Natural Medicine is growing because traditional medicine is failing. Almost every patient walking out of an MD’s office leaves gripping a prescription; and if it's for pain, it’s usually an addictive drug.
American health care treats symptoms, it doesn’t inquire as to the root cause and fix it for good. Some call it a disease maintenance system.
In an article in Life Extension, August 2006, “Death by Medicine,” by Dr. Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean, MD, ND; Martin Felman, MD; Debora Rasioi, MD, and Dorothy Smith PhD, sited statistical evidence from a deeply researched project that revealed the following:
- In-hospital adverse reactions to prescribed drugs: 2.2 million annually.
- Number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed: 20 million per year.
- Unnecessary medical and surgical procedures 7.5 million a year
- Patients exposed to unnecessary hospitalization: 8.9 million a year.
- Deaths by conventional medicine: a stunning 800,000 per year.
“It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.”
What is Natural Medicine?
The ideology behind natural medicine is all about self-healing. Naturopaths advise their patients to avoid modern medicine, pharmacological drugs, vaccinations and invasive surgery unless they are totally required.
Naturopathy encompasses the body, mind, and emotions to aid the healing process. The real focus is on the whole individual not just one body part. The body, mind and spirit of the individual are an integrated unit and each must be aligned to optimal function to allow self-healing. The Naturopathic doctor strives to restore the body’s inner balance and aid in healing itself.
These are the principles of Hippocrates whose core idea was to never interfere with allowing the body to heal itself.
Never Interfere with Symptoms
Symptoms are signals that something is wrong, they should not be suppressed. Yes, inflammation is painful, but it is a symptom that something is wrong.
A huge percentage of prescriptions are anti-inflammatory. Allopathic medicine is about relieving symptoms by dispensing a pill, which will mask the problem and allow it to worsen.
Education and Practice of the Naturopathic Doctor
“Licensed naturopathic doctors are graduates of four-year accredited naturopathic medical schools with admissions requirements comparable to other medical schools. They study the biomedical sciences - cardiology, neurology, radiology, obstetrics, gynecology, immunology, dermatology and pediatrics - and are trained in clinical, laboratory and physical diagnosis. They also study clinical nutrition, botanicals, counseling, stress management, and physical medicine. Naturopathic doctors are not necessarily “anti-pharmaceutical”– but they are cautious when it comes to using drugs, and will always attempt to use the least invasive methods to both diagnose and treatments.” Institute for Natural Medicine
Naturopathic doctors look for ways to enhance the body in performing its natural and incredible self-healing without interference from drugs. Drugs can actually tax the body by introducing yet another alien substance for it to handle.
Some of the Naturopathic Methods
- Nutritional changes in diet
- Herbal remedies and medication
- Massage therapy
- Lifestyle advice to help avoid stress and problem people
Functional Compared to Natural
Functional medicine is similar to natural medicine in that it also uses a holistic* approach to healthcare. It goes much further as it looks for the “root cause” of a patient’s dysfunction and symptoms - it looks for the WHY.
The approach aims to achieve optimal overall health by using in-depth histories, examination, and comprehensive testing to determine what systems, glands and organs may need intervention. Diet, lifestyle, handling of the external environment, supplements, and sometimes prescriptive therapy are introduced to assist the patient’s natural bodily functions. (*Holistic means encompassing the whole of a thing, and not just the part. Holistic medicine looks at the whole person for answers, not just at physical symptoms.)
The Best System and Savior of the American Healthcare System
What would be the perfect system? What if you could go to a clinic and get the best treatment offered by a medical doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, nutritionist, and a trainer, with perhaps an acupuncturist. Then, on top of that, it is designed to treat the whole body, not just a part, and all without drugs or needless surgery.
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