baths, simple lavender oil (instead of joining up to Doterra!), walks in nature, spending time at the beach, self massage (abhyanga), getting enough rest and sleep, taking time alone, watching You Tubes about healing topics that are attracting you, using the library to access books, finding therapy groups and workshops which are low cost or free, becoming part of online networks that support, doing free online yoga classes...we actually live in amazing times with a lot being offered for free or low cost, because it is a good business model. Those that can afford and desire to, advance to the next paid level, but a certain amount is offered for free.
9. Walking is such good medicine. Walking at the beach, in the park, through the suburbs, or around the block. Take your shoes off sometimes, connect with the earth, connect with Mother Nature, the source of all healing.
10. Attitude and intention are very powerful so make the most of that superpower you already have.
I don't mean to dismiss the hardship of living with chronic health conditions and limited funds, because it really can be tough. However we can also get in a bit of a rut with our thinking, and there are many resources available. We all need to eat. Let food and whatever daily movement you can enjoy be your medicine, and self-nurture and self-care with as much resourcefulness as you can. I hope these ideas can inspire someone.