If you’re like most people, you were raised that if you didn’t feel well or were injured, you were to go to the doctor and he would “fix” it with a prescription or some type of surgery.
Even if you felt healed, you thanked the doctor, not your own body.
The interesting component to this point-of-view is that it’s actually a relatively new concept if you look back through history. Up until the last one hundred years or so, most doctors would take a more natural approach, meaning they literally would work to get to the bottom of the symptoms and do whatever they could to support the patient’s inherent ability to heal himself. This is the very essence of what naturopathic healing is all about. Let’s take a look at the distinct differences between conventional Western medicine and traditional healing modules.
Naturopathic healing works to identify the root cause of an illness instead of trying to suppress the symptoms.
Naturopathy believes that you must determine what the original issue is and work to correct it.
If you think back to all the doctor’s visits you’ve made throughout your lifetime, I bet most of the time you got a few minutes to tell the doctor what was ailing you and they would in turn write you a prescription and give you instructions on how to take it or refer you to a specialist. That may or may not have helped you, but in my experience of working with thousands of people over the last sixteen years, it usually suppressed one symptom only to lead to others.
Naturopathy believes that you must determine what the original issue is and work to correct it. For example, if one has high cholesterol, instead of putting them on Statins, a common practice of a naturopath would be to put them on an anti-inflammatory plant-based diet along with other practices to naturally lower their numbers. Another great example is fevers. The reason the body has a fever is because it’s trying to fight an infection. If you take a medication to break the fever, you just took down your body’s own defenses. It seems so counterintuitive but it really is how the body heals itself naturally.
Western medicine has more of an isolated approach whereas naturopathy takes a holistic approach.
In Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book, Mind Over Medicine, she shares that once she started intaking a client’s entire life, not just what their current complaint was, she finally started seeing positive, life-changing results in her clinic that she’d never experienced before. The Huffington Post reported that as high as 90% of doctor’s visits are stress-related but very few situations are actually addressed by the physician.
The intention isn’t to talk bad about modern medicine, but to be aware that doctors in conventional education are trained to address symptoms. That’s why the number of disorders and specialists have exploded over the last couple of decades. It’s great to have the knowledge and experience, but more often than not doctors are not talking to each other to take a team approach with their patients.
The #1 rule of thumb of naturopathic healing is primum non nocere or do no harm, which is not exactly the case of Western medicine.
Incorporating natural remedies such as essential oils, herbs or supplements often take some time to see the benefits whereas you can start experiencing relief after a couple of hours when beginning a prescription.
Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, historically said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This is an important clue as naturopathy evolved out of this philosophy. Dating back to 350 BC, healing leaders of that time would support the patient so that their body could heal itself. To this day, naturopathic healers do not believe in any practices that are invasive. They will take a look at a variety of lifestyle factors and see what areas could be improved to optimize naturally healing.
With Western medicine, there’s definitely a difference approach that has developed over the last century whereas immediate relief is often the goal and even today is now the expectation. Incorporating natural remedies such as essential oils, herbs or supplements often take some time to see the benefits whereas you can start experiencing relief after a couple of hours when beginning a prescription.
With a more extreme scenario, we can look at cancer diagnosis to see how invasive the options are with Western medicine. Currently, MDs can recommend chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery so they’re options are truly limited. However, a new field has developed called immunotherapy where the drugs actually support the body’s immune system. This is extremely exciting as it’s truly a hybrid between naturopathy and Western medicine.
As you can see, there really is a distinct difference between the two medical approaches to healing. But more and more Western physicians are discovering the benefits of naturopathy and are incorporating it into their practices. With the advantages of cutting-edge science and thousands of years of natural methods, we really are in a position to have the best of both worlds.