Over the past century, the Western World – and the United States, in particular – has become obsessed with pharmaceuticals. While many of the developments in recent years have proven to be incredibly helpful to public health, others are merely smokescreens for larger issues.
If you really want to pursue total health, you may want to consider a naturopathic approach.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
As the University of Minnesota explains, “Naturopathic medicine is a science-based tradition that promotes wellness by identifying the unique aspects of each patient and then employing non-toxic natural therapies to restore his or her physiological, psychological, and structural balance.”
There’s a common misconception that naturopathic medicine disagrees with modern medicine, when naturopathic practitioners actually cooperate fairly frequently with other branches of medicine. Specifically, practitioners will refer patients to other doctors for diagnoses, or when treatment necessitates advanced pharmaceuticals or surgery.
The goal of naturopathic medicine isn’t to destroy modern healthcare – rather, it’s to help the individual patient find the least invasive and healthiest treatment options available.
Four Things to Know
For someone who is totally unfamiliar with naturopathic medicine, it’s often difficult to separate fact from fiction/exaggeration. Here are a few things you should know:
The 6 Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
The entire field of naturopathic medicine is based on the ]]>foundation of six key principles]]>: (1) first do no harm, (2) identify and treat the cause, (3) doctor as teacher, (4) treat the whole person, (5) emphasize prevention, and (6) support the healing power of the body.
Naturopathic Services are Diverse
People often assume that naturopathic medicine only deals with things like healthy eating and essential oils. However, there are actually a variety of services that fall under the category of naturopathic. These include things like preventative medicine, clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutritional supplements, and more.
Treatment Takes Time
Part of the reason people like to use prescription medication is because it seemingly heals the issue in a matter of hours or days. Unfortunately, most medication simply masks the symptoms. But because the symptoms go away, patients are convinced that they’re healed.
When it comes to naturopathic medicine, healing may take weeks, months, or years. While this can be discouraging to patients who are used to quick fixes, the healing process takes longer because natural medicine actually takes on the underlying cause – which is tougher to defeat. But when it’s gone, it’s gone!
Great for Chronic Issues
Naturopathic medicine is often most effective when it comes to treating chronic conditions that don’t respond well to conventional medicine. This includes health issues related to pain, fatigue, sleep interference, and digestive disorders.
Naturopathic practitioners understand that many of the body’s systems are interconnected and have to be dealt with together, as opposed to independently. This allows for greater results and a better chance of long-term healing.
The important thing is that patients communicate. Without clear communication, it’s impossible for an effective treatment plan to be initiated. When patient and doctor are on the same page, there’s unlimited potential.
Learn More About Naturopathic Medicine
Fear of the unknown is the primary reason why so many Americans discount natural medicine and instead opt for prescription medication to mask symptoms. The idea of natural approaches is something our society isn’t familiar with, so many choose to shy away, even though they’ve been proven successful in other regions of the world– even for many centuries.
Continue to learn more about naturopathic medicine and you may eventually be able to overcome your biases and see what sort of healing is waiting in these age-old healthcare alternatives.