Natural medicine is a natural approach to wellness, healthcare, and recovery. Natural medicine looks at the natural functioning of the body, and delve deep to find the main causes of ill health in order to help the body heal and return to healthy function.
The body has a unique ability to heal itself when you treat the root cause of an illness; it aids the body’s natural health and creates a healthy environment. The natural approach to medical care and natural therapies is about giving the body what it requires, eliminating what is causing problems, and guiding the body back to healthy function.
Natural medicine, also known as naturopathy is a form of alternative medicine which involves homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, diet and lifestyle counseling, and more. It is believed that naturopathy originates back to 400BC and its founding principles were discovered by the Greek philosopher Hippocrates.
Naturopathy is a system of healthcare that integrates a range of natural therapies, which collectively assist in the prevention and management of illness and disease, or in other words, maintaining optimal health and wellbeing. Naturopathic views patients as a student and heavily considers lifestyle changes that meet each client’s needs.
naturopathy is about functional medicine, nutrition, the use of whole foods such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, movement, sleep, stress management, toxins and incorporates scientifically endorsed pathology tests to determine what is going on in a person body.
People who practice natural medicine are known as naturopathic doctors, many of these practitioners will have obtained professional qualifications and have passed an examination to receive a license. In addition to this, these healthcare practitioners must constantly update their knowledge annually to keep up to date with medical advancements.
The Philosophy Behind Natural Medicine
Living organisms have an innate ability to heal themselves. Our vital force promotes self-cleansing, self-repair, and therefore self-healing, and this process can be achieved by focusing on the immune, hormonal, nervous, and also detoxification/elimination systems of the body. When these systems are in balance, restored health is a probability.
The idea behind natural medicine revolves around vitalism and self-healing, meaning naturopaths will tend to advise their patients to stop using modern medicines, pharmacological drugs, vaccinations and medical operations.
Natural medicine systems seek to incorporate gentle therapeutic techniques involving the body, mind, and emotions to aid the healing process. They also focus on each patient individually, treating the whole person, instead of concentrating on a specific area or the patient’s illness.
It is believed that muscles, bones, and nerves are interconnected, therefore when structures of the body system are aligned; the body is able to function optimally and support self-healing.
Natural medicine practitioners will make a conscious effort to avoid using methods which suppress symptoms, as the purpose is for the body to restore its inner balance and heal itself. Practitioners also have a role to teach; by educating and empowering their patients.
Patients can now take more responsibility for their well-being by adopting a healthier lifestyle and attitude. Another vital principle of naturopathic medicine is the prevention of ill health. This can be done through teaching and patient counseling.
Methods Of Treatment
Depending on the patient’s condition and symptoms, methods of treatment can vary and may involve one or numerous methods such as:
- Lifestyle advise to promote health and eliminate stress
- Dietary advice to promote detoxification, restore balance and treat minor conditions
- Herbal medication to treat and prevent symptoms and ailments
- Massage therapy to relieve tension and promote well-being
- Hydrotherapy, as it is believed water, can play a role in stimulating the body’s immune system
- Meditation as a form of stress relief and management
Practitioners will take into account each individual patient and tailor a treatment plan for them; this is also reliant on the type of practitioner who is dealing with the patient and their previous training. Therefore patients will be asked numerous questions regarding their lifestyle, sleep patterns, diet and more to understand the patient as well as their condition in initial consultations.
Benefits of Natural Medicine
Naturopathic treatments are suitable for everybody, all ages and every level of health. Most commonly, persons suffering from fatigue, stress and its related disorders, gastrointestinal diseases or similar minor ailments will seek treatment from natural medicine practitioners.
Most treatments can certainly cause no harm, however, there are a number of benefits in using natural medicine, which may be why many patients are drawn to it.
Emphasis on patients as a whole, as discussed above, the principles and ideologies of naturopathy focus on the entire body for healing; emotional, mental and physical health are all taken into thought.
Patients are offered individual attention, unlike when visiting a doctor’s clinic where patients will only discuss their symptoms, naturopathic practitioners will consult their patient on multiple aspects of their health due to tailor a custom treatment plan.
Emphasis on prevention, natural medicine encourages patients to visit practitioners before a medical condition develops so that they can take control of their health and revitalize themselves.
With almost no side effects, natural medicine tends to discourage the use of pharmacological drugs and allopathic medicines. A majority of therapies will be centered on stress relief, relaxation, and using natural supplements in healthy doses, therefore patients are unlikely to suffer adverse or unwanted reactions.
Yet there have been some randomized controlled trials which have suggested that acupuncture, physiotherapy, and nutritional therapies have shown positive results in treating type II diabetes, asthma, and hypertension and migraine headaches.
However, despite all these benefits, there is still not satisfactory scientific evidence to back and support natural medicine as an effective method of treatment of diseases.
Recently funding for research studies in natural and alternative medicines has increased mainly due to an increased demand by consumers, yet many questions are currently unanswered.
Supporters of allopathic medicine debate that it is harmful and irresponsible to use non-evidence backed treatments for conditions which are or can become serious or even terminal.