(This article was recently published on ezinearticles.com, and we thought we’d share it with you too – Fiona)
Why would you want to see a naturopath instead of a medical doctor? In life-threatening situations, nothing beats conventional medicine. However, for all other health issues, Scott Hankinson explains why naturopathic medicine is the only choice if you want to truly heal your body, and not just suppress uncomfortable or painful symptoms.
A Different View of the Body
In conventional medicine, it’s very common for patients to be referred to ‘experts’ – doctors who specialise in treating a particular area of the body. Many people wonder why the field of natural therapies doesn’t also have ‘experts’ that focus on particular illnesses or body parts. Why don’t naturopaths offer a natural alternative to these specialised medical areas?
The answer is that the very nature of specialisation doesn’t fit with the philosophy of naturopathic medicine. The very reason why natural medicine is so successful is that it focuses on treating the whole person; on assessing each individual’s unique health profile from cellular function up to the mental and emotional level, and everything in between.
Viewing the body as a whole entity where the biochemistry of organs, blood, digestion, muscle, bone and brain are fundamentally interdependent, allows naturopaths to make connections that are often missed by modern medicine.
Underlying this approach is a deep respect for the self-regulating, self-healing nature of the physical body. By identifying, through naturopathic testing, what the body needs and then precisely providing for its needs, healing and good health occur as a natural consequence. This has led to a common understanding that naturopaths focus on creating wellness, whereas medical doctors focus on suppressing the symptoms of illness. It’s little wonder that the public is turning to natural medicine in droves!
Contrast this with the ‘divide and conquer’ approach of conventional medicine and we can see why naturopathy works so well for chronic, long-term conditions that defy the ability of medical doctors to resolve.
Conventional Medicine Testing Vs Naturopathic Testing
One of the most fundamental differences between conventional medicine and natural medicine is in the intention behind recommending testing. Medical Doctors (GPs) are primarily trained to identify and treat disease states and so their tests are designed to classify illness in these terms. Naturopaths, on the other, hand, look for imbalances and deficiencies that are likely to lead to diseases if left unchecked.
By correcting these imbalances and deficiencies, naturopaths give your body the nourishment it needs in order to begin the healing process. In my experience, the body will, if given the right nutrients, the right diet, proper rest and plenty of water, nearly always heal itself. The challenge, of course, is finding out what the body needs, and what is stopping it from healing. This is why it’s important to choose a naturopath who uses scientific testing to determine your unique health requirements.
Remember, disease doesn’t just happen – there is a lead-up process where you may feel unwell, but your doctor’s tests don’t find anything wrong. This is where naturopathic tests can be very useful, because knowing specifically what nutrients your body is crying out for means you can effectively stop and – with targeted natural supplements – even reverse degenerative processes that may otherwise lead to disease.
Natural Medicines Vs Pharmaceutical Drugs
Many pharmaceutical drugs have side-effects which can be very debilitating. They are usually quick to act but often work by masking your symptoms without correcting the underlying cause. In extreme cases, such medicines can be life-saving. However, for conditions that aren’t immediately life-threatening, there are usually natural alternatives which help your body to heal, rather than suppressing the symptoms.
Natural, scientifically researched supplements often take longer to work. However, prescribed correctly, they help your body to heal itself synergistically. This means the results can be permanent and there are none of the potentially dangerous side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
So next time you’re thinking of paying a visit to a doctor, think about whether your situation would be better served by a naturopath. By choosing naturopathic medicine, you’re choosing health, wellness and vitality rather than just symptomatic relief.
Scott Hankinson, N.D.